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Paul L. Swartz, Democrat

For Washington County Commissioner

For Washington County Commissioner

July 13, 2006

Former Washington County Commissioner Paul L. Swartz has filed to win back the seat he lost in 2002.

Swartz, 67, a Democrat, said the county should put $2 million in a scholarship fund so all graduating Washington County high school seniors can go to Hagerstown Community College tuition-free, if they keep at least a C average.

He wants the county to lower its property tax rate. He favors a sliding scale in which people would pay less as they get older. Around age 75 or 80, they would pay no property tax.

Swartz said the sales tax in Washington County should go up 1 percentage point, bringing in, by his estimate, $12 million to $20 million.

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The idea to run again came out of the blue in November from his wife, Shirley, he said. He gave it some thought.

Swartz is retired from 35 years in education.

He worked in pupil services for the Washington County Board of Education for more than 20 years. Before that, he was a teacher and coach at North Hagerstown High School, South Hagerstown High School and Harpers Ferry (W.Va.) High School, which no longer exists.

"What has probably motivated me to run more than anything is that this group of county commissioners has decided to do it on their own," Swartz said, accusing them of not consulting with their predecessors.

Swartz said that as a commissioner, he regularly met with a cabinet, of sorts, including two former commissioners. The cabinet discussed and debated issues with him. In return, he took them out for dinner.

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