Commissioners candidates focus on growth

August 03, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

To learn more about candidates running for Washington County office go to and click on "News" to find The Herald-Mail election guide.

BOONSBORO - Eleven of 12 Democrats running for a Washington County Commissioners seat attended a candidates forum Wednesday night at American Legion Post 10 in Boonsboro.

Frank Kretzer was the only candidate who did not attend the forum.

Candidates were asked two questions by a moderator before taking questions from the audience of about 80 people.

The forum was hosted by the South County Democratic Club.

Here are some of the candidates' thoughts:

· Kristin B. Aleshire: Growth should be managed based on the county's sewer constraints and other strained or limited resources. The county's water and sewer master plan, which has not been updated since 1993, needs to be updated.

· Donna Brightman: Sewer capacity and water are finite resources that will drive the county's growth. Recommends that a sprinkler system be installed in all newly constructed homes, which would help the county's primarily volunteer fire and rescue services.


· Martin Brubaker: The county cannot stop growth, but it can manage it and still protect its rural areas. Growth also should not affect the average citizens' tax rates. The county needs more good jobs and strong primary employment sources.

· J. Herbert Hardin: Growth has to happen to maintain a manageable tax rate for Washington County citizens, but it's important to continue to meet safety and security needs at the same time. The county's most pressing public service needs include safety and security, sewage, water, low-income housing and roads.

· N. Linn Hendershot: There is no way to stop growth, but it needs to be managed in urban growth areas, where the county wants growth to take place. The county's public services are in need of a total overhaul of how services are provided for seniors and the mentally ill.

· Daniel Moeller: Growth is inevitable, but to manage it the county's comprehensive plan must be reviewed and updated. Emergency planning is the most pressing need in the county, and the county's emergency plans should be posted on the county's Web site.

· Mike Spinnler: Greed is driving a lot of the development in the county, and Washington County should learn from the mistakes of other counties, like Frederick County. The county's young people need to be armed with education and fitness in order to succeed, and there should be public services that will offer them a college education.

· Paul L. Swartz: The county needs good planners that will keep growth in the county's urban development areas, and controlled growth is the key. The county's young people should be able to go to Hagerstown Community College or Hagerstown Business College tuition-free for two years, and the benefits will be seen throughout the community.

· Lloyd L. "Pete" Waters: It's important to manage the programs with growth to steer the county in the right direction. People are concerned about how their tax dollars are being spent and should have responsive leaders who meet their needs.

· Hampton W. Wedlock Jr.: We have to grow or we'll fall behind in many things, but development is good in some ways and harmful in others. Because of growth, the county's primarily volunteer fire and rescue services are becoming inadequate and need to be improved, along with schools and roads.

· John E. Weller: We do need development because without it we cannot give citizens the services they need. The county should do a better job planning for proposed roadways.

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