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Issues for the next election

September 14, 2006

If, two days after the primary election, you feel that you would like a break from politics and electioneering, we have two words for you.

Too bad.

The final vote on Nov. 7 will arrive sooner than anyone realizes. Between then and now, we would like to see the following issues addressed by the appropriate candidates:

How can relationships between the two largest local governments - Washington County and the City of Hagers-town - be improved?

This issue, like assistance for the family farmer, gets a lot of lip service, but we would like to see the candidates for Washington County Commissioner offer specific plans.

Why can't some city and county departments be merged to save money? Why is county general fund money, some of which is paid by city residents, still subsidizing county sewer rates? Why, even after an expensive lawsuit, can't the two governments agree on an annexation policy that doesn't chase away new industrial and commercial businesses?

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Can local governments get residential developers to contribute to schools and other needed infrastructure?

On water and sewer, the Chesapeake Bay cleanup restrictions could stop growth completely here unless there is an improvement in treatment technology. Has some government staffer been assigned to look at that, and if not, why not?

Is there a way to get the Washington County Hospital project back on track?

How can this county attract some of the so-called high-tech jobs we've been hearing about for so many years? It will do no good to fund college scholarships for local youths if there are no jobs in which they can make use of their education.

Can governments do a better job of communicating? Citizens need more than televised meetings to understand what's at stake and why the simple answers offered by some often don't make sense.

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