Baker running for second term on county commission

April 25, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Terry Baker, vice president of the Washington County Commissioners, filed last week to run for a second term as a county commissioner.

Baker, 54, of Clear Spring, served on the Clear Spring Town Council for five years before being elected as a commissioner in 2006.

He identified unemployment as one of the major issues facing the next board of commissioners, and said the commissioners need to look at what role they could play in attracting companies to the county and encouraging companies to hire county residents.

"We need jobs that will pay better-than-average wages," Baker said in an e-mailed campaign statement. "Washington County's high unemployment rate needs to be addressed."


Baker also said the next group of elected officials would need to "provide more with less" and promised that, if re-elected, he would not vote to raise property or income taxes.

"Our citizens deserve to keep more of the money that they have earned," he said. "We need to borrow less and live within our means."

As a commissioner, Baker has advocated for holding public hearings in the evening, when more residents can attend, and often has voted or spoken out against spending he deemed inappropriate or unnecessary. Recently, he voted against seeking quotes to have an unsafe, privately owned building on Trego Road torn down and suggested that the commissioners volunteer to demolish it themselves. County legal and risk-management advisers recommended against that idea.

Baker said he was proud that during his term, the county reduced operational costs, reduced projected borrowing by millions of dollars and avoided increasing real estate or income taxes despite the greatest revenue reduction in decades.

He identified funding for a senior center, an increased public safety presence, land preservation and the addition of evening meetings in municipalities as other major achievements this term.

Baker teaches carpentry at Washington County Technical High School. He has coached high school indoor, outdoor and cross country running on and off for about 10 years, and has worked with at-risk children after school.

He is married and has twin daughters, now 27 years old.

The deadline for candidates to file is in July.

A primary, if needed, would be in September. The general election is in November.

All five county commissioner seats are up for election this year.

The commissioners are paid $30,000 a year and the commissioners president is paid $33,000 a year.

Washington County Commissioner candidate, incumbent

Name: Terry Baker

Date of birth: Nov. 24, 1955

Address: 12068 National Pike, Clear Spring

Education: Hagerstown Junior College, now Hagerstown Community College (1975); Bachelor of science degree in education from Auburn University (1978)

Occupation: Carpentry instructor at Washington County Technical High School

Party affiliation: Republican

Political experience: Washington County Commissioners vice president since 2006; Clear Spring assistant mayor, 2004-06; Clear Spring Town Council member, 2002-04

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