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Former Commissioner John Munson files to run for second term

June 09, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS

Former Washington County Commissioner John Munson has filed to run for a second term as commissioner.

Munson, 69, said he attempted to lower tax rates in his last term and, if re-elected, would try to limit spending by voting against unnecessary capital projects.

"I believe what the people of Washington County want is to hold off on projects to hold their taxes down," Munson said.

Munson, a Republican, was a commissioner from 2002 through 2006.

He is a cousin of Maryland Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington.

John Munson said he tried for three years to convince the other commissioners to set tax rates at the "constant yield" rate, or the rate that would hold tax revenue constant. Because assessments were rising, this would have meant a lower tax rate. Munson said he could not get a majority of the commissioners to agree to the constant yield rate, but he believes his position did prevent the commissioners from raising the tax rate.

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Munson said he would like to see the county eliminate all borrowing.

He said one type of project he doesn't want to cut back on is road maintenance, particularly for rural roads.

He said he thinks the need for new road infrastructure in the Robinwood area has been overstated and the county should hold off on that issue until the economy improves.

"I think it's wise not to get involved in anything big at this point until we see what happens with the economy," he said.

He said he would support efforts to reduce operating expenses. In the past, he has advocated for consolidating the county's multiple office buildings into one complex for efficiency, he said.

A former postmaster, Munson said he enjoys helping people. In his previous term, he said he made it a policy to return every phone call, e-mail and letter and helped many constituents with problems related to things like potholes and permits.

He said he would like to see more people attend commissioners' meetings and would support moving all commissioners' meetings to evenings or Saturdays to allow more people to attend.

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

Munson is the sixth candidate to file to run for commissioner, and all six are Republicans, so a primary will be held Sept. 14. The top five vote-getters from each party would then advance to the general election Nov. 2.

Incumbents John F. Barr and Terry Baker have filed to run along with Ruth Anne Callaham, Jeff Cline and Bill McKinley.

The deadline for candidates to file is in July.

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

Name: John Munson

Date of birth: March 14, 1941

Address: 17817 Bluebell Drive, Hagerstown, Md.

Education: North Hagerstown High School

Occupation: Retired postmaster

Party affiliation: Republican

Political experience: Washington County Commissioner, 2002-2006

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