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Washington County Commissioners candidates Q&A Part 2

August 22, 2010
  • Kevin Simmers
,

o Washington County Commissioners candidates Q&A Part 1

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail asked candidates in some contested races in the Sept. 14 primary election to respond to eight questions. The responses of candidates for each of those races will be published over two days. The Q&A's that have already run can be found on The Herald-Mail website at http://www.herald-mail.com.

Unopposed in primary



Kristin B. Aleshire, 35

Incumbent

1217 Virginia Ave., Hagerstown

Democrat

Joe Lane, 46

12030 Hippan Hill Road,

Smithsburg

Green Party




Republicans



Question: What is the county's role in local economic recovery and what recovery strategies would you suggest?

Terry Baker, 54

Incumbent

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12068 National Pike, Clear Spring

Republican

The commissioners will have to work with our local and state economic development to offer some job-creation tax credits, as well as some help with permit and infrastructure fees. The cost, rules and regulations to do business in the state of Maryland are not very friendly. We need to work with small and large businesses in Washington County to provide some relief and incentives for them! I have previously supported local incentive programs to help with job development and retention if small businesses are also included. They are our bread and butter.

John F. Barr, 56

Incumbent

12404 Rocky Fountain Lane,

Clear Spring

Republican

Our economic development department works very diligently to attract, encourage and maintain both recovery and employment status with well- paying organizations which demonstrate a corporate growth. Government's role should clearly be supportive and assist with private development, investment into our tax base of the community and quality employment.

Ruth Anne Callaham, 60

1317 Lindsay Lane, Hagerstown

Republican

The county's role in economic recovery is similar to its role (in) economic development. Create jobs. We can: 1) provide incentives for businesses to expand or new businesses to move to our area, which results in new jobs. 2) fund infrastructure projects that create jobs. The return on investment by government to the economy is manifest in the revenue generated directly and indirectly by the project. 3) provide relief from taxes and fees so folks can more easily purchase what they need and create more local jobs.

Jeff Cline, 53

13 S. Artizan St., Williamsport

Republican

Washington County is burdened with obstacles imposed ... by the State of Maryland. High corporate taxes, high income taxes, and regulations from MDE and EPA are chasing businesses away from Maryland and Washington County. The county needs to target specific businesses for job creation and have in place the zoning for that company to break ground and to conduct business in a timely fashion. ... We need jobs and we need to bring prosperity back to Washington County. ... We also need to focus on our small and locally owned businesses, including agriculture. It seems as if such folks are always forgotten and their needs are never addressed.

Walter C. Frazee, 52

23506 Leathers Road,

Smithsburg

Republican

The county's role should be to work with local businesses to keep what jobs we already have here, to assist any business wanting to come to Washington County in making a smooth transition that is beneficial to them and our county. Communication with state and federal officials on the problems in the present economic situation is a must. Current jobs and manufacturing businesses leaving our area to move to other countries for whatever reason needs to be addressed at their level of government. Maintaining our county with top-quality education and vocational training facilities should be part of our strategic plan.

Charlie Henson, 57

20533 Mt. Aetna Road, Hagerstown

Republican

I believe in work force, not welfare. I believe in getting value for our hard-earned dollars. Our schools being built are beautiful and diverse, but at what cost? We should adopt a standardized plan for all future schools to save the taxpayers dollars. We waste a lot of money on different looks and designs. ... Our secondary schools need to encourage vocational education and reignite the Washington County Career Studies Center. We need to encourage young people that it is OK to be an electrician, plumber, carpenter, etc. Economic recovery returns when we have a well-rounded employment base ... in the private sector.

Bill McKinley, 66

16701 Mt. Williams Circle,

Williamsport

Republican

Employers who offer ... high-paying jobs tend to locate in areas where job training in new technologies and sciences are in place and a trained work force awaits them. The STEM program at HCC ... is a step in the right direction and we need to support that effort. Job training in more traditional areas must be maintained if we are going to sustain local companies as well as attract the new. Our Economic Development staff needs to continue to consider short- and long-term incentives (to) lure companies to Washington County. ... let us remember how vital our established businesses are.

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