Letters to the Editor - Nov. 9

November 09, 2011

Garagiola’s views are contradictory

To the editor:

Now that Sen. Robert Garagiola, D-Montgomery, has announced his intentions to run for Congress, the voters of Western Maryland should know where he stands.  

According to The Herald-Mail, he “downplayed his party affiliation.”  This is in stark contrast to his record in Annapolis, where as the majority leader representing the Democratic party, he was the prime sponsor of both the gas tax and homosexual marriage, supported state tax dollars for illegal immigrants, has sponsored gun bans and, in 2007, voted for the largest tax increase in Maryland's history.  

In Cumberland, Sen. Garagiola claimed that the newly gerrymandered 6th District will “give voters a choice.” He fails to mention that he was a key architect of the plan that cleaved Western Maryland into a district with Montgomery County and is intended to take away the congressional representation our region has enjoyed since 1791. As many Democrats have publicly admitted, these partisan actions were for the sole purpose of electing a Democrat to Congress.

Finally, the senator speaks of his desire to create jobs and help our economy. His record stands in stark contrast. Maryland suffers from the fourth-highest taxes in the nation according to Americans for Tax Reform. Sen. Garagiola has consistently voted and advocated for higher taxes and more spending. I am confounded by how this has “helped” middle-class families or small businesses. Perhaps during his next visit, the senator can better explain these contradictory views.

Sen. Christopher B. Shank

Board of Education candidate seeks support

To the editor:

I am a candidate for the Board of Education of Washington County. Four board members will be elected in 2012. I’m asking the citizens of Washington County to elect me, Melissa Williams, to one of those positions.

The primary election is April 3, 2012; and the general election is Nov. 6, 2012. While those dates seem far in the future, I’m announcing my candidacy now so the citizens of Washington County have plenty of time to get to know me.

I’m a retired educator with 35 years of experience in the schools of Washington County — 31 years as a teacher and four years as a Central Office administrator. Since retiring in 2009, I have worked part time as an educational consultant. I have a passion for education as well as the knowledge, skills, talents and commitment to be an effective school board member.

I have a sincere desire to serve the county that has been my home since birth, and I invite the citizens of Washington County to visit to learn more about me and why I think I’m worthy of their confidence and vote. Anyone interested in sharing their thoughts about Washington County Public Schools can find my contact information on the website or may email me at

In the weeks leading up to the April 3 primary election, I hope to meet and talk with as many Washington County citizens as possible about our school system’s successes and areas of need. I want to hear your concerns, share my goals for our school system and earn your support.

Melissa Williams

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