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Residents hear from candidates during Linthicum political forum

Public safety, education, the opioid epidemic and the light rail were a few of the topics discussed at a political forum hosted by the GFWC Woman’s Club of Linthicum Heights Tuesday.

The forum, offered by the club every four years, gave candidates running for County Executive and County Council, the House of Delegates and the State Senate the opportunity to speak to the community, as well as answer some questions.

Offering this type of chance for those who live in the area to speak to their potential elected officials is important, said Kay Reiser, co-chair of the club’s Public Issues committee.

“There’s a lot going on in this country, on both sides of the aisle, and we have a lot of conflict, and it’s time we come together for the benefit of everybody,” said Reiser, who helped to organize the event.

After a prayer and a ceremony to honor the club’s breast cancer survivors, the candidates were invited to speak on stage in three groups: those running for positions in county, the senate and the House of Delegates.

County Executive candidates Steve Schuh (Republican incumbent), Democrat Steuart Pittman and County Council District 1 Republican candidate Kimberly Burns took the stage first and were each given the opportunity to speak for five minutes. District 1 Democratic candidate Sarah Lacey was invited, but could not attend.

Club president Joy Gigliotti then read each candidate two questions that were provided by the forum attendees.

Schuh and Pittman were asked about their education and experience and how it would help them in office. They were also asked when human trafficking would become a felony. Burns fielded questions about education and what her top priorities would be, if elected.

Maryland Senate District 32 candidates Republican John Grasso and Democrat Pamela Beidle presented next and were asked about their top priorities, as well as crafting a plan for redistricting after the 2020 Census.

The last group to come on stage were the candidates running for the House of Delegates: Mark Chang, Sandy Bartlett, Patty Ewing, Mike Rogers and Tim Walters, who spoke for Mark Bailey who could not attend. After giving their five-minute bios, they were asked about their top two priorities if elected.

The candidates were also questioned about placing a sign at Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard and Furnace Brand Road to alert drivers when the road is flooded, to prevent them from having to travel down the road and then turning around once they see the area is closed. Asked by club member and breast cancer survivor Cecilia Deitz, this is an issue that is particularly important to her.

“I came today to specifically ask that question,” said Deitz, a crossing guard who has to take an alternate route to get to work when the area is flooded. “By the time I get there, I’m late.”

After the questions were answered, candidates and forum attendees were offered the chance to eat lunch and talk to each other.

“We came to meet the candidates and find out their views on different topics,” said club member Fran Purper, who is also a breast cancer survivor. “I’m interested in crime in our community and I would like to see the Light Rail close. That is my primary concern.”

Purper said she felt her questions were sufficiently answered.

“It was nice to meet the people and see the name and face, to see who they are,” she said.

Community meeting, flea market

Arundel Gardens will hold a community meeting Oct.17 at 7 p.m. in the conference room of the Chesapeake Arts Center, 194 Hammonds Lane in Brooklyn Park. The club is inviting candidates who are running in the upcoming election to introduce themselves to the community.

Arundel Gardens is also hosting a community flea market Oct. 20, 7:30 a.m.-1 p..m in the front parking lot of Brooklyn Park Middle School. Spaces are available for $10 and vendors should bring their own tables. Set-up begins at 6 am.

Contact Lisa at (443) 422-9184 or Garman812@hotmail.com.

Spaghetti dinner fundraiser

A spaghetti dinner to benefit Ferndale resident Shannon Kooser, who is battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, will be held Oct.13, 4-6 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children under 12. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Contact Sue and Gene Tawes at (410) 553-6119 for tickets and information. The church is at 300 W. Maple Road in Linthicum.

Email your North County news from Brooklyn Park, Pumphrey and Linthicum to Heather Vecchioni at northcountygazette@gmail.com.

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