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As an incumbent candidate for re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates, I can expect to be challenged on my voting record. That is fair game.

After 28 years and thousands of votes, I am sure you will find that I have lived up to my mantra, "Your conservative voice in Annapolis."

In a recent letter to the editor, Christopher Tomlinson, took Del. Susan Krebs and me to task for approval votes in 2004 pertaining to the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund and transportation funding.

Gov. Bob Ehrlich's signature environmental legislation was the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fee, which dedicated funding to upgrade waste water treatment facilities which were identified as the largest polluters of the bay. Carroll County has received millions of dollars from the fund for mandatory upgrades to facilities in Westminster, Mount Airy, Taneytown and the Freedom District.

Joe Getty was Ehrlich's legislative policy director at the time and pushed for the passage of this legislation.The entire Carroll County House Delegation voted to support Ehrlich's initiative, including former Del. Carmen Amedori. Ehrlich also proposed raising fees to support the Transportation Trust Fund so the key projects we have long advocated could move forward, like the Hampstead bypass, improvements to Md. 32 and Md. 140 and landscapes in our towns.

Former Mayor Haven Shoemaker joined in advocating for the Hampstead bypass and the means to pay for it. Ehrlich laid out his case before the Republican Caucus: without the fee increase there was no funding for any new projects, including Carroll County projects. The entire Carroll County delegation voted for this fee increase, including former Amedori and former Sen. Larry Haines. Ehrlich kept his word and we now enjoy the benefits of these long awaited road improvements.

Without our votes , we would still be snarled in traffic. Taking tough votes is part of our job in Annapolis. Carroll County has been the beneficiary of both of these pieces of legislation.

Don Elliott

New Windsor

The writer is a state Delegate representing District 4B and candidate for re-election.

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