Havre de Grace candidates focus on need for revenue Hopefuls stress balancing historic character with need for -- development


The candidates running in Tuesday's election for three open seats on the Havre de Grace Council have one platform in common: All suggest ways the city should increase revenues.

The suggestions range from charging higher fees for public services to annexing land to permit development that would broaden the tax base.

Most of the candidates, however, agree that the riverside city must balance its rich, historic character with the need for development.

The candidates also said Havre de Grace must strengthen police services and provide new services for youths to keep drug abuse and crime in check.

Tuesday's non-partisan election features three incumbents: Philip G. Angelini Jr., Joseph W. Kochenderfer and Anna M. Long.

They are being challenged by political newcomer Edward DiMauro II.

The candidates are running for two-year terms on the six-member City Council.

The remaining council members, as well as the mayor, must defend their seats next year. The council job pays $2,400 a year.

The city's 3,800 eligible voters can cast their votes between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Havre de Grace High School.

Here is a summary of the backgrounds and proposals of this year's City Council candidates:

* Philip G. Angelini Jr.

Angelini, an eight-year council veteran, said he is seeking a fifth term because of an "obligation" he feels to help the city deal with a number of pressing issues.

The city's top issue is money, Angelini said. Most likely that won't change soon because of cuts in funding and mandates to initiate new programs, such as recycling.

The incumbent proposes that the city has two alternatives to increase revenue in the coming years: One is to strengthen its industrial base by annexing land for development, and the other is to increase user fees.

Angelini, chairman of a committee reviewing annexations, said past additions to Havre de Grace have successfully brought more tax dollars into the city.

Meanwhile, the city should review fees charged for building permits and water and sewer connections to make sure they are in line with the cost of providing municipal services, said Angelini, a registered Democrat.

Also, the city should continue efforts to increase the efficiency of its departments, Angelini said. "We must do a good job of looking at what our departments are doing."

* Edward DiMauro II

DiMauro, a 24-year-old registered Democrat, said he could bring new ideas to the council that would produce changes and new programs in the city.

"My biggest issue is getting something in town for the kids," said DiMauro, who owns Deli Mart, a restaurant and carry-out in the 1100 block of Revolution Street.

Programs providing social activities for youths would keep them off the streets and possibly reduce the city's crime rate, DiMauro said.

The city should talk to youths to see what kinds of programs they desire and go to private industry to generate money to pay for the programs, the first-time candidate said.

In tough economic times, the city should cut wasteful expenses, DiMauro said. He proposed that the city do its own road repairs, rather than hiring private companies.

DiMauro said he supports proposals to annex land surrounding the city to provide areas for new development and additional revenue.

* Joseph W. Kochenderfer

Kochenderfer, a 57-year-old retired mathematician from Aberdeen Proving Ground, said he is seeking a second council term to address a variety of issues.

Havre de Grace faces issues ranging from the budget and growth management to "everyday issues" like redrafting laws and operating its waste-treatment plant, Kochenderfer said.

"State and county funds are not there like they used to be," the registered Independent said. "We have to look to ourselves for revenue sources. That's always challenging."

While annexations will provide for growth and new revenues, the city must be careful that longtime city residents do not have to pay to service new development, he said.

If the city moves ahead with the annexations, developers should be responsible for bringing services, such as water and sewer lines, to these growth areas, said Kochenderfer, a former member of the city's planning commission.

While development has brought steady income to the city, municipal leaders may have to look for an increase in water and sewer rates to continue providing services, he said.

* Anna M. Long

Long, a registered Democrat, said she is seeking her fifth term on the council to help guide the city through tough economic times.

Havre de Grace needs to make sure annexations and develop ments that may improve the tax base do not drain the city's public services or detract from its historic character, Long said.

"The things that made us what we are we don't want to change," the 66-year-old widow said. "It's a fine line."

The city, led by the council, must deal with drugs and crime by strengthening the police department, said Long, a retired administrative officer at APG.

The police department should form partnerships with other departments in the county to tackle crime, so one particular department doesn't have to pay for new programs on its own, she said.

Meanwhile, the city may have to reduce spending for some programs, such as historic preservation and parks and recreation, to make up for the loss of revenue, Long said.

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