A rival of state Del. Joan Cadden charged yesterday that the incumbent has exaggerated her accomplishments in a campaign brochure.
In the pamphlet, Mrs. Cadden, a Brooklyn Park Democrat who is seeking re-election in District 31, says she is "responsible for a statewide task force on school traffic and safety zones."
Her opponent, Carolyn Roeding, chairwoman of the State Highway Administration's School Zone Traffic Safety Task Force, said that statement is "misleading."
The task force was a culmination of efforts by many parents, elected officials and others who worked with the SHA after several children were injured, one fatally, in Glen Burnie and Pasadena, Mrs. Roeding said.
The Cadden brochure "could mislead people to believe she is the one responsible for its creation, its inception," Mrs. Roeding said.
Mrs. Roeding of Chesterfield is one of four Democrats running against Mrs. Cadden in the Sept. 13 primary for three District 31 seats in the House of Delegates. The district includes Pasadena, Lake Shore, Brooklyn Park and Marley Neck.
Mrs. Cadden said she is responsible for the task force because she introduced a bill in the General Assembly in 1991 that brought the need for the task force to the attention of the SHA. The bill would have allowed counties to reduce speed limits to as low as 15 mph in designated school zones.
"The legislation didn't pass, but the state task force was set up as a result," Mrs. Cadden said. "It definitely would not have come to their attention if we had not put the legislation in."
State Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, also a Brooklyn Park Democrat, had introduced similar legislation a year earlier, but Mrs. Cadden said it was her bill and her pressure on the SHA that bore fruit.
Mrs. Roeding called the bill's introduction laudable but said its failure was more significant. "I think the SHA has done more for safety through the task force than it would have done if the bill had passed," she said.
The task force, of which Mrs. Cadden is an ex-officio member, has produced a handbook recommending traffic safety practices school areas. It also pressed the counties to establish multiagency committees to target school traffic hazards.
"I don't think that a piece of failed legislation was the sole impetus for the task force," Mrs. Roeding said. "There were other people bringing issues to the State Highway Administration at the same time."