Democrat George F. Bachman has devoted himself to the citizens of Anne Arundel County almost continuously since the inception of charter government 30 years ago. At 73, he wants one last four-year term as the County Council's 1st District representative to complete his career in public service. We believe voters should give it to him.
We say this because of his strong record of constituent service in North County, and because his experience and understanding of government far exceeds that of Republican challenger Frank G. Phelps Jr. An ordained minister, Mr. Phelps is a member of the Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association and has been campaigning mainly on one issue which, thanks to increased police enforcement, is not much of an issue any longer: light-rail crime.
In contrast, Mr. Bachman was elected to the first County Council in 1964, for which he was a respected leader for 18 years. Besides helping to create the state's first collective bargaining ordinance for county employees (he is a blatant champion of labor, no matter what the issue), he helped lay the foundation for today's government by repealing old laws and creating new ones. In 1982, he ran unsuccessfully for county executive. He returned to the council four years ago.
Since then, Mr. Bachman has worked to secure funding for North County High, Andover Middle and Park Elementary schools. He reflected his district's wishes by fighting a new county detention center in Glen Burnie. And unlike some North County leaders, whose reaction to a spate of light rail-related shoplifting last spring smacked of narrow-minded parochialism, Mr. Bachman handled the matter in a balanced way. He worked for better security at and around light-rail stations, but spoke out about the need for mass transit.
Mr. Bachman's health -- he recently underwent heart bypass surgery -- at first threatened to become an issue. However, he appears to be fine.
One final observation: Mr. Bachman is not the best speaker, which sometimes makes people wonder if he understands what he's talking about. But he almost always does. Voters should feel comfortable returning him to office for one last term.
4( Tomorrow: County Council District 2.