The League of Women Voter's guide to candidates for Baltimore City's primary election CAMPAIGN 1995


The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization (( which works to promote political responsibility through the informed and active participation of citizens in their government. The League does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

The candidates' answers appear as submitted in response to a non-partisan questionnaire. If answers exceeded the specified word limitation, the additional words were cut where practical from the end of the candidates' statement.

Registered independent voters can vote in the Republican primary.

4 Next Week: Councilmanic Districts 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Primary Election: September 12, 1995

Polls Open: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m


Vote for 1

Questions asked of candidates for President of Baltimore City Council:

Change: How would you change or keep the same the job of City Council President?

Fiscal: What leadership can the Council provide to promote greater fiscal responsibility?

Education: What impact can the City Council have to improve education in Baltimore? Does the City Council's education committee have adequate clout to make a difference?

Lawrence Bell (D)

Biography: Age: 33. Univ. of MD, BA in government and politics. Serves as chairman of the Executive Appointments Committee, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Land Use Committee of the City Council; also serves as a member of the Education Committee, Judiciary Committee, and Planning Commission.

Change: The office of City Council President should remain the same. If elected to the position I will emphasize the oversight functions of the council, since it is the body that passes the budget bill and it must make sure than citizens receive the best possible services.

Fiscal: The council must scrutinize the budget more carefully to find waste and duplication and eliminate them before approving the budget. It must be more aggressive in holding fact-finding hearings to make sure the money is spent properly and wisely.

Education: The council can help improve education by exercising its oversight responsibilities and holding informational hearings on a regular basis. The education committee has only as much clout as it exercises. It has been too passive in the past.

Joseph J. DiBlasi (D)

Biography: Age: 48. Graduate of Southern High School, Univ. of Baltimore, Bachelor of Science degree in business management, major in personnel and labor relations. Council member for 12-1/2 years; former Vice President MD National Bank and NationsBank; chairman, City Council Budget and Appropriations Committee, Professional and Municipal Sports Committee.

Change: Better distribution of Committee assignment based on background and experience and not politics. Reorganize the Board of Estimates which is dominated by our strong mayoral form of government. Power to add and transfer budget money from agency to agency based on real need.

Fiscal: Earlier involvement in the budget process; thorough review of the budget. Establish a Personnel Complement Committee and Expenditure Review Board to monitor staffing and control expenses. Call for more thorough and frequent audits, especially in Housing and Education to correct misspent dollars such as EAI and the Housing Grant money.

Education: The EAI should have required Council approval. I would have voted AGAINST it. We must make our schools safer, improve school performance, and hold principals more accountable for their budgets. We should consider alternative schools, such as "reform" schools for disruptive students.

Vera P. Hall (D)

Biography: Age: 58. Coppin State College BS education; Towson State College MA; post-graduate studies Loyola College, Johns Hopkins Univ., and Morgan State Univ. Member, Baltimore City Council 1987'; Vice President, Baltimore City Council 1991'; Community Development Finance Corp. 1989'; Chair, MD Democratic Party 1992-94; Democratic National Committeewoman 1989-94; State Relations Director, Morgan State Univ. 1983-92.

Change: The Council President should be able to move Baltimore forward and to set and accomplish goals. The job requires vision, understanding the City's strengths and weaknesses, and exercising prudence in all decision making. Most importantly, the President should put the City's needs before political grandstanding.

Fiscal: Under the president's leadership, council committee chairs must monitor departments efficiency to promote greater fiscal responsibility. Budget approval powers should be used to effect change. Furthermore, the President can support committee leadership by voicing concerns to the Board of Estimates.

Education: In a concerted and consistent effort, the Council must demand that the State provide Baltimore students with resources for an adequate education. However, the City must have a sound management plan. The education committee can be a proactive catalyst for change.

Shelton Stewart (D)

(No reply received)

Carl Stokes (D)

Biography: Age: 45. St. Francis Xavier Elementary School, Loyola High School 1968; Loyola College BA 1972. I have been a business person, so I understand what is involved with small business development. I have worked in government for the past eight years, so I am clear how it works and doesn't work well. I am involved in many community organizations, so I know how to work with people to solve problems.

Change: I would bring a plan of action to council business after consultation with the new council and with community groups (including children's advocates, ministers, labor, etc.) After hashing out a plan of action to get the city safe, clean, working again, I would organize the City Council to implement it.

Fiscal: The City Council can do oversight of the various agencies of city government. I can and must look at spending regularly to determine to ensure spending is in keeping with budget . . . waste is not occuring and priorities are being met. And we must take our annual budget reviews very seriously. We must support a strong City Comptroller's oversight.

Education: Continued oversight of the Education Department by the Council's Committee on education is very important. The citizen's group that has worked with the Council committee for the last 2 or 3 years is a good model for involving citizens in review and giving feedback to government. Subpoena power for information, without signature from the mayor, should be continued to have adequate clout. In case there is a tendency to withhold information.


Vote for 1

Questions asked of candidates for Baltimore City Comptroller:

Priorities: What are your priorities as comptroller?

Changes: What changes would you like to see in the budget process?

Julian L. Lapides (D)

Biography: Age: 63. Baltimore City College 1949; Towson State College BS 1954; Univ. of MD School of Law LL.B. 1961. MD State Senate 1967-95; MD House of Delegates 1963-67. Committees: Senate Budget & Taxation, Co-Chair Jt. Budget & Audit, Co-Chair Jt. Committee on Legislative Ethics, Joint Committee on the Capital Program, Joint Committee on Pensions; practicing attorney.

Priorities: Recommend stricter ethical standards for all City officials and employees; and financial disclosure forms more in line with the more comprehensive State financial disclosure forms. Inventory all City property identifying unnecessary holdings which could then be sold and restored to the tax polls. Initiate an audit committee similar to the General Assembly's Joint Budget and Audit Committee and hold all Department heads accountable.

Changes: The Baltimore City Council should pass legislation mandating that the Budget Proposal be presented to the City Council at least 45 days (preferably 60 days) prior to the enactment of the Budget Bill.

Joan M. Pratt (D)

Biography: Age: 43. BS Accounting; Master of Science, Taxation; CPA. Controller, Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.; Comptroller, Urban Services Agency, Project S.A.G.A. and Operation Champ; auditor King, Miller, CPA firm; auditor Coopers and Lybrand, CPA finance; financial analyst, Johns Hopkins Hospital; president of Joan M. Pratt, C.P.A. & Associates, an accounting firm offering accounting, tax, and auditing services.

Priorities: Reorganize Department of Audit, establish a bi-annual conference on economic empowerment, establish a citizen review board on fraud, waste, and abuse, establish an office on performance measurement evaluation, help find ways to let more city contracts to local firms.

Changes: There are many items in the budget that are routinely approved year after year. I believe that we ought to take an in depth look at what we are continuously spending money on. What was appropriated 2 years ago, 5 years ago, and especially 10 years ago may not be necessary or wise today.

City Council

Vote for 3

Question asked of candidates for Baltimore City Council:

Priorities: What are your priorities if elected?


Mark S. Burke (D)

(No reply received.)

John L. Cain (D)

Biography: Age: 55. Baltimore City public schools; Concordia Collegiate College. Member: Waterfront Coalition, Haller Post-American Legion, Southeast Planning Council, Baltimore Heritage. Elected to City Council 1991; chair Council's Recreation & Parks Subcommittee; member 6 other committees: Taxation/Finance, Land Use, Housing, Education /Human Resources, Executive Appointments, Legislative Investigations.

Priorities: Continue involving communities early in decisions that affect them. Support improved youth programs, recycling efforts, programs to increase homeownership & commercial revitalization, regulation of adult entertainment & solid waste management that eliminates the need for additional incineration.

Nicholas C. D'Adamo, Jr. (D)

Biography: Age: Not given. Lifelong resident of 1st District; City Council 1987'1995, committees: Budget & Appropriations, Policy & Planning, Professional Sports, Housing 1987'91; small business owner; PKG, Knights of Columbus; Holy Name Society; graduate Archbishop Curley, Little Flower; Democratic Central Committee 1986.

Priorities: I will continue to emphasize constituent service, more foot patrols, support of better working conditions for police and firefighters, safer schools with smaller classes, and cutting property taxes with better management and fewer "give aways" to private interests.

Anthony Florence (D)

(No reply received.)

David Franklin (D)

(No reply received.)

Lois Garey (D)

Biography: Age: 48. Prior to serving in the City Council, I was the Executive Director of Harbel, providing community service programs: drug treatment, delinquency prevention, homeownership promotion, and community organizing. Past President Harbel Board of Directors and local community


Priorities: Public safety. No further cuts in fire or police. Education. Schools must be safer and more effective. Target resources toward students, not administration. Expansion of economic base with a proactive approach to attracting and retaining homeowners and viable businesses.

Charles Krysiak (D)

Biography: Age: 30. Graduated, Archbishop Curley High School; attended Essex Community College 1983-85. Worked my way up from laborer to fleet manager of the largest construction fleet in Baltimore. Lifetime of community and political involvement. City homeowner.

Priorities: Make our streets safer and cleaner, the educational system accountable for its expenditures and performance and better able to prepare students for today's marketplace, more jobs available, and economic development a reality in the City.

Charles J. Morgan, Jr. (D)

(No reply received.)

Dennis M. O'Hara (D)

Biography: Age: 43. High School, attended Charles County Community College, certificate program. Employed by City of Baltimore Water Purification Division 15 years, U.S. Navy, Aviation. Sponsored activities for youth and senior citizens, sponsored tree plantings and neighborhood cleanup, worked polls on election day, studied Baltimore political history.

Priorities: Crime, education, taxes, and downsizing some local government agencies and programs. Bringing in new business to the city and a homesteading program.

Joseph R. Ratajczak (D)

Biography: Age: 65. Patterson High School. Administrative Aide to City Council 8 years; State Central Committee 8 years; Administrative Aide to Delegate DiPietro 1985; Administrative Aide to Senator Bonvegna 2 years; Delegate to National Convention 1966.

Priorities: Crime, education, and environment.

Kelley Ray (D)

Biography: Age: 33. University of Baltimore MA; Towson State University BS. Work: Director of Communications, School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University. Volunteer: Belair-Edison Community Association, Belair-Edison Housing Service, Baltimore Recycling Coalition, Woodbourne Day School Improvement Team, Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore.

Priorities: Education; the priority is our children. We must provide a safe learning environment, raise expectations, and reduce class sizes. Neighborhoods; strengthen them through improved public safety, increased homeownership, and a clean environment. Jobs; make Baltimore a place to do business.

Gary L. Thomas (D)

Biography: Age: Not given. Graduate of Southern High School in Baltimore City. Employed by Baltimore City Recreation & Parks at The William J. Myers Soccer Pavilion as a sports coordinator. Was elected to Democratic State Central Committee of the 47th Legislative District.

Priorities: My priorities are to find new jobs, put more police on our streets. I would also like to see our teachers and school administration held accountable for our children's education.

Donald Carver (R)

Biography: Age: 32. University of Maryland BS advertising, business. Vice president, Greater Baltimore Young Republicans; executive, National Federation of Young Republicans. Attended Republican Presidential convention 1993. Director, Independent Republican Committee; Baltimore City Central Committee1993-94.

Priorities: Fighting to reduce crime in the neighborhoods; working to offer a better choice of education for you and your children; addressing the issues required for reducing your income and property taxes; demanding that the city provide the essential services needed

Tisha Dadd-Bulna (R)

Biography: Age: Not given. George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, BA government, politics; Attica Central High School, Attica, NY, regents diploma. Worked for National Republican Congressional committee chairman, Bill Paxon, in his congressional office. Interned for Congressman Paxon (R-NY) one year, Washington. Employed by New York State Delegation at Republican National Conventions 1992, 1984.

Priorities: My top priorities as a councilmember are to restore neighborhoods by occupying vacant houses and enacting a homeowner's maintenance law; evaluate city government spending and develop incentives for businesses to come and remain in Baltimore, and reorganize our city schools.


Anthony J. Ambridge (D)

Biography: Age: 45. Baltimore Polytechnic Institute; University of Maryland, BS pharmacy, management science. City Council 12 years; member Democratic platform committee; past chairman, Baltimore Regional Council of Governments; member Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas Commission; member American Council of Young Political Leaders.

Priorities: Crime, education, and economic development are my priorities. We must spend less money on administration and more on communities, classrooms, and in a more vibrant development agency. Earlier intervention and greater coordination of services will lower crime and improve schools.

Anthony Armstrong (D)

Biography: Age: 51. Dunbar High School 1963; Morgan State University 1963-65, political science; University of Maryland 1968-70, business administration. Former realtor and real estate sales manager 1980-85. Extensive experience in local government, chief assistant to City Council President Clarence "Du" Burns, including policy, legislative, constituent services involvement..

Priorities: Changing attitudes from negative to positive about the 2nd district; removing drugs from the streets of the district; ridding the district of all vacant housing, renovating it and making it available to the people; successful education innovation in our public schools.

Matthew C. Boulay (D)

Biography: Age: 25. Johns Hopkins University 1993 BA. I am the founder and executive director of Teach Baltimore. I am also a HERO buddy volunteer, chairman of the HUB #12 Advisory Council, member of the Family Preservation Panel of the United Way of Central Maryland.

Priorities: Education, economic empowerment and public safety. We have a failed school system that does not serve our children and hurts our city's ability to attract residents. We must also encourage homeownership and economic self-sufficiency. Finally, it is not enough to simply make arrests; we must also reform our judicial and penal systems.

Paula Johnson Branch (D)

Biography: Age: Not given. Eastern High School, Morgan and Coppin State Universities, business administration. 20 plus years Human Services Field; businesswoman 10 years, wood manufacturing and pupil transportation; 2 years in fiscal administration; business consultant.

Priorities: Crime, education, and economic development'small business development, affordable housing.

Robert L. Douglass (D)

(No reply received.)

Louis Harris (D)

Biography: Age: 59. Paul L. Dunbar High School; Morgan State University, chemistry major; Antioch University 1974 BA degree sociology. Correctional officer, lieutenant; Harris Kozy Korner manager/owner; McCarthy Hicks, liquor salesman.

Priorities: Education; good schools can bring business to city. Crime; there has to be a change in the judicial system. Jobs; the key to good tax base. Housing can improve the communities. Taxes; there has to be a way to lower taxes.

Lloyd Douglass Jones (D)

Biography: Age: 44. Baltimore City College 1969; U.S. Marine Corps (honorable) 1972-76; Towson State 1978-80. Military embassy duty, diplomacy environment, handling of sensitive issues. Unique experience. Political. Service Master Corp. management training, contract manager with large hospitals implementing environmental services, union negotiating, employee morale, budgets.

Priorities: Support a program that forces our schools to share the resources; the principals at the schools that are not doing well must become humbler and implement the programs from successful schools. Administration must come out of North Ave., go to the sites. Drop out age raised to 18.

Harry N. Karas (D)

Biography: Age: 43. Attended City College. Past president Friends of Reservoir Hill and Reservoir Hill Community Association. President, Broadway Resident Council, Resident Councils United. Chairperson housing subcommittee, Public Housing Empowerment Zone. Delegate, Resident Advisory Board.

Priorities: Education; safer schools, more local school control by parents, teachers, elected school board. Crime; community patrols, police, residents. Tougher on drug dealers and drug related crimes. Treat drug use as a health problem first. Housing; eliminate vacant houses. Better management. Passage of Domestic Partners Bill.

Sarah Louise Matthews (D)

Biography: Age 43. N.E. Illinois University, MA 1986, political science; BS 1983, criminal justice & political science. Coordinator of literacy and employment readiness programs, Family & Children's Services of Central MD; substitute teacher, Baltimore City schools; contract specialist, City of Baltimore.

Priorities: Education. Employment and recreational activities for children and youth; for example, the employment partnership between Northwestern Senior High School and the Reisterstown Road Plaza. This employment partnership and program was developed by Sarah L. Matthews.

Mark Washington (D)

Biography: Age: 37. Baltimore City Community College; American Institute of Banking; The Nash School of Finance; Johns Hopkins University. Investment executive; research analyst; president, Darley Park Community Association and Dynamic Seniors.

Priorities: My first priority is to ensure that the citizens of Baltimore get the type of return they deserve on their investment dollar. To implement programs that will improve the quality of life in Baltimore while adhering to quantitative factors.

Charlie Baskerville, Jr. (R)

Biography: Age 54. University of the District of Columbia, BS in business management; Howard University, Master of Divinity. Pastoral experience of 14 years while presently pastoring at St. Edmonds United Methodist Church, Chesapeake Beach, Md., for the past 9 years; veteran of US Army; employee of the Dept. of Human Resources.

Priorities: The main focus of my campaign consists of 3 areas which I believe must change. They include safety, education, and employment. Citizens must become active to help policemen to remain sensitive to human rights. Civilian review boards will bring about a balance which presently does not exist.

Duane Shelton (R)

Biography: Age: Not given. Loyola College, MBA finance, BBA marketing. 2 years with the Republican National Committee; 3 years with the International Technology Research Institute.

Priorities: Crime, education, and taxes. People need to feel safe from crime if we expect them to remain in the city. We need schools that will educate children. We need lower taxes to keep families amd businesses from leaving our city.

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