This guide was prepared by the League of Women Voters of Baltimore City. You may take this voters' guide with you into the voting booth.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that works to promote political responsibility through the informed and active participation of citizens in their government. This guide is for the benefit of individual voters and should not be marked by organizations or other people.
Material from the guide may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission of the League of Women Voters of Baltimore City. The league assumes no liability for errors or omissions.
The candidates' answers in the guide appear as submitted. If answers exceeded the specified word limit, the additional words were cut from the end of the candidates' statements or where practicable.
This guide includes information only on those candidates whose names appear on the ballot.
Vote for one
Question asked of mayoral candidates:
Priorities: Briefly explain your top priorities if elected.
Kurt L. Schmoke (D)
Biography: Age: 45. Yale Univ. B.A. 1971; Rhodes Scholar, Oxford Univ. 1972; Harvard Law School J.D. 1976. President Carter's White House Domestic Policy Staff 1977; Assistant U.S. Attorney 1978; State's Attorney for Baltimore City 1982--1987; Mayor 1987--1995.
Priorities: My top priorities are to reduce crime and increase drug treatment programs, maintain the fiscal vitality of the City, promote economic development, and continue to improve the performance of our public school system.
Victor Clark, Jr. (R)
Biography: Age: 50. Baltimore Polytechnic Institute; Univ. of Baltimore, B.S. accounting. Ten years of sales consulting, three term Vice-Chairman, Md. Republican Party; over 20 years in business management and ownership.
Priorities: Reduce Crime through the use of community policing efforts with more foot patrols. Improve education through competitiveness among area school districts with built-in achievement rewards. Job creation geared toward a community based development concept creating more new owners.
City Council president
Vote for one
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?
Mayoral power: Do you think the recent charter amendments give too much power to the Mayor?
Organization: Do you propose any changes in the way the City Council is organized to do its work?
Lawrence A. Bell III(D)
Biography: Age: 33. Univ. of Md., B.A. 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 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 that citizens receive the best possible services.
Mayoral power: The office of the mayor of Baltimore is one of the most powerful in the country. It does not need any more authority.
Organization: The council is organized sufficiently to do its work. The main problem is a lack of independence on the part of many members who act only as rubber stamps for the administration. The council needs to behave as a partner with the mayor.
Anthony D. Cobb (R)
Biography: Age: 56. Drake University, Master of Public Administration. Past president, Irvington Community Association; former board member Drake Neighborhood Assoc., Des Moines; over thirty years' experience in teaching and administration, state government, legislative staff management, organized labor, and advocacy for the blind.
Change: Take lead in increasing Council's oversight through more effective program evaluation. President should be visible change agent and city booster, but demonstrate ability to collaborate effectively with mayor and council members while standing firm on convictions.
Mayoral power: Yes, left unaddressed is the central problem of mayoral domination of the Board of Estimates. The two mayoral appointees now seated as members would more properly and effectively serve as staff to an independent Board comprised of elected officials.
Organization: Council needs above all to involve neighborhood leadership through "town meetings" in structured, formal ways to attack major problems like the public safety crisis; build informed consent and assign priorities for legislation, and aggressively review city services and programs.
Baltimore City comptroller
Vote for one
Questions asked of candidates for Baltimore City Comptroller:
Budget: Should the City Council have more control over the budget process?
Role: How do you view the "watch dog" role of the Comptroller over City finances?
Citizens: How can citizens become more involved in the budget process? Should there be a public education role in the Comptroller's office to keep citizens informed about City finances?
Joan M. Pratt (D)
Biography: Age: 43. B.S. Accounting; Master of Science, Taxation; CPA. Controller, Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.; Comptroller, Urban Services Agency, Project S.A.G.A. and Operating 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.
Budget: Under our charter the Executive Branch is held ultimately responsible for the budget process. I support a strong mayoral system of government.
Role: I do not care for the term "watch dog". I believe the citizens of Baltimore are entitled to more than just barking. We need someone who can develop a system of accountability that occurs long before the Board of Estimates levelI
Citizens: I think this question is right on point. The Comptroller's Office in my opinion should find ways to open up the budget process and get citizens interested and involved.
Christopher P. McShane (R)
(No reply received)
Baltimore City Council
Questions asked of candidates for Baltimore City Council:
Priorities: What are your priorities if elected?
Vote for three
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 and commercial revitalization, regulation of adult entertainment and solid waste management that eliminates the need for additional incineration.
Biography: 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.
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 organization.
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.
Donald Carver (R)
Biography: Age: 32. University of Maryland B.S. 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 Committee 1993-94.
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: George Mason University, Fairfax, Va, B.A. government, politics; Attica Central High School, Attica, N.Y. 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 council member 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.
Gene Michaels (R)
Biography: Age: 59. M.A., Md. Institute of Art; B.A., Western Md. College; reading dynamics, Evelyn Wood; U. S. Army, ranked first nationally among 600 officers in advanced academic courses. Engineering, bridge illustrator/photographer; college professor; high school teacher; newspaper columnist/photographer; instructor, Airborne/Special Forces.
Priorities: Work toward solutions concerning the declining revenue base, schools that fail to prepare children for adult roles, regulations and attitudes that inhibit business success and job growth, expanding and more violent crimes, and social environment driven by civil disobedience.
Vote for three
Anthony J. Ambridge (D)
Biography: Age: 45. Baltimore Polytechnic Institute; University of Maryland, B.S. 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.
Paula Johnson Branch (D)
Biography: Eastern High School, Morgan and Coppin State Universities, business administration. Twenty-plus years in Human Services Field; businesswoman 10 years, wood manufacturing and pupil transportation; two years in fiscal administration; business consultant.
Priorities: Crime, education, and economic development, small business development, affordable housing.
Robert L. Douglass (D)
(No reply received.)
Charlie Baskerville Jr. (R)
Biography: Age: 54. University of the District of Columbia, B.S. science in business management; Howard University, Master of Divinity. Pastoral experience of 14 years while presently pastoring at St. Edmond's United Methodist Church, Chesapeake Beach, Md., for the past 9 years; veteran of U.S. Army; employee of the Dept. of Human Resources.
Priorities: The main focus of my campaign consists of three 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 E. Shelton (R)
Biography: Loyola College, M.B.A. finance, B.B.A. marketing. Two years with the Republican National Committee; three 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 and businesses from leaving our city.
Vote for three
Biography: Age: 44. Graduate of the University of Baltimore, B.A. in sociology. Work: Hub director, Baltimore City government, more than 20 years of service to Baltimore citizenry. The Jentry McDonald Corp. program director, S.U.R.E. program, provides wrap-around services for homeless families. Volunteer: Numerous community service programs and organizations.
Priorities: To reduce crime and implement city-wide community policing; education, reduction of classroom size and the establishment of alternative schools for disruptive students; and expand employment opportunities.
Robert W. Curran (D)
Biography: Blessed Sacrament School; Loyola High School; Mt. St. Mary's College; Community College of Baltimore. Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee 1982--present; Vice-chair Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee 1988--present; executive board Md. State Democratic Party; member Original Northwood Community Association.
Priorities: Play a role in reducing gun violence, and implement innovative ways to reduce the demand for drugs. Guarantee each student a new opportunity to learn in a safe non-disruptive environment. Be accessible and responsive to all city constituents.
Martin O'Malley (D)
Biography: Age: 32. University of Maryland School of Law; Catholic University; Gonzaga High School. One term on the City Council; former Assistant State's Attorney; lawyer.
Priorities: Middle-class flight from the city is the fatal symptom of urban decay. The primary causes of decay are crime, lack of quality education/jobs, and lack of consumer/business confidence in the future. I will continue to address these problems with specific solutions.
Norman F. Anderson (R)
(No reply received.)
C. C. Moss (R)
Biography: James P. Timilty High School; Trinity College. Experience: Voter registration Baltimore City; director, Project Precinct Power; organizer, single member districts.
Priorities: Responsiveness to the people. My home phone number will be in every home. Callers will not have to be put on hold or talk to an answering machine and not have their calls returned. Drugs and crime will be top priority.
Vote for three
Sheila Dixon (D)
Biography: Age: 41. Towson State University B.A., Johns Hopkins University M.S. International Trade Specialist, Office of Business Development, Dept. of Business & Economic Development.; elected Democratic State Central Committee 1986; elected Baltimore City Council 1987 and 1991; chairperson Taxation and Finance Committee and Aging Sub-Committee.
Priorities: Job creation, creation of new industries, expansion of dTC existing businesses, reduction in property taxes, and to continue to see that essential services are delivered to the citizens of Baltimore City, such as fire, police protection and enhancing neighborhoods.
Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. (D)
Biography: Age: 27. Emory University, B.A. political science 1990; District of Columbia School of Law, J.D. 1994. White House intern 1994; law clerk public defender, law clerk NAACP Legal Defense Fund; acting president of Young Democrats, volunteer worker at Democratic national conventions 1988 & 1992.
Priorities: My priorities if elected will be to bring jobs into the city, to improve public schools, to create more housing and to close the gap of the disparity of city services.
Agnes Welch (D)
Biography: Douglass High School; Morgan State University, B.A. Completing 3rd term as city councilwoman, in 5th term as state central committee member, 4th term as chair of Baltimore City delegation of Md. Democratic Central Committee, secretary of Md. Democratic party for two years.
Priorities: If elected, my emphasis would be to reduce crime and the fear of crime, create more and better housing with an emphasis on homeownership, lobby for more money for education, and explore avenues to spur economic development and create jobs.
Vote for three
Helen L. Holton (D)
Biography: Age: 34. Certified Public Accountant; Morgan State University/University of Baltimore, B.S. accounting; Johns Hopkins University, leadership development certificate, M.S. business management. 15 years in public accounting for Fortune 500 corporations, and small business; president of a financial and management consulting business.
Priorities: Personal safe-ty/crime, emphasis on community policing, crime prevention, and drug treatment; education, developing initiatives to promote safer, smarter schools; and economic development, strategies to create more jobs and employers in Baltimore.
Stephanie C. Rawlings (D)
Biography: Age: 25. Western High School, 1988; Oberlin College, B.A., politics 1992; University of Md. Law School, J.D. 1995. 1990 & 1994 elected state central committee, 40th district; 1994 appointed Baltimore City chairperson for voter education and registration, state central committee; 1992 convention aide, Democratic National Convention.
Priorities: Safety. I will work together with the neighborhoods in the city to promote community policing and community-based problem-solving of crime issues. Public schools. We should accept and expect only excellence in public school education. I will work school by school to make sure the principals have a clear vision.
Rochelle Rikki Spector (D)
Biography: Age: 59. Baltimore public schools and Hebrew University; attended "Returning Women" program at Goucher College. Completing fourth full term in office, 2 terms as chair of Judiciary Committee, member of 5 other committees; represent city at the Md. Association of Counties, president of the board.
Priorities: For 18 years I have served the needs of constituents; this will remain my priority. I am committed to redeveloping Baltimore's neighborhoods into places to live/work/play again. We must "recycle" the city's underutilized industrial land, housing stock, and infrastructure, as we recycled the Inner Harbor.
William M. Hall, Jr. (R)
(No reply received.)
Vote for three
Norman A. Handy, Sr. (D)
Biography: Age: 51. University of District of Columbia, B.A.; Wesley Theological Seminary, M.Div.; Howard University Divinity School, D. Min. Pastor, Unity United Methodist Church, Baltimore, 1989-present; pastor, Christ U.M. Church, Agvasca, Md.. 1985-89; pastor, Sykesville U.M. Church, Sykesville, Md. 1981-85.
Priorities: Increasing drug treatment resources; developing strategies for improving our schools; providing sustainable care for working parents; eliminating open-air drug markets; developing economic infrastructure of Baltimore and region; improving city services to residents.
Edward L. Reisinger (D)
Biography: Age: 45. Community College of Baltimore; business courses. State Central Committee; 6th District City Councilman.
Priorities: Crime. Education. Jobs. Vacant homes. Environment.
Melvin L. Stukes (D)
Biography: Morgan State University, B.S., business administration; revenue specialist, Md.. state comptroller office; president of my community association; numerous other experience with advocacy work in city, state, and nation. Sponsor of numerous bills in the City Council; brought many issues to the attention of the mayor and City Council.
Joseph Brown, Jr. (R)
Biography: Age: 37. Attended Hoosac School in Hoosick, NY; received B.A. degree from St. Augustine's College. A member of The Lord's Church, board member for Empowerment Zone 1, Omega Psi Phi, a Mason, and former Big Brother.
Priorities: To encourage reform in our school system by creating a partnership between educators, parents and businesses; create an environment for the expansion of existing businesses and make our city safe by instituting true community policing in neighborhoods.
Anthony F. Forlenza (R)
Biography: Age: 58. Baltimore Polytechnic Institute 1956; further education. Avid newspaper reader; former community association member; Baltimore City Republican State Central Committee, 6th District 1994.
Priorities: Reiterate personal responsibility, especially involving drugs; sound, rather than "feel good" education; change arbitrary and incomplete transit system; repeal Question J.
Wayne Lewis Sherman (R)
Biography: Morrell Park Elementary School; mayor's external diploma program through Southwestern; Mariott and U.S. Air management classes. Lifelong resident of the 6th District of Baltimore, have been working in politics and as a community activist for over 16 years. Was past president of community association as well as founder of Morrenn Park Democratic Club, now the United Democratic Club.
Priorities: Priorities would be to create affordable housing through the rehab of city-owned vacant properties, creating job training for students; money made would be put into community policing; better our educational system k--8 in all schools, smaller classes. And to truly work representing the interest of my constituents.
Bond issues tomorrow
The test of the eight bond issue questions will appear in tomorrow's Maryland section on page 3 of the Baltimore City/County edition.