AN IDEAL candidate when she first ran for a Howard County Council seat in 1994, Mary C. Lorsung has since improved her ability to represent the 4th Councilmanic District. She should be re-elected.
The complex issues that face burgeoning Howard County require the careful study that Ms. Lorsung provides. The Democratic councilwoman consistently looks past partisanship to the interests of residents when researching issues.
Republican Greg Fox is a worthy opponent who says he is ready to give back to the community.
A project developer for BGE, he is an avid proponent of regional economic development, an area where Howard County, in the heart of the Baltimore-Washington corridor, should play a leading role. But his failure to grasp the need for additional affordable housing in the county is a shortcoming.
Ms. Lorsung takes a broader view. She points out that while the number of affordable units in Howard may seem adequate, it is an illusion. A house that costs less than $80,000 won't do a family any good if it's too small or in an area less attractive than that available in another county nearby.
Ms. Lorsung correctly observes that Howard County's next general plan must reassess the needs of residents. In particular, she wants to address the growing elderly population, which also requires more housing choices.
A number of issues unresolved during Ms. Lorsung's first term are high on her list if re-elected. In addition to making sure Howard schools are adequately funded, she wants to see continued revitalization of Columbia's older villages.
Also, the county's limited transportation system must be expanded, she says. People in Columbia and Ellicott City, for instance, have trouble getting to employment as close as the U.S. 1 corridor.
Ms. Lorsung, who was an aide to former Councilman Paul R. Farragut, has a long history of community service. She was a founding board member of the United Way Partnerships of Howard County, the Columbia Forum, the Columbia Archives, the Howard County Housing Alliance and the AIDS Alliance of Howard County.
Mr. Farragut replaced Ruth U. Keeton, who resigned from the council in 1989 because of illness. When Mr. Farragut decided not to seek a second full term in 1994, Ms. Lorsung was a natural choice to run to replace him.
The former village manager in Hickory Ridge and legislative assistant to Del. Virginia M. Thomas was familiar with the issues and had experience working with various factions to make the county a better place to live.
Ms. Lorsung has maintained the grass-roots relationships that she developed during her years of public service. The 3rd District would be well represented by electing her to a second term.
Tomorrow: 5th Council District
Pub Date: 10/29/98