ANNE ARUNDEL'S tax cap means the county's budget will be tight in the coming years. The county's schools -- many of which are old and falling down -- are getting more money for renovation, but what about improving academics? And from Glen Burnie to Shadyside, there's a struggle between developers and preservationists.
The favored county government hopefuls in the Sept. 10 primary all offer creative ideas about those issues.
County Executive: Current executive Janet Owens faces no primary opposition, but two Republicans want to challenge her in the fall. Tom Angelis is a sincere candidate with good ideas about schools and mass transit. But Phillip D. Bissett is the more polished candidate with a stronger platform. A former state delegate, Mr. Bissett would declare a three-month moratorium on issuing building permits for residential development, increase communication between those who monitor land use for the county and those who work in economic development and challenge Ms. Owens' environmental record.
District 1: No primary in either party.
District 2: Incumbent Daniel E. Klosterman Jr. is the best choice in the Democratic primary for this north county district. In his district, he has worked hard to get an aquatic center opened and also wants a boat launch ramp. He would like to raise county taxes up to the current cap's limit to help reduce school class sizes and modernize older county buildings.
There is no Republican primary.
District 3: Ron Dillon Jr. gets the nod in the Republican primary over former Councilman Thomas W. Redmond Sr. Mr. Dillon wants to control residential development along Mountain Road in the district, which includes Pasadena and Marley Neck. He also wants the council to hold the county's public schools more fiscally accountable.
There is no Democratic primary.
District 4: Current council chair Bill D. Burlison (a former U.S. congressman from Missouri) is typically in lock-step with Ms. Owens on most issues, and has not helped the council carve out an independent role. Former county policeman Terry Wilson, by contrast, brings fresh ideas on education (he wants to deal with overcrowding), public safety (he's for more competitive pay and benefits to keep officers from leaving the county) and the environment.
District 5: No primaries in either party.
District 6: No primaries in either party.
District 7: Incumbent John J. Klocko III is term-limited, so this south-county seat is open. Of the three Democrats vying in the primary, Peter M. Perry, an environmental activist, is the best candidate. He wants to attract clean, high-tech industries to the county and strictly enforce laws that protect the county's waterfront.
In the Republican primary, Edward R. Reilly gets the nod. Already a frequent attender of the council's meetings, he has been learning for some time what it does and how it works.