BRAC among top issues in District 34A

The Baltimore Sun

Jerome Foster

Date of Birth: Oct. 10, 1951 Party affiliation: Democrat Professional experience: Retired Army warrant officer Education: Dundalk High School; Columbia College, Mo. Personal: Married; six children; wife is also a retired veteran. What is the most important issue facing Harford County?

The most important issue facing Harford County is BRAC; this initiative will transform the fiber of the county and have an effect on education, transportation, law enforcement, the business community and every other aspect of the county. What statewide issue would you seek to address as a delegate in coming sessions?

I am eager to address the issue of education, crime and the environment. How can Harford's delegation help the county deal with issues related to growth associated with expansion at Aberdeen Proving Ground?

The Harford delegation must become an intricate part of the decision making process for BRAC at APG. In that the process has excluded the general public in the initial stages of the plans for BRAC, the delegation must step up to the plate to represent the constituents of their respective districts. Also, the delegation must lobby the state for assistance in providing the expertise that is needed to make this sweeping initiative a successful transition for the county. Much has been made of the need for school construction funding. Is the present delegation equipped to help the county meet that need?

I don't think that the current delegation is equipped to deal with the needs of the county. Harford County has the opportunity to become a national leader in public education but, we must think out of the box. Schools should be designed to incorporate the use of alternative energy sources. The county would begin to realize a cost savings in energy consumption and at the same time begin to truly address environmental issues as totally encompassing initiatives. This will also introduce our students at an early age, to the need for alternative energy sources and inspire the students to seek solutions to our dependence on fossil fuel. It could be the impetus for inventive methods to make alternative energy sources more cost effective and viable. This is part of my broader initiative to improve public education and make our schools a bastion for excellence in quality education and inventive thinking.

Mark Franz

Date of birth: July, 25, 1957 Party affiliation: Democrat Professional experience: Artist, musician, writer, actor; operations manager for First Harford Square Community Education: Edgewood High School Personal: From an Army family; grandfather was councilman and mayor of Pitman, N.J.; member, Edgewood Community Council What is the most important issue facing Harford County?

Narcotics-fueled crime and its deterioration of our citizens' quality of life is our gravest concern. Hands down. If it isn't handled here on the U.S. 40 corridor, it will continue to gain momentum and spread throughout Harford County. What statewide issue would you seek to address as a delegate in coming sessions?

Criminal penalty legislation, including stricter sentencing guidelines that will limit plea bargains; waste-to-energy plant legislation to require the energy from Edgewood's and all future facilities to be put into the public grid instead of bled off as it is now; a Youth/Young Adult Job and Character Building Program. We have too few jobs in Edgewood for able-bodied people. There are young people who need society's help. How can Harford's delegation help the county deal with issues related to growth associated with expansion at Aberdeen Proving Ground?

The infrastructure of our entire system will need to be expanded to absorb the housing, traffic and education/public services of the BRAC action. The federal government must allocate a fair share of the funds. They closed the bases.

Much has been made of the need for school construction funding. Is the present delegation equipped to help the county meet that need?

We are currently planning on tearing down two major high schools in Harford when we should be building two additional high schools. If the old schools are that bad, OK, but they are working. We should be building the two new ones now. I must say that present efforts are falling short.

Mary-Dulany James

Incumbent Date of Birth: Feb. 1, 1960 Party affiliation: Democrat Professional experience: Elected to the House of Delegates in 1998; own and manage family farm; small town attorney in Harford County Education: Havre de Grace High School; University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland School of Law Personal: Married, three children. Raised and lived in Harford County my entire life. What is the most important issue facing Harford County?

Protecting and preserving the quality of life in Harford County which includes ensuring the very best education for our children, economic growth with living wage and career jobs, breaking the back of domestic street terrorism brought on by gangs and ensuring that the development envelope does not become the overdeveloped envelope and that while we grow, we preserve and protect our natural resources. What statewide issues are you eager to address as a delegate in coming sessions?

Frustrated by the lack of leadership, ideas, and solutions at the state level I have drafted and filed a comprehensive series of bills to prevent and suppress gang activity, which includes elements of the anti-racketeering legislation that destroyed the Mafia and antiterrorism legislation that has been effectively used around the country to bust up street gangs. Additionally, in my leadership role on the Transportation and Environmental subcommittee and as the only legislator on the State Military Council as well as the local BRAC Council, I will be dedicating my efforts to securing the necessary resources to accommodate the new jobs, businesses and people coming to Harford County while also preserving and protecting our existing communities and open spaces. How can Harford's delegation help the county deal with issues related to growth associated with expansion at Aberdeen Proving Ground?

As mentioned above I am the only legislator in any leadership positions that directly relate to the expansion of the Aberdeen Proving Ground and I will work with all the members of the delegation so that we can secure funds for infrastructure improvements including roads, water and sewer, quality and affordable housing and ensuring that our education system is first-rate, that our schools are not overcrowded and that we have the resources to attract and retain the very best teachers. Much has been made of the need for school construction funding. Is the present delegation equipped to help the county meet that need?

As the only member of the Capital Budget Committee, which oversees the funding for school construction, I worked cooperatively with both the executive branch and the General Assembly in securing a record $11.2 million for school construction for Harford County in the last session. This placed Harford County in the top tier of counties receiving their requested amount of funds. Indeed this was the highest dollar and percentage amount of funds Harford County has ever received. If history is any guide, the delegation is very well equipped to work with the county and the state so long as the entire delegation in both the House and the Senate work in a bipartisan fashion on this and many other issues important to Harford County.

Marla Posey-Moss

Date of birth: Feb. 4, 1975 Party affiliation: Democrat Professional experience: Teacher; state education policy fellow and legislative policy analyst Education: Valley High School; Spelman College; Carnegie Mellon University Personal: As state delegate, I will empower constituents by educating them on the issues that affect their lives, include them in the decision-making process by making myself continuously accessible and visible and uphold our constitutional and legal rights. What is the most important issue facing Harford County?

From Port Deposit to Joppatowne people are always concerned about overcrowded schools, sustainable economic development, education, underinvestment, public safety, domestic abuse, mental health and health care. As a candidate, the most important issue is electing people who are going to be advocates for the public commonwealth and implement positive governance. What statewide issues are you eager to address as a delegate in coming sessions?

Defining part time to minimize employer abuses, eliminating methadone as an alternative to drug addiction, statewide citizen review board for fraudulent reporting of county sheriff offices, voting right restoration, not charging women with a crime when they give birth to a drug-addicted child. As a member of the delegation we have to do more to lobby the federal government to allow disabled veterans and the underemployed to work in much needed fields of education and mentorship without jeopardizing their Social Security or disability pay checks. How can Harford's delegation help the county deal with issues related to growth associated with expansion at Aberdeen Proving Ground?

Keep housing affordable by having mixed-income development and zoning policies that do not require developers to have to purchase "over-sized" portions of land that they don't need so that they can build the preferred number of units for lower rates. I would like to see that underserved and underinvested areas are positively utilized to maximize the commonwealth of the communities that directly affect my district. Much has been made of the need for school construction funding. Is the present delegation equipped to help the county meet that need?

School construction is always going to be a need and any traditional approach to addressing the issue is insufficient. Any delegation elected should focus on innovative and different approaches to constructing schools. Perhaps considering a different approach to purchasing materials, hiring as well as architectural design ought to be reviewed.

B. Daniel Riley

Date of birth: February, 16, 1946 Party affiliation: Democrat Professional experience: Retired schoolteacher, Harford County. Member of House of Delegates, 1999 to 2003. Education: City College High School, Towson State University Personal: Married, one daughter. Resident of Harford County for 41 years. What is the most important issue facing Harford County?

The economy. A healthy, vibrant economy will allow our citizens a higher standard of living and will be a deterrent to crime. BRAC offers the possibility of a better economy. More must be done on the state level to attract jobs which pay a living wage to members of our community. What statewide issues are you eager to address as a delegate in coming sessions?

Overall health care costs, electric deregulation fiasco, affordable housing, living-wage jobs for our children, safe schools and communities, and a government that works for the people, not against them. How can Harford's delegation help the county deal with issues related to growth associated with expansion at Aberdeen Proving Ground?

Fill as many vacancies as possible created by BRAC with Harford Countians. Have high school curriculums that provide our young people with the skills they need to fulfill BRAC positions now and in the future. Redevelop the older sections along the U.S. Route 40 corridor to provide modern housing and shopping communities. Much has been made of the need for school construction funding. Is the present delegation equipped to help the county meet that need?

Yes! When I served in Annapolis with Delegates James, Glassman and Parrott, we all realized the importance of putting aside party differences to obtain adequate school construction funding. Unfortunately, some delegate candidates are putting party affiliation in front of the people we serve and future school funding may suffer.

Glen Glass

Did not respond.

Sheryl L. Davis-Kohl

Incumbent Date of birth: Jan. 3, 1962 Party affiliation: Republican Professional experience: Owner, staffing company Education: Fallston High School; Albright College, Reading, Pa.; University of Baltimore

Personal: Married; 2006 Athena Award Recipient 2006, past president, Route 40 Business Association, volunteer with Boys and Girls Clubs, Aberdeen Rotary, the American Cancer Society, the ARC Northern Chesapeake Region, Small Business Development Center/Women's Business Programs and Cal Ripken World Series host parents 2005 and 2006 What is the most important issue facing Harford County?

BRAC is one of the most important issues facing Harford County and our region. BRAC will affect infrastructure, traffic, schools, hospitals and the daily lives of everyone in Harford County. This is a great opportunity. However, it is an opportunity that will require diligence and common sense in moving forward in a manner expected by our citizens. Second, public safety is a concern of all citizens. We must work to address the fundamental safety of our citizens and the elimination of gangs from our communities.

What statewide issues are you eager to address as a delegate in forthcoming sessions?

The rising cost of health care, reimbursement of doctor services, children's health care needs, heath care for the elderly and rising costs of prescription drugs are major issues that the legislature will need to address. I will support legislation for association health plans. How can Harford's delegation help the county deal with issues related to growth associated with expansion at Aberdeen Proving Ground?

The Harford delegation has been involved with the Harford County BRAC Planning Advisory Commission. We will continue to form alliances with other counties that are being impacted by BRAC. I will sponsor legislation that allows counties to fast-track permitting and funding for BRAC-related projects such as schools and roads. Much has been made of the need for school construction funding. Is the present delegation equipped to help the county meet that need?

Yes, the present delegation needs to continue to work with the county executive, County Council, local school board and the Maryland State Board of Education so Harford County receives its fair share of capital funding for school projects.

Chris Pate

Date of birth: May 17, 1974 Party affiliation: Republican Professional experience: Attorney Education: Tome School; Loyola College; University of Maryland School of Law Personal: Single What is the most important issue facing Harford County?

Growth, particularly how to deal with the expected influx of new residents as a result of BRAC. We must make sure that future development happens in a way that does not overcrowd our schools, overburden our transportation infrastructure or deplete public safety resources that are needed in the fight against gangs and other criminal activity.

What statewide issues are you eager to address as a delegate in coming sessions?

With electricity rates set to increase substantially over the next couple years, we must do more to develop alternative energy sources and to encourage greater competition in the energy industry. We also need to reach agreement on a revenue source such as slots to fund some of our upcoming education, transportation and health care costs. How can Harford's delegation help the county deal with issues related to growth associated with expansion at Aberdeen Proving Ground?

As Aberdeen Proving Ground expands, the county will be faced with additional needs in areas such as school construction, transportation and public safety. The delegation must work closely with the county government to identify these needs, and it must secure state funding to help the county address them. Much has been made of the need for school construction funding. Is the present delegation equipped to help the county meet that need?

No. Despite the efforts of Senator Jacobs and Delegate McComas to get more money, we have consistently received less funding for school construction during the last four years than other jurisdictions throughout the state. When we had the opportunity to receive an additional $6 million during the last legislative session our delegate on the Appropriations Committee remained silent.

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