County Times General Election Endorsements

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (October 28, 2010)—The County Times newspaper published the following candidate endorsements for the 2010 General Election.

Maryland Governor: Robert L. Ehrlich

During his previous term as Maryland’s Governor, Bob Ehrlich displayed the ability to moderate the 100+ years of control the Democratic Party has had on Maryland. No party, Democrats or Republicans, can govern unchecked for so many years and maintain the highest level of openness, broad representation, and diversity of ideas. Ehrlich gave Maryland a breath of balance in an otherwise grossly unbalanced state. More importantly, that balance moved Maryland, although only briefly, closer to the public policy philosophy of Southern Maryland.

Ehrlich’s presence in the Governor’s mansion not only benefited our county philosophically; it was of significant benefit in terms of attention given to needs of this community. Ehrlich’s close personal relationship with Thomas McKay who at the time was President of the County Commissioners and Delegate Tony O’Donnell resulted in a focus from the Governor’s office on this region. Projects such as the completion of Route 235 expansion, Hughesville Bypass, Chancellors Run Road Expansion, Leonardtown Streetscape project, Flat Tops Housing Relocation Project, expansion of Margaret Brent Middle School, the new Carver Elementary School, approval and funding for the new Evergreen Elementary School to name a few, were all projects that moved forward under the Ehrlich-McKay-O’Donnell era.

Now more than ever, Ehrlich’s leadership and plans to control spending, to make Maryland a more friendly state for businesses, and commitment to stop the many tax increases planned for the upcoming Maryland legislative session is needed for our state.

Unites States Congress, 5th District: Charles Lollar

There is no question that Patuxent River Naval Air Base is the most important economic asset for our county. The preservation and protection of the work being done here is the responsibility of every elected official in this state. But to say that any one individual holds the key to its future should be more frightening to our community than losing the base itself. To diminish the world class work that is being performed by this community in support of the DoD mission by failing to recognize it as a clear competitive advantage over any other DoD installation is unfortunate. But for those who still believe Steny Hoyer is the reason our Navy base remains so strong, then for the sake of the next 30 years, there could not be a better time than now to deal with that loss and find other ways to protect the future of our base.

Lollar has demonstrated he understands not just DoD, he understands the common ordinary citizens and the pain they are going through today, largely due to the repeated failed public policies of Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and the liberal controlled United States Congress of the past four years. They could not be more out of step with the people of St. Mary’s County and Lollar could not be more in step with our county.

St. Mary’s County Commissioner President: Thomas F. McKay

The four year records of the two running for Commissioner President could not be a more stark contrast. But then neither could the difference between their background, as well as organizational and management skills. McKay’s four years was steep in accomplishments, the vision for the county was clearly laid out, long term planning was put in place, the plans were supported with financial plans that improved the county’s financial ratings, significantly lowered the county’s debt, lowered taxes for all citizens, including lower property taxes, lower income taxes, lower energy taxes, and lower senior citizen taxes.

McKay laid out clear plans to address the county’s education funding deficiencies and performance deficiencies with the first of its kind “Bridge to Excellence” agreement in Maryland. He provided a clear change in the way we addressed public safety including adding 21 new deputies and creating new ways to address long term problems such as creating the Domestic Violence Task Force which has been successful in improving safety for families.

McKay restructured county government into fewer agencies with fewer high paid directors. He instilled “customer service” as a new operating standard, including commissioning the College of Southern Maryland to provide a customer service training program for county employees. He brought new solutions to agriculture and preservation, creating what he called “profitable agricultural systems” such as the produce auction house in Loveville and the winery in Leonardtown

The county’s transportation plan was put in place under McKay’s leadership; unfortunately Russell has failed to follow it. New and expanded schools took place under McKay’s leadership including the new Evergreen Elementary School. McKay led the successful relocation of 110 families from the slum laden Flat Tops adjacent to the Navy base and removed the homes from the AICUZ fly zone.

While Jack Russell led the purchase of the Hayden Farm for more than $5 million dollars while its value was appraised at only $3 million, and he scheduled a Christmas Eve meeting to seal the deal, there are those who may wish to compare such an outrageous abuse of tax dollars with a land deal for new schools which McKay was involved in, commonly referred to as the “Hackerman deal”. The Hackerman deal was a state land transaction that McKay, along with the other members of the County Commissioners and the School Board simply suggested that if the state were to dispose of the 850+ acres, St. Mary’s County would like to have 250 acres for school sites at no cost. The land transaction never took place and McKay played no role in the negotiations between the Maryland General Services and the potential buyer.

McKay took a chance that St. Mary’s County wanted a change in the direction of state government, so he chose to not seek reelection, instead he ran unsuccessfully for Maryland Senate. He should not be penalized for that decision. The past four years have seen a return of high tax increases, higher debt, and job killing regulations. The bad economy has made it difficult for taxpayers, not county government. Instead of being part of the solution, Jack Russell’s government has been part of the problem.

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