Candidates were asked: County setvices: When you prepare the proposed county budget, what government services (i.e. education, public safety, transportation, recreation, medical and social services) would be your highest priorities? If cutbacks must be made, which service would you cut back on first?

Charles W. Gilchrist, 42, of 405 West Montgomery Ave., Rockville, is a Democrat. State Senator (1975-78); tax attorney; member, D.C. and Maryland Bar associations.

Worked with Baltimore and Washington law firms Member since 1972 of Washington law firm. Author of portfolios in the area of federal tax and pension legislation for New York University and Bureau of National Affairs. Senate Finance Committee; Legislative Pension Study Commission; Cochair, Joint Committee on Pension Legislation. In the Senate, Gilchrist also participated on the Intergovernmental Cooperation, Prosecutorial Function, Legislative Ethics and Budget Powers committees.Former member Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee; Cochair Sarbanes County Campaign, 1976. Board, Centers for Handicapped; board of governors, St. Albans School, 1968-73; Advisory Commission to State Board of Education. Born Washington, D.C. Twenty-eight year county resident; graduated Williams College (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School.

County services: My administration would place major emphasis upon the cost-effective and efficient delivery of public safety services. Education, transportation, economic development and social services also have priority. I support the expansion of the policy analysis unit within the office of the budget. This group of professionals will advise on priorities, bringing real meaning to such terms as sunset legislation and zero-based budgeting. Cutbacks may have to be made, for example, in capital expenditures.

Richmond M. Keeney, 48, of 9109 McDonald Dr., Bethesda, is a Republican. The Montgomery county executive must be capable of managing the day-to-day business of the county in an effective, efficient manner. This requires heavy business management experience, strong administrative skills and a thorough knowledge of our county and county government. As a businessman, I have initiated and managed one of the most efficient group insurance programs in the country. The program provides coverage to 40,000 members with more than a billion dollars of insurance in force. I have done this with a staff of just eight people. I have a thorough, first-hand knowledge of our county organizations. As a current member of the planning board and a former member of the County Council, I know our county government.

County services: My highest priority will be given to public safety areas (police and fire), followed closely by those who actively deliver educational services. Required reductions will be made first in the hidden administrative areas of government through tighter management and more delegation of authority. I will cut down the size of over-staffed offices and work crews, eliminate programs which are not cost-effective and require implementation of productivity measurements in each department of government.