Affirm the Present

I'd like to contrast our current St. Mary's County Board of Commissioners, consisting of four Democrats and Republican Shelby Guazzo, with the previous all-Republican board run by the infamous "Gang of Three."

While I don't always agree with the decisions of the current board, I appreciate their thoughtful and civil discussions. From 1994 to 1998, the old BOCC was marked by strident, ideological, know-nothing arguments that made St. Mary's County the laughingstock of the state.

We have a clear choice again in this election: a return to the bitter, true-believer, negative diatribes of the past or an affirmation of the reasonable, collegial consensus of the present -- a consensus that works toward a just, financially sound future.

Let there be no mistake: Hard decisions will have to be made in the coming four years to improve education, preserve open space, provide needed services and focus growth.

This time, the candidates best-qualified to meet the challenge of crafting a truly 21st century St. Mary's County are the team of Joe Anderson, Marcel Brooks, Bob Lewis, Tom Mattingly and Julie Randall.

As President John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address in 1961, " . . . let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on Earth God's work must truly be our own."

Please go forth and vote for a civil, sustainable county government on Tuesday, Nov. 5, for our families, for our future.

Frank L. Fox

Mechanicsville

Guazzo Supporting McKay

I would first like to express my sincere appreciation to the many people who worked and supported my bid for a second term as county commissioner for St. Mary's County. Their generous gifts of time and friendship continue to mean a great deal to my family and to me.

My service to the community as a county commissioner and as a member of the Planning Commission as well as other positions these last 12 years have given great personal satisfaction. My overriding approach to the duties of public office has been to bring solutions to problems by working with my fellow members in these appointed or elected offices. Any solution to a problem must include the valued input of the citizens of our emerging growth community. I considered it my duty to be available and present at all public forums and events that I could humanly attend. I cannot tell you how many times I was able to talk with citizens from all corners of our community and gain knowledge and input that otherwise I would not have had available to me.

The campaign process is long and arduous -- and I would not change it. The voters need to see that a candidate is open and available as much as possible. As a candidate now and four years ago, I took the opportunity to participate in all forums and events that gave the voter the opportunity to compare candidates.

Secondly, I am particularly glad that Tom McKay, who is running for the important office of president of the Board of County Commissioners, obviously shares that view. He deserves a great deal of credit for standing up and making his views known to the voters. Unlike some of the candidates, Tom McKay's campaign has been issue-oriented.

Tom McKay participates fully in the election process. He deserves the voters' attention. I support Tom McKay.

For the future, my family and I look forward to continuing to participate as interested and involved citizens of St. Mary's county.

Shelby P. Guazzo

Board of Commissioners

St. Mary's County

Chaptico

Kelley Is 'Citizens' Voice'

Calvert County was Maryland's best-kept secret for a long time, but that could not last forever. Growth was not preventable by the leadership of Calvert County, but it is manageable by them. . . . Listening to current county commissioner discussions, one can be assured that this group of people cares about this place, makes it a point to carefully review the issues.

It is difficult to find anyone who does that more passionately than Linda Kelley. Regardless of what you think about her style, one thing is certain, she is not out for the popularity vote. She is the self-described "citizens' voice," but a better way to describe her may be "straight up."

Recently, Ms. Kelley has been criticized for not supporting a property tax credit for volunteer firefighters. Her position is that all volunteers who operate essential organizations should then be entitled to similar benefits and such an action could negatively impact our local economy. Volunteers are the backbone of many necessary services, should they all be given a tax credit? Ms. Kelley's record shows her strong support of all men and women in uniform, best reflected in her support of millions of dollars of funding and purchases of state-of-the-art equipment for police, fire and other public services. She has not only supported them, but fought for them. Her record is clear on these points. Our dollars need to be spent responsibly, and it is the job of the commissioners to make sure that they are. The choice to provide a nice sound bite in an election year over exercising fiscal responsibility is not Ms. Kelley's style.

What may seem to be a "tough as nails" approach is necessary for a person who is genuine about her desire to serve this community, which also includes its oldest, youngest and furriest members. When Linda Kelley is present, they have a voice in Calvert County. She takes very seriously the quality of life of seniors, wants kids to have a bright future in our schools and places to convene in our community so that their time is well spent. Preserving the history of this wonderful span of land is a personal passion of hers. Her work on behalf of animals is progressive and imperative to the future state of domestic animals in our community. She understands the need for growth coupled with the need to preserve the natural resources that make Calvert a wonderful place to live. When one looks around at the good things happening in Calvert County, so many of them (too numerous to mention) have either been spearheaded by or supported by Linda Kelley.

We need to vote for the people who can make good things happen for Calvert County. Ms. Kelley has a proven record that she can. A person of strong convictions, who does hours of "homework" in order to make sound decisions, Linda Kelley has shown us that Calvert County is her priority. She works for us.

We've been here for 11 years and after watching so many come and go over the last decade, it is always easy to remember to vote for Linda Kelley. When November rolls around, we hope you will remember too.

Harry and Teresa Culver

Huntingtown

Staff Supports Sheriff

The command staff of the Calvert County sheriff's office wishes to express our support and confidence in Sheriff John "Rodney" Bartlett. During this election season it is apparent to us that the citizens have two major concerns -- one being that Sheriff Bartlett was appointed, and two, who do we, the command staff, support. . . .

We, too, were shocked when the announcement was made about Sheriff Bartlett's appointment. However, what law enforcement professional would not have seized the opportunity if it were offered to them?

John "Rodney" Bartlett resided in Huntingtown for the past six years. For the last 20 years he has been a dedicated career law enforcement officer. Sheriff Bartlett readily accepted the challenge.

He knowingly walked into an agency in distress due to the recent investigation and resignation of the former sheriff. It was also an agency with nearly 350 years of service that the Board of County Commissioners wanted to dismantle in order to create a county police department. What a challenge. Sheriff Bartlett worked with his personnel, as well as the citizens of this county and the commissioners, to save the sheriff's office.

In addition to this obstacle, he was met with this country's most tragic event of Sept. 11, 2001, anthrax and a devastating tornado. Each of these incidents created extreme demands on our personnel and other resources. Throughout each of these events Sheriff Barlett was fully involved and demonstrated his leadership abilities, his dedication and concern for the citizens of Calvert County.

The Sheriff's Office Fraternal Order of Police and the Correctional Officers' Association have both endorsed Sheriff Bartlett through an anonymous ballot election. The command staff fully supports and endorses the election of Sheriff John "Rodney" Bartlett, and asks that you, the citizens, reflect on the job that Sheriff Bartlett has done over the past 18 months prior to casting your vote on Nov. 5.

Capt. Tilden H. Garner

Lt. Thomas A. Buckler

Lt. Robert N. Rollins

Lt. Sheila M. Welling

Prince Frederick