'Not Pawns of Developers'

We need commissioners here in St. Mary's County who are not already in the pockets of developers. That means we need to reelect Joe Anderson and Julie Randall, who proved they are not pawns of developers when they voted against five-acre zoning for rural areas. It means we need to elect Marcel Brooks, who has dared to campaign as a proponent of "smart growth." . . . This means we need to unseat Commissioner Daniel Raley, who, along with Commissioners Mattingly and Guazzo, voted last spring for the developers' program for St. Mary's County -- five-acre rural zoning and sprawl. . . .

More important, we need new county commissioners who have enough vision to work for solutions to rural zoning that prevent sprawl, but not at the expense of St. Mary's county farmers and their families. . . . Bob Lewis is the only candidate running for county commissioner who combines integrity with a commitment to preserve the rural character of St. Mary's County and an ability to think outside the box -- as he likes to say. Bob Lewis knows how to stop sprawl without doing it at farmers' expense. Elect Bob Lewis and you also send a message to both the Democratic and Republican Party establishment in St. Mary's County that we are not willing to let them twiddle their thumbs, accusing one another of corruption every four years during election season, while St. Mary's County is bulldozed and paved over. Vote for Bob Lewis to tell them we know dumb development is irreversible, but their electoral mandate is not.

Robin Hahnel

St. Mary's City

'A Good Leader'

Julie Randall has been a good leader of the Board of County Commissioners and she has built a strong team. Her opponents have given us nothing but platitude and empty rhetoric.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the recent photograph at the public forum of Mr. McKay and four empty seats next to him says all you need to know about leadership skills.

Andrea Dyson Shoemaker

Great Mills

Sierra Club's Vote

Bob Lewis, candidate for St. Mary's County commissioner, stands for the continued enactment of smart growth to maintain our unique quality of life and to preserve our remaining rural areas. He is committed to stopping the suburbanization of farmland, and to finding ways to compensate landowners for any decrease in their development rights. . . .

Bob Lewis demands prompt action to respond to our current drinking water crisis. Private wells are failing at an increased rate. Growth in population and demand is threatening our underground aquifer water supply now. . . .

The Sierra Club Southern Maryland Group endorses Bob Lewis as the best-qualified candidate in St. Mary's County Commission District 4.

Bonnie Bick

Sierra Club

Southern Maryland Group

Bryans Road

Keep Anderson, Randall

There are many important issues facing St. Mary's County and decisions made on at least two of them, education and land use, will be irreversible.

St. Mary's County has a vibrant high-tech economy built around the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. If we want our children be able to take advantage of this, they must be well educated. For the past four years, Julie Randall and Joe Anderson have taken the lead in making sure that the county properly funds our public schools. . . .

The decisions that the next county commissioners make on land use and planning will help decide what St. Mary's County will look like for the next 100 years. . . . If they . . . follow the path advocated by Joe Anderson and Julie Randall, growth will be channeled into those areas with appropriate infrastructure and the rural heritage that helps make St. Mary's County special will be preserved. Commissioners Joe Anderson and Julie Randall can be counted on to continue to stand up to those developers who want to bring more sprawl to St. Mary's County. . . .

I will be voting for Joe Anderson and Julie Randall on Nov. 5 and I hope my fellow residents of St. Mary's County will join me.

Tom Kracinovich

Great Mills

Dement 'Beyond Reproach'

I would like to take this opportunity to endorse Kenny Dement for county commissioner. I have known him for over 15 years and can say he is an honest and worthy candidate. He has been involved in numerous county issues for years and has a broad understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, through his years of service he has remained unbiased and his integrity is beyond reproach.

Bill Lynam

Lexington Park

Register Reaches Back

As many of you already know, I will be retiring as register of wills for St. Mary's County after 25 1/2 years of service. . . .

When I became the register, I immediately hired a person to be my chief deputy to assist me in the day-to-day operation of the office. That person was Diane McWilliams, who has faithfully served as my chief deputy for the last 25 years. . . .

Because the public deserves the most qualified person to continue a tradition of professional, caring service, I urge you to vote for Dianne McWilliams as your next register of wills.

Norma I. Dawson

Register of Wills,

St. Mary County


'Down-to-Earth Leadership'

Of all the candidates for St. Mary's County commissioner, Bob Lewis stands out. A Green Party candidate in a traditionally two-party district, Lewis has a long history of progressive, independent thought. As a Water Policy Task Force voting member and the co-president of the Potomac River Association, Mr. Lewis has shown his commitment to the environment and to smart growth. On the other hand, as a small-business owner and supporter of additional funding for farmers, Mr. Lewis has shown his balanced view of politics in this region. As a founder of the Southern Maryland Green Party, Mr. Lewis has clearly demonstrated his capacity for leadership.

We, the College Nonpartisans of St. Mary's College of Maryland, enthusiastically endorse him as a fine example of forthright and down-to-earth leadership in politics. Mr. Lewis is an outstanding representative of the democratic ideals that the two-party system of politics in the United States often lacks. His commitment to ethics training for all government staff and his focus on complying with existing ethics ordinances epitomize his dedication to honesty.

Jeremy Young, Ben Porter,

Timothy Hemphill,

Christopher Toft, Aaron Samet

College Nonpartisans

Executive Board

St. Mary's City

Vote Thompson, Ehrlich

Barbara Thompson is running as our candidate for the Maryland State Senate. Bob Ehrlich is running for governor of Maryland. Over the past 12 years both have served our county and state. Barbara, as our former county commissioners president, is extremely aware of the issues that face not only St. Mary's County but also Southern Maryland and our state. . . . As we look forward to a new dawn in Annapolis, we have to try our hardest to ensure that Bob Ehrlich has our support to clean up the massive waste created by Gov. [Parris N.] Glendening and Lt. Gov. [Kathleen Kennedy] Townsend. On Election Day, vote for our future, vote for a strong and supportive voice in Annapolis and, most of all, vote for Barbara Thompson as our next Maryland state senator and Bob Ehrlich as our next governor.

Larry Keen


Orphans' Court Picks

One of the most important elected offices that receives little attention is judge of the Orphans' Court. The position requires dedication, empathy and leadership to deal with a very grievous and often emotional set of circumstances. As our population ages, we need to ensure that those we elect can deal with these circumstances and most of all be extremely fair in dealing with everyone. For that reason, please support me in electing Roy Buckler, Dalton Wood and Jenks Mattingly as judges of the Orphans' Court for St. Mary's County.

Maria Morgan


Set Partisanship Aside

A recent letter commented on the fact that I was elected four times as a member of the Democratic Central Committee and was on a "fusion" ticket for commissioner [Extra, Sept. 22].

I wish to say that the notion I am on a fusion ticket is nonsense as I am the Republican county commissioner candidate for District 1. . . .

I am proud to have been a Democrat, just like President Ronald Reagan and three of my fellow candidates who have all been Democrats and decided that the Democratic Party has moved to the far left of the political spectrum and no longer reflects their values. . . .

Party politics play a prominent role in our society, but it is time to set aside politics and do the best thing for St. Mary's County by restoring common sense and integrity to county government.

Kenny Dement


'A Solid Citizen'

We are writing in support of Independent candidate Jenks Mattingly for judge of the Orphans' Court for St. Mary's County. Having known Jenks for over 40 years, we can attest to his being a solid citizen, dependable volunteer and dedicated community leader. His volunteerism has extended through the fire department to the Hollywood Optimists and the St. John's Knights of Columbus. He has never shied away from helping his fellow countians in need, especially the younger members of our community. . . .

Jenks Mattingly will be listed as the last candidate on the ballot for judge of the Orphans' Court since he is running as an independent. Look over all the names, and know that Jenks is a neighbor and leader you can count on, and choose Jenks as one of your choices.

Robbie and Pamela McKay

St. Inigoes


A Navy Vote

Southern Maryland's large Navy community -- active and retired -- should support the candidacy of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend for governor. I am a lifelong Republican and retired U.S. Navy rear admiral vigorously campaigning for the Townsend-Larson ticket. They will fight for our naval bases here and our quality of life.

Katharine L. Laughton

Retired rear admiral,

U.S. Navy


Study the Candidates

In an Oct. 4 letter to the editor, Beth Thorsen, president of the Education Association of Charles County, encouraged voters to check candidates' voting records. While I couldn't agree more, it's imperative voters understand the details of those items put forth for a vote lest they fall prey to either Ms. Thorsen's ignorance of the issues or her purposeful attempt to mislead your readers.

First, Ms. Thorsen claims that on Nov. 14, 2000, I voted against legislation supporting college tuition assistance for prospective teachers. The Maryland General Assembly wasn't even in session in November so there was no specific piece of legislation before the board for consideration at that time. What I voted against was a position statement that declared, "The board supports any legislation that would provide tuition assistance . . ." I considered it fiscally and intellectually irresponsible to persuade our delegation to support "any" legislation, especially if such bills didn't contain provisions that guarantee our county direct benefit. . . .

Ms. Thorsen correctly claims I voted against a resolution supporting the National School Lunch Program, but she attempted to obfuscate the issue by twisting my comments. I did not insinuate poor parents were irresponsible, rather I stated it was irresponsible for a school system to teach proper nutrition in the classroom and serve doughnuts, pizza and hot dogs in the cafeteria. I find it impossible to support a program that considers doughnuts and juice an appropriate breakfast. . . . I believe parents are responsible for providing for their child's basic needs, and the government does not empower parents by assuming more and more parental responsibilities.

Ms. Thorsen attempts to mislead readers by implying I've voted against teachers' raises for the past four years. Apparently she's forgotten our personal conversation this past spring when I explained my opposition to the negotiated settlement. I assured her that I wholeheartedly supported the part of the contract dealing with raises, but I was seriously concerned with one new provision that was added to the existing contract. That provision requires the board to absorb 100 percent of the cost of health care benefits to a teacher's dependents until they turn 25 if that teacher is killed in the line of duty. Had this vote been taken prior to Sept. 11, 2001, I would have voted yea, but it wasn't. . . . I felt the financial impact of the new provision could be staggering. . . .

One of Ms. Thorsen's most egregious endeavors to mislead your readers was her attempt to paint my commitment to new school construction as hollow because I've repeatedly voted against capital improvement plans. . . . My motions were attempts to convince the board to speed up new school construction. The same incumbents the EACC endorses voted against motions to ask the state to fund new schools sooner. . . . I will not vote in favor of plans that postpone new school construction when the need is critical and our current enrollment numbers qualify us by state standards for state funding. . . .

Because the EACC is the local chapter of the National Education Association (NEA), it is little wonder that Ms. Thorsen doesn't see my platform -- phonics, spelling, grammar, composition, non-calculator-dependent math, geography, fine arts and traditional history and science -- as fitting her definition of education. She is paid to support the extreme globalist and liberal ideologies of her parent organization, the NEA. The organization's promotion of feel-good education including situational ethics, inventive spelling, whole language, fuzzy math, revisionist and politically correct history; their push for unobstructed access to in-school family planning clinics and psychological counseling without parental notification or consent, and their obsession with sex/drug/suicide/sexual orientation/diversity/transgender education in grades K-12 is an embarrassment even to most liberals. . . .

Ms. Thorsen ponders why I would be so concerned about the local curriculum, and falsely claims I "don't even send [my children] to public school." Ms. Thorsen should check the facts: My daughter attends McDonough High School. . . . If having children in public schools is a prerequisite for service as a board member, why does she endorse candidates who are not yet parents, current incumbents who sent their own children to private schools, and candidates whose children are grown? . . . She claims our system has made "huge strides" in the past few years. True, but she fails to connect those dots that show those accomplishments were made during my tenure on the board. . . .

I don't presume to be an advocate for any children except my own. I believe a child's parents are his best advocates, and I believe all parents want an excellent education for their children. I strive to be an advocate for the voters and parents who express their concerns and desires to me, the voice for those intimidated by public speaking, the one who will speak up for what is right and not abdicate to political correctness. . . . I am proud of my voting record and encourage readers to review it. . . . There are many excellent candidates vying for one of the seven seats on the Board of Education. Get to know each of them. When it comes to public education, do your own homework and vote for candidates whose educational positions most closely align with yours.

Margaret Young

member, candidate,

Charles County

Board of Education


'The Right Thing to Do'

While the political battle rages on and the dirt and mud fly, I would like to remind all of us [that] what defines us as human beings is what we do for others simply because it is the right thing to do. Maybe I am naive in believing Charles County is a place where neighbors serve neighbors, and doing the decent thing defines our character and our Southern Maryland flavor of charity and kindness.

Raising the level of public awareness on issues that the Southern Maryland Deaf Community faces daily has been much easier because many of those in political offices have been willing not only to listen but to act. . . .

Every one of our current commissioners has been more than a good neighbor to the deaf community. Sheriff Fred Davis has been invaluable in actively promoting and defending better communication between the deaf and hearing world. . . . When our concern for better and safer methods of alerting deaf children in the public schools was being raised via strobe fire alarms, the county commissioners and school board incumbents Kathy Levanduski and Margaret Young consistently spent positive time reviewing the issues raised.

Congressman Steny Hoyer has championed the rights of the deaf community for over 12 years.

Diane Edge

White Plains

Reelect Sheriff Davis

Having failed to earn the endorsement of the Charles County Fraternal Order of Police, Rex Coffey is reduced to trashing the efforts of our local police. . . .

The fact is, [while] Rex is spending his retirement counting the number of officers at the mall, our police are out on the street doing all these things and more.

Under Sheriff Davis, we have more officers on patrol than we did eight years ago. We also have more officers supporting patrol officers by serving papers, making arrests, conducting traffic safety operations, and performing drug investigations. . . . On Nov. 5, reelect Sheriff Fred Davis.

Anita Sullivan

La Plata

Collins 'Most Qualified'

I have heard state's attorney candidate [W. Louis] Hennessy speak on several occasions, and we have all read his articles stating that, if elected, he will do many of the functions the Charles County sheriff's office already successfully does. . . . Mr. Hennessy claims that State's Attorney [Leonard C.] Collins [Jr.] is easy on crime, yet it is the criminal defense attorneys in Prince George's County and Washington, D.C., who are helping to fund the challenger's campaign. . . .

Please look at the bottom line qualifications and you will clearly see the most qualified candidate for the state's attorney's job is Leonard Collins. . . .

As a policeman in Charles County for 22 1/2 years, I have unfortunately seen it all when it comes to crime. . . . Please vote on Nov. 5 and help your police officers keep Len Collins, not only the most qualified candidate on the ballot for state's attorney, but one of the finest state's attorneys anywhere.

Dave Williams

La Plata

Hennessy Made Difference

It is difficult raising children today. I am a single mother who raised my own children and helped raised my sister's two sons. We live in . . . a drug- and gang-infested, violent neighborhood.

In 1993, my nephew Kenny McFarland, 16, was a challenge. He was flunking out of school, keeping late and unusual hours, and hanging around with the wrong crowd. . . . Help for Kenny came in the form of W. Louis Hennessy, then a police captain of the Metropolitan Police Department. . . .

He took Kenny home to live with him and his family at their farm in La Plata. Mr. Hennessy and his wife, Loraine, worked with him. . . .

Kenny's life turned around. The very next year Kenny was in high school and all-American in basketball. His grades improved and Mr. Hennessy worked with Kenny so that he achieved a qualifying score on his SAT exam. . . . He taught Kenny how important it was to give back to the community.

Kenny earned a full athletic scholarship to college, where he excelled in basketball and earned his degree. . . . I believe it is important the people of Charles County understand how effective W. Louis Hennessy can be in their community fighting crime, preventing crime and making a difference in people's lives.

Mary Hickmon


Looking for Experience

As smart consumers, if we need surgery, we go to an experienced surgeon. If we have cancer, we go to an oncologist.

As smart voters, if we need a state's attorney, shouldn't we also look for an experienced prosecutor -- one who has years of trial and courtroom experience, one who has years of managing a quality state's attorney's office, one who has been elected by his peers to lead the Maryland State's Attorneys Association?

Leonard Collins is qualified, committed, experienced and knowledgeable -- he is what we need in the state's attorney's office and in the courtroom.

Linda Dent-Brown

La Plata

'Recognized Crime Fighter'

[W. Louis] Hennessy is a nationally recognized crime fighter and is often on national television giving his observation on murders that have the attention of the nation.

It seems to me that Hennessy is the man for the job. He gets my vote.

Gene Fitzsimmons


To Prosecute -- and Lead

State's attorney candidates Leonard Collins and Lou Hennessy at the Indian Head candidates forum clearly stated their differences with respect to the role of the state's attorney. Mr. Hennessy defined it as the "lead law enforcement" office in the county and Mr. Collins said the role of the state's attorney was to prosecute those cases brought to it by the sheriff's department. . . .

The reason the state's attorney is elected by our citizens is because it is a leadership position. I believe the state's attorney position is intended to be not only that of a prosecutor, but also that of a leader. The bureaucratic role identified by Mr. Collins, that of a technocrat, simply processing cases, and not making policy is appropriate to an appointed position. . . .

Voters have a clear choice. The current state's attorney wants to focus on prosecution, and Lou Hennessy wants to focus on crime. The current state's attorney wants to confine his office to formal prosecution, Lou wants to prosecute, but also lead the fight against crime. In my opinion, we have tried the passive approach, and now it is time to try the active approach.

Ernest L. Wallace

La Plata

An Experienced Prosecutor

It's surprising that a retired investigator like Lou Hennessy just doesn't have a clue. We don't need a policeman to run the state's attorney's office. We need a prosecutor. Is Mr. Hennessy's platform of preaching to students only to divert attention from his lack of experience in the courtroom? We need an experienced prosecutor, not a preacher. According to the news stories and various forums, Mr. Hennessy has only been a lawyer for several years, has never been a prosecutor and has made a legal career of defending criminals. This information should clue in Charles County voters when they cast their ballots on Nov. 5.

Georgia Sullivan

White Plains

Jarboe Is for the People

I am writing this letter in support of Jim Jarboe, a candidate running for state delegate in Charles County. Although Commissioner Jarboe has not been supported by some of the local politicians, I believe he is a candidate for the people. Commissioner Jarboe has worked tirelessly over the last four years, and as far as I am concerned was the only commissioner who stood up for the citizens. . . . He has fought for us against the Waldorf bypass, protected our environment and was instrumental in increasing the property values here in Charles County. . . . He is the person we need to represent us in Annapolis.

Claudia Angle

La Plata

Jameson Is 'a Natural'

On rare occasions a candidate comes along that is so well suited for the position they aspire to fill that they are viewed as a "natural" for the job. When you look at Sally Jameson's track record as a community activist, her leadership in the business community, her knowledge and involvement in the legislative process, and her unabashed love of Charles County, there can be no doubt which candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates has all of the credentials to be an effective, ardent, and successful advocate for all of the citizens of our community.

As a past president of the Waldorf Jaycees I have had the opportunity to work with Sally on many of the problems that affect our quality of life. . . . As a member of the Charles County Economic Development Commission, I have worked directly with Sally in her role as the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.

As chair of the Board of Zoning Appeals, Sally has an intimate knowledge of the land-use problems that presently concern us and will have a tremendous impact on future generations. . . . [W]hen somebody was needed to step up and help pull together the People's Place to provide services to the victims of the devastating tornado of 28 April . . . [it was] no surprise to me that Sally was right in the middle of it all, once again providing leaderships where it really counted.

Now, she wants to be your delegate in Annapolis. . . . On Election Day keep in mind there is a "natural" in this campaign and she needs your support. Let us pay her back for being the Most Valuable Player in this race.

Dick Gregory

La Plata

Crawford Didn't Make Cut

I am writing to take issue with piece of campaign literature that I received from Mark Crawford, a candidate for school board, at a local forum recently. This piece of literature bore the caption "Teacher Supported." As a teacher, this concerns me because it is potentially misleading to voters. I would not argue that any candidate could find a teacher or a few teachers to support the claim of "Teacher Supported." Mr. Crawford was not, however, endorsed by the Education Association of Charles County. The EACC represents some 1,300 teachers and administrators and goes through an exhaustive process to determine its endorsements. . . .

As an EACC member, I feel compelled to inform your readers that the school board candidates that earned the title of Friends of Education from us were: Rebecca Bolton Bridgett, Edward Holland, Steve Laudenslager, Kathy Levanduski, Cecil Marshall, Aaron Merki and Donald Wade.

Evan E. West

Bryans Road


Vote Brady, Stinnett

I've been a registered Democrat for 65 years. . . . I'll be voting for Grace Mary Brady and a couple of others, including Commissioner Barbara Stinnett. Gracie has a college degree in business administration, is a member of the county planning commission, and she's working to do what is right for Calvert County. My son Doug, the incumbent elected county commissioner in southern Calvert County, appointed her to the planning commission and he has endorsed her as his successor to the board, and so do I. . . .

Please support Grace Mary Brady and Barbara Stinnett for county commissioners.

Thomas Parran Jr.

St. Leonard

A Suspect Endorsement

I read the letter from the Calvert County sheriff's office command staff endorsing the sheriff's election. The writers claimed to answer the most common questions or concerns about the sheriff; however, I think they answered the questions they wished were being asked.

The concern I hear is whether the sheriff can make the transition from political appointee to elected leader. . . .

During the recent primary election campaign, he used his status as sheriff to publicly accuse a political opponent of a crime. He declined to apologize, even after his detectives identified a different person as a credible suspect. What's so hard about apologizing?

In the end, the sheriff's office command staff endorsement of such behavior gives me pause. County employees should not use their county jobs as proof of support when advocating for a candidate in a partisan election. When they do, it causes me to wonder what kind of partisan political culture is being nurtured in that law enforcement office.

John Perryman


A Passionate Politician

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. . . . The choice to provide a nice sound bite in an election year over exercising fiscal responsibility is not Ms. Kelley's style. . . .

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.

Harry and Teresa Culver


Vote for Karol for Calvert

As Election Day nears, I always feel that I need more time to read about the candidates wishing to fill the critical positions of Calvert County commissioner. . . . It is imperative that we choose educated people who can and will balance the budget. . . .

There is one candidate that stands out like the brightest star at midnight. That candidate is Eugene "Gene" Karol. His experience and qualifications are unmatched by any other candidate, as evidenced by his record as superintendent of schools in Calvert County. . . .

When you vote for Gene Karol, you're not just voting for a man, you're voting for an improved Calvert County.

Jo Post

Port Republic

A 'Sound' Manager

What do we want from a county commissioner? We want an individual with sound management skills. Beyond this, we also want someone who listens to the concerns and ideas of our citizens. I believe there is a candidate in Calvert County who offers these qualities.

Gene Karol has demonstrated an understanding of sound management practices. . . . Gene Karol understands more than just budgets and management. He understands the importance of listening to the concerns and ideas of those he serves. . . .

We want a commissioner who is responsive to citizens needs, concerns, ideas, and complaints. During this election, we have an opportunity to elect just such a candidate. We have the opportunity to vote for and elect Gene Karol as county commissioner.

Bruce Supanick