Candidates in Calvert County

 Vol. 10, No. 36

September 5-11, 2002

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| Candidates in Anne Arundel County | County Executive |
| Candidates in Calvert County | Primary Primer |

  1. Why are you seeking election?
  2. What in your background prepares you for public service?
  3. What special strength would you bring to this office?
  4. What growth or land-use problem in Chesapeake Country concerns you and why?
  5. In 50 words or less, what is your vision?

Senator, Calvert County District 27

Thomas V. Miller Jr.: Incumbent; unopposed in Primary and General Election.

Delegate, Calvert Co. District 27-A
District 27A, a Prince George’s County district newly extended into Dunkirk and Owings, is represented by a team of two.

James A. Dula

James E. Proctor Jr.: Incumbent

Joseph F. Vallario Jr.: Incumbent

Delegates Calvert Co. District 27-B

George Owings III: Incumbent; unopposed in Primary and General Election.

Senator, Calvert County District 29

Roy Dyson: Incumbent; unopposed in Primary and General Election.

Delegate, Calvert Co. District 29-C
District 29–C is represented by one delegate. Neither party’s candidate has an opponent in the Primary.

Pat Buehler

Anthony J. O’Donnell: Incumbent

Calvert County Board of Commissioners
Calvert County is governed by a five-person Board of Commissioners, three elected by region and two at large. In the Primary, each party selects five candidates to compete in the General Election. Each citizen has five votes. In this Primary, Republicans divide those votes among nine candidates; Democrats among seven.

Grace Mary Brady
1. There are some very important things that need attention: improving transportation, especially Route 2/4 (I am concerned that long commute times keep parents from being with their children); maintaining high quality education; better budget deliberations to avoid tax increases.

2. I am a native Calvert Countian and have been involved in federal, state and county government for more than 20 years. I have worked for state delegates Thomas A. Rymer (also a judge), Jim Rosapepe (ambassador to Romania), Barbara Frush and Brian Moe. I currently work for Del. Pauline Menes in the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis. I also have worked for Congressman Roy Dyson on Capitol Hill and in the Anne Arundel County Zoning Hearing Office. My unique experience comes from being a Calvert County Planning Commissioner.

3. I am intimately familiar with planning and zoning issues. Therefore I know what actions are necessary to achieve the goals outlined in the Calvert County Comprehensive Plan. It is one thing to make plans; it is quite another to take the necessary hard actions and make appropriate budget decisions to implement the plans.

4. I am concerned about the horrific population increases and how we can best serve this population without losing our core values, without further degradation of our environment and without taxing our citizens beyond their ability to pay. I believe funding infrastructure needs will improve services in our increased density areas, the Town Centers, which is the best way to save our agriculture and open space lands.

5. The goals as set forth in our Comprehensive Plan express my vision for the County: to promote sustainable development and encourage good economic development, while preserving our natural, cultural and historic assets.

Mervin Gray: No response.

Eugene ‘Gene’ Karol
1. I am very concerned that we maintain the quality of life that we have in Calvert County. As a commissioner, I can help make the right decisions to enable us to continue that quality of life for the current population and generations to come.

2. I have spent my whole professional career as a public servant. I have served as a teacher, administrator, superintendent of schools and university dean. I served for 13 years as the superintendent of schools for the Calvert County Public School System.

3. I believe that my management experience with large bureaucracies, governmental budgets and responding to the needs of the public have prepared me to provide the kind of leadership now needed from our county commissioners.

4. Traffic on Route 2/4 is a very serious problem caused by growth. Route2/ 4 is carrying traffic from both St. Mary’s and Charles County in addition to our own county’s traffic. Any reasonable approach to the achievement of a solution must be with state assistance. We need to work with our state delegationto solve this problem.

5. My vision as a commissioner would be to maintain strong public schools, provide a wide range of recreational activities for all ages, solve the traffic and transportation problems associated with Route 2/4, develop a much stronger commercial tax base and open more effective channels of communication with the public.

Chris Reynolds
1. The county faces some very difficult issues for which I will work hard to find solutions. Sixty percent of our residents commute out of county, most more than 30 miles. We need to attract new employment opportunities, but the county makes it difficult. Our roads must be improved and schools need to be built or renovated. Yet the county has doubled its debt ceiling without finding new sources of revenue. I want to provide the leadership to keep the budget in balance while meeting these challenges.

2. I have been a lawyer in private practice for 30 years, representing individuals, families, community associations, non-profit institutions and businesses. I have served in leadership capacities for a number of community associations and committees, including chairman of the Economic Development Commission, president of the Chamber of Commerce, president of the Bar Association; and on behalf of SMILE, Christmas in April, ARC of Southern Maryland and the American Heart Association.

3. My experience as a lawyer has enabled me to identify and analyze critical issues and to help opposing parties fashion reasonable compromise and a satisfactory resolution. My participation and leadership in community organizations has led me to a deeper understanding of the needs and interest of county residents, especially to maintain the quality of life. My familiarity with economic development gives me a unique perspective of the steps needed to sustain our community.

4. We must fight sprawl, and we must take every reasonable step to preserve open spaces, farmlands, vistas and all that constitutes our heritage. At the same time, we must invest our resources in town centers to nurture adequate commercial growth to help pay for preservation projects and relieve the residential taxpayer from shouldering most of the financial burden. A balance must be struck.

5. I hope our children enjoy Calvert County’s clean waterways, forests, and farmlands; that after receiving an excellent education, they find high-paying jobs here and affordable homes in safe communities to raise their families; and that these and other amenities are abundant because of a sound, well-balanced economic base.

Wilson Parran
1. I am dedicated to quality education and services for families and communities. I have experience in business and technology and have demonstrated leadership at the local, state and national levels. I have dedicated my life to serving our community. I want to use my many years of experience to serve our county.

2. I have an AA degree in computer science, BS in organizational behavior and MS in information systems.

I bring over 25 years of experience in business, having served in positions from entry level to executive. My career in technology began at AT&T and moved to Bell Atlantic, Frontier Information Technologies, KPMG, Calvert County Government and Maryland Department of Natural Resources. I am also president of Windspeed Technologies.

My dedication to the community includes serving on the Calvert County Board of Education for six years, as well as president of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education. I served on the Maryland State Board of Education for five years, as president in 1989-1990. I am a member of the College of Southern Maryland Board of Trustees.

I have also been president of Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse (two terms); Calvert Memorial Hospital Foundation; and director, Adult Day Care Board.

I have been a member of County’s Economic Development Commission; Economic Development Authority; Democratic Central Committee; and Annmarie Gardens Foundation. I also served four years in the United States Air Force.

3. The county commissioners play an important role in shaping a community’s culture, traditions and well-being. They make policy decisions that impact a community for years to come. Therefore, Calvert County needs commissioners with the experience and professionalism to effectively represent the citizens, as well as work with others at all levels of government.

I have those qualities, plus the sensitivity, understanding and educational and professional background to make decisions that benefit the citizens of Calvert County.

4. Calvert County has grown over 45 percent in 10 years. These growing pains have created traffic problems, straining our school resources and county services Clearly Calvert County will continue to grow; however, growth in both the residential and commercial sectors must be effectively managed. We must continue to balance the use of land to preserve our rural landscape, to grow our commercial tax base and to manage residential growth.

5. In my vision, Calvert County is a great place to live, work, raise a family, go to school and operate a business. Our communities are safe and healthy. Our government is effective and not a barrier in providing services to its citizens. Our leaders conduct business with utmost integrity.

Thomas M. Pelagatti
1. The new Board of Commissioners will have to make some tough financial decisions to fully fund the needs of the residents, such as education, ball fields, indoor pools and transportation. I am not confident the majority of the current board is prepared to handle these decisions.

2. I have resigned my position as Orphans Court judge to run for County commissioner. I am a practicing attorney with my own practice, current president of the Red Cross for Calvert County, past Exalted Ruler of Calvert Elks Lodge 2620 and a member of other numerous civic and charitable organizations.

3. I have the experience and insight to make a substantial contribution to the county as a commissioner and to make the educated choices and recommendations necessary to foster and promote the welfare of the residents of Calvert County. I pledge to bring civility, courtesy and common sense to the Board of Commissioners for Calvert County.

4. Obviously, the rapid growth in the past few years has led to a strain on county services and schools. Traffic is not just a county, but regional problem as well. Unfortunately, the past Board of Commissioners has not tried to tackle this problem in future planning. This is one of the reasons we have the current traffic congestion in the county.

5. My vision is to continue to make Calvert County the “pleasant land of living.”

Barbara Stinnett: Incumbent
1. I have unfinished business in the Senior Center in North Beach and goals for recreation needs.

2. Fiscal responsibility and a common-sense approach to government. I am a people person.

3. Background in management, accounting and eight past years of service as a county commissioner. Compassion for citizens. Fairness.

4. Still too much residential growth. We need a commercial tax base to balance.

5. My vision is: A county of rural character, balanced with commercial tax base, where families can live in safety, good health and good environment with good recreational and educational access. A county where seniors can enjoy productive years in comfort and security and where we all (both long-time and new residents) can live in harmony.

Jerry Clark: No response.

Emad Emile Dides: No response.

David Hale: Incumbent
1. I am seeking re-election to continue pursuing four objectives: preventing residential development from over-running Calvert County; keeping the Calvert education system as one of the best in Maryland; continuing our strong economic development initiatives; and maintaining a strong fire and rescue service and law enforcement presence.

2. Extensive experience from the last four years as county commissioner. I have served as president of the board since December 2000, and I have excellent relationships with most everyone in our educational system. I know the educational and county budgeting process and the players at each step, and I understand the costs of major initiatives such as class-size reduction, new-school openings and all-day kindergarten. I also have a vested interest in our school system since my children will one day attend our schools.

3. My ability to be logical and review all sides of an issue prior to voting, as well as my ability to team with anyone necessary to better serve the citizens of Calvert County.

4. My greatest growth concern is that residential development may someday overrun our county if we do not diligently protect our farms and other open spaces. We must balance residential growth with commercial development and ensure that we do not exceed our school or road capacities, increase our crime rate or overstress our volunteer fire and rescue service.

5. My vision is that Calvert County always has open spaces with a rural look, great schools, low crime and a strong economy. I want everyone who lives outside of Calvert County to wonder how we kept it so great.

Linda L. Kelley: Incumbent; no response.

Culver Ladd
1. I am running for County Commissioner because I am qualified and, since I am retired, I will be able to devote 24/7 to those duties!

2. I have 28 years of creditable public service. I am a professional teacher with a B.S. in physical sciences from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. from The American University in international relations. In addition to teaching, I have worked as a law firm manager, interviewer and researcher, marketing research designer and visiting scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

3. In the eight years I lived in Thailand, I taught for the International School of Bangkok and the University of Maryland and helped to start Payap University, Thailand’s first private liberal arts university. In addition, I was able to conduct marketing analyses to develop industries and focus the society in directions for economic growth. Those talents would go to work for Calvert County.

4. Calvert County is the most recently discovered county. Until Route 2/4 was completed, Calvert County was nearly inaccessible. My concern is to protect the magnificence of the county and preserve farms and farmlands. I might be a green candidate! Calvert County commissioners must act to control wild growth.

5 My visions include both the lands and the waters that surround us on three sides. I live in Chesapeake Ranch Estates, the largest populated area in Calvert County. We are a carefully planned development that acts to protect our trees, lakes and beaches. In sharp contrast are areas up and down Routes 2/4, where homes are built on open fields, with apparent disdain for preserving farmlands.

Our long-range vision must include restoring the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent River to a high degree of clarity. Oysters must be seeded and protected to growth and full functioning.

John Douglas Parran: Incumbent.
1. I enjoy serving the citizens of Calvert County and being able to make a difference for the good of the county.

Looking back over the last four years, I can see that my election to the board in 1998 made a difference in the quality of life that citizens want. Citizens know that I have served them well, and I expect to be re-elected based on my voting record and constituent service for the past four years.

2. I served on the Citizens Advisory Committee and worked with the County Historical Society to archive historical video interviews with many distinguished older county citizens. For three years, I produced a public service cable TV show featuring video clips of county events, meetings and public hearings.

The current county commissioner candidates have rarely attended a county commissioners meeting! I went to hundreds of meetings before I was ever elected, and I've missed only three meetings in four years.

3. My ability to get along with people and to respect all citizens, my colleagues, members of our management staff and all county and public school employees. I'm dedicated to doing an excellent job and trying to make fair and impartial decisions for the good of all county citizens.

4. Excessive residential growth is the number one problem. I support slow and managed residential growth. From increased traffic congestion on our roads, to overcrowded schools, to the loss of farm lands and the degradation of the Bay and river water quality, excessive growth is the biggest problem.

My administration has taken positive action to deal with the growth-related problems. In 1999, along with two other county commissioners, I voted to reduce the residential build-out by 50 percent.

5. My vision is to "Keep Calvert Country." Commercial and residential development must be managed and controlled properly to maintain our standard of living at affordable tax rates and to provide excellent county services and public education that is second to none.

Susan Shaw
1. I would like to serve as a Calvert County commissioner providing conservative and wise spending of your tax dollars, a slowed rate of residential growth, broader business growth, enhanced opportunities for children and families, and transportation solutions, while preserving our rural character.

2. Preparing me to serve you, bringing high ethical standards and professionalism are my 30-plus years as a civic leader (details at; my education, including a master’s degree and continuing education; my experience in management, small business ownership and as a clinical social worker/psychotherapist; my demonstrated values of fiscal conservatism along with my love for Calvert.

3. Proven innovative leadership by a concerned, results-oriented citizen, small business owner and entrepreneur. I am a manager: educated and experienced; a person recognized for her ethics and integrity, consensus and coalition-building and fiscal conservatism.

4. By choosing Susan, you choose: Commitment to slower, smarter, sustainable growth in Calvert; a zoning advocate since 1975 who will comprehensively review the zoning code; respect for Calvert’s historical, agricultural and maritime industries; innovative ideas for expanding green corridors while advancing eco-tourism; preservation of rural character, open spaces, wildlife habitats, conservation easements.

5. A Calvert County that: uses funds wisely, avoiding tax increases; maintains a sustainable rate of residential growth; thrives economically with an increasing commercial tax base; moves safely and efficiently by road, bicycle and public transportation; provides a quality education for children and adults; actively values its environment.

Maggie Thomas
1. The decisions made in the next four years will be critical to the future of Calvert County. We need strong moral and fiscal leadership to fight gambling, crime and overdevelopment that threatens our quality of life and our rural heritage. The vultures are at the gate, ready to destroy all we hold dear — if we let them!

2. My 15 years as a reporter (five in Calvert County) give me a unique perspective on local issues and the behind-the-scenes politics of the county commissioners. I am not a professional politician. If elected, I will continue to fight for open and honest government, and always remember that I work for the citizens, not the other way around.

3. My passionate desire to help people to help themselves. As a reporter, I have seen a lot of problems caused by a lack of communication between citizens and their elected representatives. I have strong communication skills, and I also listen very well. Good environment is a partnership between the citizens and those they elect. I will be a strong partner for the citizens of Calvert County.

4. The Adequate Public Facilities ordinance is a good tool for limiting growth. But without strong zoning enforcement, it is meaningless. I am concerned about special zoning deals that allow overdevelopment, especially deals on Critical Areas. Exemptions should not be allowed. Also, the municipalities of Chesapeake and North Beach should adopt their Adequate Public Facilities ordinances.

5. Calvert County is bordered on three sides by water. Except for the northern tip, we are practically an island, with more than 100 miles of waterfront property to care for. Also, more than 15 percent of our land is wetlands or Critical Areas. As stewards of this gift of nature, we have a great responsibility, which I don’t take lightly.

My vision includes promoting Calvert County as you would a beautiful island. Encourage development that will enhance our gifts of nature (marinas, nature parks, water sports, eco-tours). Encourage tourism that will attract leisure business, provide jobs, bring artists and writers to our shores all year round.

Roger R. Tracy
This text has been edited from the replies of campaign manager Robin C. Marshall.

1. As commissioner, Mr. Tracy will be fiscally conservative, present innovative plans to reduce taxes and change the mindset of government. One of his favorite quotes comes from the father of our country, George Washington: “Government is not reason, it is not eloquent. It is force.”

2. Owner and operator of Tracy's Appliance, which has been in business in Calvert County for over 30 years. Elected to the Republican Central Committee for three terms and served as chairman for two terms, making the Republican Party of Calvert grow so that Calvert has become a two-party system. This has enabled voters of Calvert to have a choice when going to the polls during the Primary and General Elections.

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Copyright 2002
Bay Weekly