Tome wants to serve all county cit­i­zens

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CHERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— Life­long Port De­posit res­i­dent Wayne Tome Sr. is ready to serve all of Ce­cil County if he’s elected county ex­ec­u­tive in the Nov. 8 Gen­eral Elec­tion.

Tome, a Demo­crat who is now in his third term as mayor of Port De­posit, is well-known in the fire­fight­ing com­mu­nity be­cause his vol­un­teer ser­vice at Wa­ter Witch Fire Com­pany ex­tends beyond 35 years and his pro­fes­sional ca­reer at Bal­ti­more County Fire De­part­ment is in its 33rd year.

But, Tome in­sists he’s not a one-is­sue can­di­date.

“I don’t want to leave any­one be­hind,” he said this week, not­ing his phi­los­o­phy of govern­ing is “to do no harm and to do the most good for the most peo­ple.”

Tome was re­cently pro­moted from bat­tal­ion chief in Bal­ti­more County to di­vi­sion chief ef­fec­tive Oct. 29, but he’s ready to re­tire af­ter serv­ing only a month in his new po­si­tion if vot­ers elect him to Ce­cil County’s top job.

“Ro­bust eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is the an­swer to cre­at­ing new rev­enue for the county that would en­able us to im­prove the qual­ity of life for all cit­i­zens,” he said. “I’m a prag­matic can­di­date who takes a grass­roots ap­proach to is­sues.”

Tome hopes the county

ELK­TON

can be­come more di­ver­si­fied in its job of­fer­ings and con­se­quently en­tice the next gen­er­a­tion to live and work in Ce­cil County.

“If jobs are lo­cal, then fam­i­lies have more time to spend to­gether and pride in the com­mu­nity grows,” he said.

He also sup­ports strong ed­u­ca­tion in the pub­lic school sys­tem and wants to ad­dress the large amount of de­ferred main­te­nance projects in school fa­cil­i­ties.

“That’s a real big deal,” he said, not­ing if left un­ad­dressed, it could cost a lot more money in the long run.

How­ever, Tome be­lieves that his top bud­get pri­or­ity would be all of pub­lic safety.

“I’m a fis­cal con­ser­va­tive, blue dog Demo­crat kind of can­di­date,” he said.

Tome said he learned to be con­ser­va­tive while serv­ing the fire com­pa­nies and the town of Port De­posit al­ways look­ing for ways to pinch pen­nies.

Tome said it’s im­per­a­tive that the com­mu­nity feels safe in to­day’s cli­mate of in­creas­ing crimes stem­ming from drug abuse and do­mes­tic is­sues.

“They are all in­ter­twined,” he said. “Crime has a so­cial and eco­nomic im­pact on com­mu­ni­ties, cre­at­ing more ac­ci­dents, de­mand on ser­vices and health is­sues.”

The Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice is the largest county law en­force­ment agency to not de­ploy any body cam­eras to sworn of­fi­cers, an is­sue Tome would sup­port.

“How­ever, I think it’s a pol­icy de­ci­sion for the sher­iff to make,” he noted.

As county ex­ec­u­tive, Tome would be run­ning the day-to-day op­er­a­tions of the county.

“I’d want my staff to be very re­spon­sive to cit­i­zens and thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gate even mi­nor com­plaints,” he said.

Tome says lead­er­ship po­si­tions he has held at his job, in elected po­si­tions and vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tions over the last 30 years has pro­vided him with skills to fill the job of county ex­ec­u­tive.

Tome was elected as Ce­cil County Com­mis­sioner in 2006 and served a four-year term, but later lost bids in 2010 for re-elec­tion as com­mis­sioner and again in 2014 in a bid for county coun­cil.

Tome is dis­ap­pointed this year that there was no can­di­date fo­rum for the gen­eral elec­tion.

“I find it hard to get my mes­sage out,” Tome said, say­ing he’s been out-funded by his Repub­li­can op­po­nent Alan McCarthy by nearly 101. “He’s had five fundrais­ers and I’ve only had one.”

“I’m in an up­hill bat­tle for votes,” he said, not­ing the grow­ing shift from Demo­cratic reg­is­tered vot­ers to Repub­li­can reg­is­tered vot­ers in re­cent years.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CHERYL MATTIX

Wayne Tome, the Demo­cratic can­di­date for Ce­cil County Ex­ec­u­tive, said the county needs to be­come more com­pet­i­tive in re­tain­ing its top em­ploy­ees.

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