DE­BATE

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date that best rep­re­sents you.”

Rey re­minded at­ten­dees that she’s been en­dorsed by Ho­gan and “the money needs to go back to you.” She clar­i­fied later that she voted against Ho­gan’s bud­gets be­cause “they took the build­ing out,” re­fer­ring to the state fund­ing for the pro­posed third build­ing at the South­ern Mary­land Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter in Cal­i­for­nia. She said work­ing co­op­er­a­tively with peo­ple in and out of her party “is al­ready hap­pen­ing with your cur­rent del­e­ga­tion.”

Clark, ad­dress­ing the is­sues alone in the ab­sence of his District 29C op­po­nent, Ni­chols, said the money should go back to the peo­ple “be­cause you earned it.” If there are enough Repub­li­cans, ap­prox­i­mately five del­e­gates or seven state se­na­tors, he said they could block leg­is­la­tion that could pos­si­bly hurt the county. “They would have to work with us” so the county “can get our fair share of the money,” he said.

Brewer said state rep­re­sen­ta­tives hav­ing the ad­di­tional money would “in­crease the power of the state.” He said it was disin­gen­u­ous to give Ho­gan credit for the jobs cre­ated af­ter the 2008 re­ces­sion. “We’re still re­bound­ing from the re­ces­sion,” he said, adding that peo­ple are con­tin­u­ing to “pro­tect our­selves for the next re­ces­sion.” He said there was no point in giv­ing the money “back to the wealthy.”

Del. Matt Mor­gan (RSt. Mary’s), speak­ing with­out re­but­tal from an op­po­nent in Loker’s ab­sence, said he knows that vot­ers are think­ing the money would “be bet­ter off in my pocket” than in the state cof­fers. He said the peo­ple elected Repub­li­can rep­re­sen­ta­tives “to cut taxes.”

Brewer claimed that “we got a lot done when we were led by” Democrats, like the first two build­ings at the higher-ed cen­ter. He said he thought “some things were big­ger than pol­i­tics” like of­fer­ing ad­di­tional ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties at the higher-ed cen­ter. “A bi­par­ti­san gov­ern­ment: What a nov­elty,” he said.

Rey said she’s try­ing to find “any­where we can cut taxes” for a leg­is­la­tor’s so-called “good idea” that could hurt St. Mary’s vot­ers and their wal­lets. “We need to do a bet­ter job of cut­ting spend­ing,” she said, adding she wants “to give you your money back.”

Mor­gan, who rep­re­sents District 29A in north­ern St. Mary’s, said he would sup­port tax cred­its for wa­ter­front prop­erty own­ers who have wa­ter col­umns, or cafes filled with oys­ters to fil­ter wa­ter, in­stalled close to their prop­erty. “We want a clean bay,” he said, adding that state lead­ers should use more state-owned prop­erty to in­stall wa­ter col­umns.

As a mem­ber of the state’s oys­ter ad­vi­sory com­mis­sion, Rey said she sug­gested that DNR should “map the bay” and des­ig­nate spe­cific ar­eas for pub­lic fish­ing, crab­bing and aqua­cul­ture off of state owned prop­erty rather than pri­vate prop­erty.

Crosby said wa­ter­front prop­erty own­ers should be given “first right of re­fusal” to hav­ing wa­ter col­umns, and in­stead pay an ad­di­tional fee for the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Foun­da­tion’s con­tin­u­ing ef­forts to clean up the bay. He said DNR should im­prove their com­mu­ni­ca­tion process with the pub­lic about wa­ter col­umn in­stal­la­tion and main­te­nance.

Clark said DNR re­cently an­nounced an in­stant no­ti­fi­ca­tion process to in­form po­ten­tial wa­ter­front prop­erty own­ers that the state wants to in­stall wa­ter col­umns off of their land. He said the new in­dus­try is con­tin­u­ing to grow and will have prob­lems while im­prov­ing.

Brewer said he thought St. Mary’s pro­posed 18-month mora­to­rium on new wa­ter col­umn leases was “a bone-headed idea.” Al­though 13 peo­ple shared their con­cerns at Au­gust county com­mis­sioner pub­lic hear­ing, Brewer said a po­ten­tial “30 to 40 other prop­erty own­ers have no prob­lem with oys­ter aqua­cul­ture in their back­yard.”

Loker said in a phone in­ter­view Wed­nes­day that she would not at­tend an event that en­dorses can­di­dates. She said she be­lieves that or­ga­ni­za­tions who host can­di­date de­bates “should be non­par­ti­san” like the St. Mary’s chap­ter of the League of Women Vot­ers, the county branch of the NAACP or the county’s cham­ber of com­merce. She said she teaches con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion classes for the SMAR and is “an af­fil­i­ate mem­ber.”

Mor­gan said Tues­day if Loker couldn’t come to an event in Leonard­town, “how can she rep­re­sent us in An­napo­lis?”

Theresa Kuhns, the SMAR’s gov­ern­ment af­fairs direc­tor, said dur­ing a phone in­ter­view Tues­day the lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion doesn’t en­dorse state or na­tional level can­di­dates. How­ever, the state and na­tional par­ent groups of the Real­tors as­so­ci­a­tion do make such en­dorse­ments, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease from the Mary­land As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors.

Bai­ley, who is run­ning against Brewer for the state Se­nate seat, said in an email Wed­nes­day that he was teach­ing a class for the DNR’s hunter safety ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram. He said he “com­mit­ted to teach this pro­gram sev­eral months ago be­fore this evening was planned.”

Ni­chols said in an email Wed­nes­day that she let the or­ga­niz­ers know via email on Sept. 19 she wasn’t able to at­tend be­cause “I had fam­ily com­mit­ments that I could not re­ar­range.”

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