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Adams County Commissioners candidate forum to be held in Fairfield

Susan Prasse

(10/26) Adams County Commissioners will square off on Wednesday, October 28 at 7pm during a candidate’s forum at the Fairfield Fire Hall, located at 106 Steelman St. The Republican incumbents Commissioners Randy Phiel and Jim Martin will defend their seats along with Democratic incumbent Marty Qually and new to the ticket, Harry Stokes. The candidates’ forum will take place just five days before the general election – which will give the public a chance to ask questions and educate themselves about the candidates. Topics on local economy, fiscal responsibility, growth, and preservation are expected to be front and center.

The forum, hosted by the Emmitsburg News-Journal (ENJ) will give the four candidates an opportunity to go head-to-head on a number of key issues - the Adams County Commissioner debate will be moderated by Carroll Valley Mayor Ron Harris and Fairfield Mayor Bob Stanley. The four candidates will be given three sets of pre-determined questions with three minutes to answer each one; should another candidate be mentioned in their answers, said candidate will be given one minute to respond. The candidates are looking forward to addressing the topics and to discussing issues with the voters.

Randy Phiel asks "what are the significant factors that facilitate good government- when government seems so dysfunctional these days?" Phiel suggests things like experience, leadership, common sense, community resources, strong fiscal management, communication and civility. Phiel reports proudly that after almost four years the current Board of Adams County Commissioners takes those attributes, applies and manages the affairs of Adams County in a manner that the majority residents find effective and commendable. He said, "Many residents tell me they appreciate that method of governing and the results. I respectfully ask for your support in re-electing this Board to continue common sense county government."

Harry Stokes of Gettysburg is running again for Adams County Commissioner – he believes the present board has lost its way and needs an experienced leader. "I want to provide better economic development policy for Adams County. We need to support our farmers, growers and local businesses," Stokes said. "We must realize that our quality of life is our biggest draw for new business and we want these new businesses to be a good fit for Adams County." Stokes also emphasized: We must reduce the cost of county government and start paying down the county debt, which now exceeds $90 million."

For Jim Martin, seeking re-election is not about securing a victory trophy, but to fulfill a responsibility to serve Adams County. That responsibility is to bring forward into a second-term proven experience, leadership, common sense, and vision. These four cornerstones combined with my full-time dedication to public office, has repeatedly been met with constant public approval to run for a second term. Martin says "The future of Adams County will be determined by voters on November 3. They can vote with confidence that I am more than just a resume, but a highly qualified candidate to keep Adams County moving forward."

Marty Qually explains – "My wife and I raise our children to keep their word. Four years ago

I promised to reduce expensive County rents, replace an outdated 911 radio system, and strengthen the County's fiscal status. We now have lower rents, a modern 911 system, and a historically high Bond rating." "The next four years I will focus on improving preservation and economic development efforts, strengthening our finances, and streamlining County government, said Qually. My consensus building style, open door policy, and hard work ethic have been the difference between success and failure. We are no longer mired in division, but instead poised for success!"

As part of this paper’s desire to education the voters on issues of importance, we have approached the Gettysburg Times to co-host the event in an effort to maximize coverage. ENJ Editor Michael Hillman explained - "Because of the dates of our publication, the Gettysburg Times will be cover and print the results of the October forum the weekend before the elections. We have a vested interest in educating the voters, and, we work well together."

Further, Hillman said that its extremely important to have a good turn-out to these kinds of debates – they hold the candidates accountable to the voters, and it also shows the candidates that the voters have a vested interest in them. We hope to see a large turnout for this public forum. If people don’t show up to ask the questions, or voice their concerns, why bother complaining? Remember folks, it’s your county, your community, and your future."

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