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Behind the traditional tribal dances are serious issues for Native Americans celebrating at a local How do you what Harford County Executive candidates think is important to voters. This. Is. Mary. Good evening everyone. I'm Neal Conan and I'm Jeff Saucony. We begin tonight with a look at a Native American tradition a trowel in tonight's State of the Arts. We're going to go behind all the pageantry and get to the bottom of the important issues and concerns facing many Native Americans. This is the 24th year the Baltimore American Indian Center has held this Powai a three day traditional event with American Indian tribes from all over the country and Maryland. Now in addition to the vibrant tribal dances that you just saw music there are authentic crafts including paintings clothing pottery
and beadwork. Earlier today I spoke with the executive director of the Baltimore American Indian Center. Milton hunt. Melvins tell us something about the Baltimore American Indian Center. In 1968 the Baltimore American Indian Center was founded as an organization to provide social economic employment community services to Native Americans who migrated from the south the Baltimore. Somewhere along the line of 1983 Currently we changed the name from the American Indian Studies Center to the Baltimore American Indian Center. While we're now on our 30th year of operation and I'm proud to tell you we've been servicing thousands of Native Americans from everything from homeless services job employment training food services energy programs. Not to mention our culture program which is probably the mainstay of what we do to provide the culture back to our communities. Why is it so important to preserve your culture not just for American Indians but for others too.
For criminals that's all we have. That's who we are. That's what makes us all unique. As a Native American child remember growing up being Chalons on many occasions by people ask me what race are you what nationality you black are you white Are you Jewish Hispanic. I mean I was asked several times but the one thing that I cling to was my Native American heritage and that got me through a lot of troubled times because in the height of busing and racism as I remember here I am standing in this island all by myself saying yes I'm Native American. And then having to be proud of that knowing who I am that is very important. We're all different in many ways. We all have something unique and unique. This to me is that I'm a product of this country and I'm a full blooded American Indian. So that gives me a lot of pride and I can be proud and when. You look around and you see all of these cultural activities and you may think that that's all there is to the American Indians that there are some real. Pressing. Issues facing. The American Indian community. You bring up a very good point. Today we have to do this to
educate the non-native. They will come out and see us perform our festive dances in our regalia. Bill C-R are arts and crafts jewelry. They'll learn about our culture and this is the only way and this is our platform and educating them. But you're right there's a lot of pressing issues. For example we graduate less than 50 percent of our children. What a pressing issue that is when you look at education being the mainstay of competing in society we have a high alcoholism rate. We notice that our health issues are on the rise. So as a Native American We're having a lot of problems in our communities. What about AIDS. Well HIV is on the rise in our community because our community is such a tight knit community. Carmel what happens is the needle shares in the community who are such a small tight group. We find that when one is infected it's not long before that happens and becomes very widespread within this small group of people. Felt part of the Baltimore City really doesn't have any data to help support the real numbers. But we believe that it's far more a
bigger issue than they make it out to be. And I guess that's because when you look at the Native American population we're one quarter of 1 percent of the population for Baltimore City. So while our problems tend to be small. Think about them in the context of the larger community and what it means when this small group has such a tremendous crisis and it. Does sometimes feel like a forgotten people. I don't know. If we're as much forgotten is it just. They don't really recognize that maybe that is forgetfulness but it's not even it's not even fair that they don't even really understand who we are. Why we're such an important part of this state. And we're so unique. People really don't even know who we are and what we do what makes us so special. Yes you could say I feel like we're forgotten to some degree. Do you find that you have to. Walk into worlds in order to be recognized. Well I had a good friend of mine named Nora Stanley who said Why come why. Why can't I as a Native American woman carry an evil feather in
one hand in a Wall Street Journal and the other. And I just loved that quote. And I believe we do. I believe we have to walk in our native world as well as the world society has for us because currently we all have to adapt to this society this is where we live. And we also have something that makes us special and that's the world in which we come from. So yes we do walk into worlds and we were very softly in those worlds because we've come to appreciate those things that this world has for us as well as our native world. What do you think people should know about American Indians in this state. Number one I would I would ask them to be aware of and be conscious that we're here. I would want them to know we're very proud group of people while you look at other minority groups I see them always in the forefront. Making their positions known and a lot of times you'll hear them. Chanting their cause and I feel like sometimes we sit in the back and our pride and don't tell the population in the community in the state what our issues are. So I want people to know we're here. And I want them to know that your child may be sitting next to my child in school.
And that while he may be you need to be Native American your child certainly unique and special being who they are and that does it. That doesn't make me any better or them any better than us. We all have to learn to get along. And I'm hoping that the state of Maryland will soon recognize that there is a large population here. And that we have a lot of needs. This power runs through the weekend and it's that Kagan's civill community college every Friday this month we're inviting county executive candidates to join us for a discussion tonight. We're focusing on Harford County and since there are four candidates we will have a two part discussion. Democratic candidates Arthur Helton and Robert Costa will follow our first discussion now. NEWSNIGHT Maryland's John Albers Sean is with us and the Republican candidates Jim Harkins and David Craig. Good evening gentlemen. Welcome. Good evening. Both of you I would like to hear tell us briefly why you believe you should be the Republican nominee. I believe this election is about choices it's about choice to whether we're going to have good schools safe
communities and build communities and not developments or whether we're going to continue the status quo. And I believe that my experience as a mayor and state senator qualifies me to help the people in making their choices. Take Arkansas. I think it's equally as important to talk about our vision the vision from Harford County where we want to take this county. I would agree that schools and crime and the growth issue is paramount as to where we're going we need a good growth plan in Hartford County and I think I have a vision that will take us there. Mr. Craig Where do you disagree with the status quo. What needs changing. We've got a school system that's undergoing some shocks with change in leadership. And many people want a good school system and it starts at the top with leadership when it comes to growth. The only candidates actually helped write a master plan and the only candidate on either side as a mayor appointed department head planning and zoning. So I had the experience to make tough decisions and change that change the way things have
gone in the last 10 years. Let's talk about the last 10 years in Harford County because I can't imagine a county in Maryland that has changed as dramatically as as Harford in terms of its suburban growth. Has it been a good thing or a bad thing. It's been a good thing to an extent but it's you know too much of a good thing is not a good thing. And that's where people are beginning to see problems. We've overcrowded schools. We don't provide enough open space. We have to provide the police protection that we need. We haven't kept pace with services. So the growth by itself is not a bad thing. It was the government's inability to keep pace with growth manage the growth and directed the right ways that have been the real problem. Mr. Rhodes I think the growth issue. Infrastructure that is what we need to talk about infrastructure dealing with roads dealing with schools dealing with police protection while we have an adequate public facilities program in Harford County. We need a better and a clear road map as to where we're going as opposed to the hodgepodge direction that we've had in the past. I have a plan called holding our ground and this plan will set aside
the state's share of the amusement tax that comes to Harford County. This program will be a flexible program many open space similar to what the state has. This money can be used to purchase agricultural land preservation easements as well as critical recreational areas in waterfalls such as the KILGARIFF falls critical lanes. I think a plan has to. When we talk about this for the future we have to talk about what the plan is where we're going. And then thirdly how we're going to pay for it. And I think my plan includes all those components before we leave the growth area. What would you like to limit do you. Do we have too much residential development in parts of Harford County and not enough commercial development. Or vice versa. Or has it been open season for developers. Right now 54 percent of our citizens get in their car every day and drive out of the county for their job opportunities. One of the things that I want to do is bring good clean
paying jobs to Harford County. We've put out a plan that we call our 40 technology Parkway which will be simulated after the I-270 technology in Montgomery County. We have all the ingredients in place to bring good clean business to Harford County. This technology will allow the the infrastructure that we have to bring in these high tech companies and hopefully keep those folks whom. But the answer to your question in brief is we've had too much over development without a good plan roadmap. Should there be a moratorium on building permits say until the infrastructure catches up with it. Absolutely not. The moratoriums are usually create more problems after the moratorium is over. You have another explosion of growth after that which is equally as bad as what happened before and moratoriums are a bad way to govern. I believe I believe we've had too much residential and commercial growth and I believe as well I would oppose the referendum issue that we have currently simply because it would raise
taxes by 20 percent. It would do the exact opposite of what we would want growth to be. It would force the growth out of the development envelope into the areas that are least able to to take care of it. And we would have not only the problems we have now but the problems all over the county that we have now in the developmental envelope we need a good plan for development and for the future. How does the proving ground fit into the jobs picture. And grant us the economic engine that drives has driven hard for accounting for many many years for at least since beginning before World War II. Even though it's older than that over 10 percent of our jobs are based on Harford County and one reason why we have such a good workforce in Hartford County. My father worked there for 35 years and hired many of the people that were at the proving ground. So we grow up there and we know how important it is and we need to create what I believe what they've done in St. Mary's County with the Patuxent River Naval U.S. Navy the private industry council that will help generate jobs and the everything proving ground area and use everything
around as the economic engine of us for further jobs and in economic development it is number one retaining the biggest employer. It rivals the Port of Baltimore. It produces 500 million dollars per year to Harford County 15000 jobs. We need to partner with the private sector to make sure that we pass over or get passed over on the BRAC closings. Let's talk about public safety for a moment. You've both raised the question of whether the county's infrastructure there and systems have have kept pace with development. How do you think the county is doing and what would you change. Well I I guess I I don't think anyone is tougher on crime than I am for 25 years I've been a police officer. I've served in the general assembly of the Judiciary Committee I brought new technology to Maryland the DNA for example to assisting crime fighting. We need to do a number of things we need to number one put more police officers on the street while we've done that by putting in additional state ten state troopers on as a result of this legislative session. We still have an awful lot more to do. We also need to address the problem of
juvenile crime the entry level criminal is a juvenile and we need to nip that in the bud. One of the things that I've proposed is community impact panels where the juveniles for the first offense would go before a community panel where they wouldn't just be slapped on the finger but we would seriously do something with them so that they wouldn't recidivism and come back into the system over and over again. Mr. Greg before you jump in on this I mean you mentioned more police officers. Mr. Harkins. They don't come free. Where would you get the money. Each police officer would cost us about $60000 to put them on the street. I would propose putting over a period of time more police officers on the street. I don't think anyone's going to sit here and tell you that we're going to raise taxes but we do know each and every year the assessments go up and so the amounts of money that comes in will be increased. But I would not raise taxes but I am going to put more police officers on the streets. Mr. Craig will I be specific I'll put 20 more police officers on the street every year.
The deputies and the deputies in the sheriff's office and our figures so it's probably closer to about $70000. But there is a surplus in the budget this year is going to surplus and the budget each year we can continue to do that. I believe we need an order and precinct as we have a southern precinct. I believe we need to train the officers and spill over crime drug related offenses. We need zero tolerance. We've worked hard to expand the detention center. We do need to use crime units and the sheriff who I've actually taught and I can work very well together to do that and also the only candidate is mayor who actually operated the police department. So however I understand it from top to bottom where we're down to about two minutes I'm going to ask you to take the gloves off for a second and articulate a difference for our viewers. We've talked about we need more police more teachers. Where do you differ. What should voters in the Republican primary use to decide who should be the candidate. Mr. HARKNESS. Well I believe that as we look to the future we have to look at who has the best plan for the future of Harford County. While we can use a lot of rhetoric to talk about
what we've done we've both been in the general assembly for years and we've both had our experiences there. I think we have to look at the record that we've had over our years in government. And I think people need to compare. And I think when they do that they'll look at my record and see that it's a solid record on pass more legislation than my opponent. And I think the bills that I passed have been significant and had an impact on people's lives. And I think that's what they need to look to do for the future. Well I believe that we'll look at experience and say that I'm the only one that has experience that directly relates to being an executive I was an executive a mayor a balanced great and balanced four budgets. I set a vision for the city of having a grace which people still look at and look at with pride. I appointed department heads. I made tough decisions and I would debate with my opponent about the amount of legislation we co-sponsoring legislation is one thing but I was the only delegation actually got legislation out of every committee of the General Assembly. And in the Senate side the last four years and we've been very successful at that statewide legislation.
Mr. Craig Mr. HARKNESS thanks very much for joining us. Thank you. Thank you for having us. Stay with us we'll hear from the Democratic candidates when NEWSNIGHT Maryland. It was one of the greatest adventures of all time. But first they had to face their greatest fears. More than 500 years ago traders dreamed of spices to the riches of India against all lied to push back tears of the young ones where reality began. This. Is the story of those who dared to sail through the rising sun beginning Wednesday August 26. On Empty. This.
Welcome back we have heard from the Republican candidates for Harford County executive. Now let's meet the Democratic candidates Arthur Helton and Robert cars. Welcome to both of you. Mr. Keller let's begin with a quick description for viewers of why you should be the Democratic nominee. Well I think I'm the most qualified to do the job. My interest and concerns in Harper County are very deep rooted. I grew up there. I raised my family there from my business as there are for counties a very special place for me. It's a place that our future is going to hold dear. If we do the right things I think I possess the skills necessary to do the job. I'm a former member of the Harford County Council. I am a former two term member of the Maryland Senate. I've been active as a farmer. I've been active as a business man in our county run successful businesses. I think you know these experiences uniquely qualified me to do the job as county executive.
Mr. Cox. I'm the rookie in this whole campaign. I guess I'm not a career politician. I'm a businessman of 25 years. I've looked at this county for two and a half years. I have to be honest with you folks I've been devastated for what has happened to our citizens and with my business experience and with the plans that I have. I think I am the most qualified. That not only has the vision but the leadership to get us through this next two years which is going to be difficult. One of the questions pollsters frequently asked voters is are we on the right track or wrong track is Harford County right now on the right track or wrong track what do you need to change directions. Well I think we need to restrict residential development in our county. We have a referendum question on about right now where the citizens are frustrated and upset with the direction our county is taking as county executive. I would initiate a lot of reform to bring residential development into them were slowed
controlled pace. There's a number of initiatives are controlled to control development including ag land preservation program development of a transfer of development right the program. All these issues are going to require leadership. I think my background as a legislator and a businessman who will have the courage to do the job. You support or oppose the ballot referendum. Well I think it's a very difficult thing to look at the frustration on people's minds and and see how they arrived at that. That's not the best way to go. I think we did develop alternatives. And if I was a county executive we would need to change our charter. I would develop initiatives necessary to change the direction of our county. Mr. cuz. Where anyone are on track. We've been on the wrong track for over 10 years. Part Two and a half years I've taken the time to go in each and every one of our local
areas. The housing situation is terrible. There's no open ground in 24 and 40 court or there is no place for our children to play. We have said nothing for these people. And I support the moratorium and referendum and a reason I do. It's a basic principle for citizens who are fed up. They have had enough to get this to the public to vote. We've got too many empty promises. Over and over again. And all you hear is the same thing. I'm going to take care. They haven't taken care of their jokes in the 24 40 quarter that I've heard it different politician meetings and we're all well it's the age limit or it's the speed limit. This is ridiculous. We can do better for our citizens. I have seen so much in those areas that need so much attention. There's not an easy question that you can give me to say well where would you start. It's hard to start but we need to start somewhere. My plan is going to be basically a tax we did a relief tax and it's going to be for new development and it's going to be used directly against the developers.
They are reaping profits from our communities and we want them to fix our infrastructure. We have in the schools hundred twenty three percent. What these candidates Republicans and Democrats aren't telling you is this is an issue for citizens. This is bipartisan. This has nothing to do with whether you're a Republican or a Democrat. We have 123 percent overload in school our children are using temporary classrooms and not only that the education is diminished so bad we have taken away their basic youth rights. There's no sports doesn't taxing developers push up housing cost. No sir. The plan that I have is in effect the man or the county it is in effect now in Virginia and it's been useful in Denver and also in other states such as California. It slows growth but it gives us an opportunity a conservative figures 150 to 200 million dollars to throw back into our system. And I will remind you not one red dime comes from the current citizens of Harper County. This is something for us to fix our schools. They want to hire more police. I've seen the budget. Twelve hundred pages. There's no money for that. They want to talk about police for every five police you hire. What about prosecutors.
You need two prosecutors to take that load. No one talks about that. All right let me ask Mr. Hilton for his position on that sort of impact fee or a development tax. Well I support a transfer a development right program which is somewhat of that and under under that program you would have to pay a developer would have to pay for a right to develop and he would have to buy that right from the location in the county that previously hold for one so that preserves and land and preserves development rights and other areas. Let me turn the topic to public safety. We've heard that that's one of the areas where the county's growth in terms of population has outstripped its infrastructure and and human resources in terms of policemen firefighters and so forth. How do you feel about that. What would you do about it and how would you pay for any changes. Well there's no question that our county is lagging in the amount of officers that we have on the street. And we need to boost that we need a more forceful community planning a police effort and we've already established a
substation in the Edgewood section of our county. We're going to have to increase our economic stimulus or increase small business development are going to pay for that. And I have a plan to do that 80 percent of the growth in the county that's going to occur is going to occur from small businesses either growing or starting or expanding. And I would develop in the office of economic development and increase awareness of that and staff that department to assist those small businesses. Our citizens are paying two hours and 73 cents per hunter on property value. I had my trash I pay to pick up I'm own well and septic something happens I pay if my community association tells me my road's bad. The county says it's their problem. I pay. We have all volunteer fire E-M that's the same roads that are overburdened. These gentlemen ladies have to use one to get to the fire station and to get to you to help you. We have serious problems in Hartford County. Our taxpayers have paid enough for services that this county has subcontracted out
between our trash rubble landfills and even the most important lives and property our citizens are totally giving the fire departments with no oversight. And that's why I've said earlier in the beginning of the show and I'll say it again I am the right man to lead this county into the next century. But more importantly next two years because we need changes we need changes today. So you're talking about a professional fire service. No sir. I think what you do is you start a 24 40 court or we need supervision. The county at this point for example if you would call with a complaint our citizens have new venue to air their disagreements or anything else. I want to put in paid supervisors first on what to do. Basically a program in the 24 40 corridor where I will have paid paramedics on site on immediate call rate. Now if you call the fire department there's no one there. It goes through dispatch. People have to leave their homes. And I remind you everybody says this is the good old days. Husbands and wives work. There's not very many people sitting home we don't have an observatory anymore where women just go. Everybody is working and that's hurting the volunteer system because we don't have
enough with tears. We've got great volunteers and they do a great job but they need leadership through Harford County. Let me just ask Mr. Helton real fast if the county needs to hire paramedics. No. Well one of our bright spots is our voluntary mail service and our police and our fire service. Matter of fact they do an outstanding job. They saved the county millions of dollars. That's a program that's not broken. We don't need to fix it and we can save the citizens millions of dollars and services at some point do you have to go professional. There may be a point that we have to but I don't think that points eminent and I think that we're readily respond to calls both fire and the I'm sorry that's relative to the rest of the state Hartford counties per pupil spending in its schools is on the low side. Do you need more teachers. We do need more teachers but we also need more classrooms to house more teachers. We've got overcrowded classes. We have a need for school construction and school construction and we have a need for renovation and expansion of some schools. So it will really be
important to expand the ratio of students of teachers to students particularly in the formative years and we need to get about that. We need some classrooms to do that. Guys were down to half minutes. The last word August 21 out of 24 subdivisions and funding our children's education. We have 2500 teachers 1300 always are support personnel. Our schools we've built the new school the brick mortar is not even dry. We have seven portable trailer trailers in the back housing our students. We need to do more for education. But you won't hear any other plane that's going to put the infusion of money that I will in Harford County. That again not costing the taxpayers a dime. That will fix these problem vastly improving the quality of life our Afghani citizens. Robert Costa and Arthur Helton the Democratic candidates for county executive in Harford County thanks for joining us here. Thank you. That is all for tonight's edition of NEWSNIGHT. Maryland joined us on Monday. Our school uniforms a good idea. Your child might say no. Some schools are warming up to the idea. For all of us here at NEWSNIGHT. Marilyn thanks for watching. Good night.
Newsnight Maryland
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NewsNight Maryland Show #300 Indian Pow-Wow
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Chicago: “Newsnight Maryland; 300,” 1998-08-21, Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 27, 2022,
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APA: Newsnight Maryland; 300. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from