Letter to the Editor,

October 30, 2014

letter-envelope-clip-artDear Editor,

His name is John O’Connor. Again, his name is John O’Connor. A name his friends and family know to be synonymous with integrity, honor, and respect.

Mr. O’Connor has shown that he knows how the budget process works, and that how the school spends its money is something he cannot control, but can demand accountability for. Placing tablets in every classroom is a wonderful idea in a perfect world, but who is going to pay for the expenses associated with all of the support staff, the cost of downloading new E-books, IT Infrastructure, theft, loss, and damage. There is a costly breakdown for this idea. There are approximately 17,840 students in the St. Mary’s County school system (http://www.smcps.org/schools). Even if there was a bulk deal on these tablets they could cost up to $300.00 each. That is a total cost of $5,352,000.00.

Meanwhile, we have schools with classes in trailers, teachers not getting their step increases (or appropriate pay), and a slew of other problems, that if that type of money were even available…would be better served going to one of the above listed problems. Tablets will not provide a better education: our teachers WILL. Teachers that could educate in adequate facilities, pay, and extracurricular programs were $5,352,000.00 available.

John O’Connor’s opponent is for raising rates on Metcom and its expansion and, yet, he has never taken a firm stance on taxes. However, the opponent does want to make it easier for you to pay your taxes via ATM, DEBIT, and Credit Card all the while eliminating jobs right here in St Mary’s County by automating the systems. (Mr. Pogue stated this in his Letter to the Editor) Two problems arise from this proposed ‘solution.’ The opponent wants to eliminate jobs in our county, and he wants you to pay your taxes with a credit card, so you can pay interest on your taxes as well. So those County Government Employees, who lost their jobs to automated systems, can pay their increased taxes (which will increase to pay for the $5 million tablets) on their credit cards and use their unemployment checks to attempt and make ends meet. Thank you to Mr. Pogue for pointing out those critical facts, as I am sure you speak with the full authority of your candidate.

Building permits are primarily a local issue with laws handed down by the state, and while it may seem cumbersome these measures are in place to protect our rural roots, and infrastructure from becoming overly burdened. It is obvious to see that Mr. O’Connor’s opponent is, yet again, not focused on the real issues at hand. He is more worried about pandering to the select few, the bourgeoisie, which have had delays in opening their store because of the State Highway, Water, and Sewer. The little people, the middle class and blue collar Americans, get stepped on again.

Mr. O’Connor’s opponent’s campaign manager also wrote that Mr. O’Connor’s was not listed in the phone book. This is correct, yes. There is a reason for this; O’Connor’s home address and home telephone number are not listed is for the safety of his family. He is a former police officer and a current law enforcement family. So, you are correct Mr. Pogue, Mr. O’Connor will not publicize his home address or private home telephone number.

However, if you search his campaign page you will get a telephone number and the address of his business, located right in Leonardtown where the door is open to anyone.

Mr. Pouge has said it himself in his endorsement on the BayNet.com. Mr. O’Connor’ opponent will never give an automatic “NO.” That is exactly why he is has received multiple endorsements. He is writing checks that the tax payers have to cash. Doing what is popular is not always right and doing what is right is not always popular. A childhood lesson that Mr. O’Connor follows in his everyday life, does his opponent? Mr. O’Connor is not ‘from’ this county, yet calls it home, and does not receive endorsements due to his lineage being elsewhere. Again, his opponent promoting on what is popular…not right.

Mr. O’Connor is worried about the priorities in this county that will affect every person who lives and works in St. Mary’s. Mr. O’Connor has his priorities in the right order and that is the people first. St. Mary’s County NEEDS a fresh point of view, a difference in generation, and sometimes: brutal honesty. That is why John O’Connor is my choice for County Commissioner, District 3.

Your Local Golden Beach Resident,
Lauren Wilkes