Letters to the Editor: Seeds runs for Hurlock mayor; Loss of county staff; Rep. Harris and infrastructure; Franchot and debt relief


Seeds running for Hurlock mayor
I, Janet Seeds, am running for the Mayor of Hurlock. Being a 33-year resident of Hurlock, I have witnessed numerous changes. Throughout the years, I have been quite active in Dorchester County.
I was a substitute teacher and have been a Home and Hospital Teacher for the Board of Education for over 25 years. Combined with being a therapeutic foster parent to over 250 children, being a children’s ministry director, and facilitating youth groups, I have developed many relationships with families throughout the community. I was a Health Educator at the Dorchester County Health Department, serving as the Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Coordinator, for 14 years. During that time, coalitions were formed, relationships were made, partnerships were built, technical training was provided, and numerous events were planned for the county.

My leadership skills were quite evident as I educated Dorchester County residents about the dangers of substance abuse.
I then became the Public Information Officer at the Maryland Board of Pharmacy. In this role, I directed the public relations unit and was involved with the Emergency Preparedness Task Force (essential in development of the Maryland State Emergency Plan).

As a Consultant for Relation ‘SEEDS’, I have provided training to child care workers across the Eastern Shore; provided parenting and family therapy sessions; implemented professional trainings; been an addictions therapist; been an Adjunct Professor; trained therapeutic staff and foster parents; and I am continuing to provide these services.

The more I have gone campaigning door-to-door, the more convinced I am that I want to be mayor. I would like to see the sense of community restored to our town, but it truly begins with the residents. By assuring the Hurlock residents that their views are important, and will be confronted, people can begin to have more confidence in the leadership of their town. I would like to encourage people to attend the town meetings. Garnering more support and active participation from churches and community agencies can provide more choices for our residents. With my community outreach background and leadership skills, I would like to encourage creative ways of distributing funds throughout Hurlock to create various activities in which members of town have expressed interest.

Forming, maintaining, and developing partnerships with key people in town, local government, and state officials is something that I feel confident in achieving. Not being a typical politician, I refuse to make empty promises, but I do promise to always listen to you, get to know you, and serve the residents of Hurlock.
Janet Seeds

Wake-up call
Dave Ryan’s Sept. 8 story [Dorchester Banner, “Recent resignations at Detention Center, Finance Office”] about Dorchester County’s difficulty maintaining employment of key leaders is, or should be, a wake-up call to county residents. My career experience leading a non-profit healthcare agency with 120 employees over 26 years taught me that retention of employees in general, and leadership in particular, is crucial to long-term mission success. Typical turnover rates in my industry were 10% and up; ours was under 5%.

Obviously, Dorchester County has a serious problem. It doesn’t matter one iota why any given individual left his or her position; what matters is the trend, and the trend makes clear that county employment, particularly at the management level, is awkward at best, untenable at worst. When middle management votes with its feet, look to the top management and governing structure and make necessary change.

Richard Bearman

Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit
As students return to colleges and universities – many for the first time in more than a year – COVID-19 lingers and continues to impact their collegiate experience.
At the same time, another dilemma looms large for many students and their families: How to pay for that education.
As Maryland’s Comptroller, I want to make sure all taxpayers have the information they need to receive any tax relief possible. Maryland’s Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit can help save you money, but you need to act fast because the deadline to apply is Sept. 15.

The program, which is administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), provides an income tax credit for Maryland residents making eligible undergraduate and/or graduate education payments on loans from an accredited college or university. These include loans obtained in pursuit of an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, professional graduate, doctoral or post-doctoral degrees.
To be eligible, you must also meet these criteria:
• File 2021 Maryland state income taxes.
• Have incurred at least $20,000 in undergraduate and/or graduate student loan debt.
• Have at least $5,000 in outstanding student loan debt remaining when applying for the tax credit.
Applications for this credit must be sent by Sept. 15. You’ll need to provide the required graduate and/or undergraduate student loan information, including Maryland income tax information and college transcripts.

MHEC will prioritize tax credit recipients and amounts based on qualified taxpayers who have higher debt burden to income ratios, graduated from an institution of higher education located in Maryland, did not receive a tax credit in a prior year and were eligible for in-state tuition.

Selected recipients must show that they used the full amount of the tax credit for the repayment of eligible student loans. If that cannot be verified, you may have to repay the credit.
If you or someone you know may be eligible for this tax credit, I urge you to spread the word and apply by September 15.

For more information or if you have additional questions, contact the Maryland Higher Education Commission at 410-767-3300 or 1-800-974-0203 or https://mhec.maryland.gov/.
And, of course, I want to extend my best wishes to students, parents, faculty, support staff and administrators embarking on another semester at all our fantastic colleges and universities. I am grateful for all the work you do in the face of our current challenges.
Peter Franchot

Group wants Rep. Harris to support infrastructure bill
On Aug. 10, in an act that proved bi-partisanship in our national politics is not entirely dead, the Senate passed the bipartisan infrastructure package on a 69-30 bipartisan vote. This common-sense package will include funding for bridges, roads, railroads, power grids, broadband internet, water pipes, cybersecurity, climate change mitigation, public transportation, highway safety, airports, and more.
This investment in crucial infrastructure in our country will be the key to truly get our economy back on track and allow us to catch up with other global powers in terms of infrastructure.

With the bill now on its way to the House of Representatives for a final vote before heading to President Biden’s desk, Decency For District One has started a petition campaign to demand that Congressman Andy Harris votes in support of the bi-partisan bill when it comes to a vote in a few weeks.
We encourage constituents to join our effort by signing our petition at https://tinyurl.com/4zp45cen or call on Congressman Andy Harris to vote in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Funding in the bi-partisan infrastructure bill includes:

• $110 billion for building and repairing roads and bridges across the country.
• $66 billion for railroad upgrades
• $65 billion for updates to older power lines and cables and investments in ways to ensure the power grid is not hacked.
• $65 billion on expanding broadband in rural areas and low-income communities.
• $55 billion for clean water, replacing lead pipes, and upgraded water infrastructure
• $47 billion for better resilience in cybersecurity and climate change mitigation.
• $39 billion in Public transit to upgrade and fix the 40% of buses and 23% of subway and rail cars that are currently in poor shape.
• $25 billion in Airport funding for major upgrades and expansions at U.S. airports. About $5 billion would go specifically toward upgrading air traffic control towers and systems.
• $21 billion to fund clean-up projects for brownfield and superfund sites, abandoned mines, and old oil and gas wells that need to be plugged.
• $17 billion in significant investment in various port infrastructures. About half the money goes for the Army Corps of Engineers. There is also money for the Coast Guard, and ferry terminals, and efforts to reduce truck emissions at ports.
• $11 billion for highway safety, pedestrian safety, pipeline safety, and ways to prevent crashes into animals.
Decency For District 1
Bel Air