By Matthew Chin and Kirsten Marie Frese
BALTIMORE – Voters in Central Maryland run the gamut on what they think the important issues are in November’s elections. But there is one message they agree their elected officials should hear: Do your job.
At a time when the Clinton scandal is grabbing headlines, voters said they want their elected officials to set aside political rhetoric and extracurricular activities and concentrate on their jobs.
Jennifer Joram put it more bluntly.
“Don’t have sex on the job,” said Joram, a 20-year-old student from Eldersburg. “Remember you represent the country as a whole.”
Rob McConnell, 27, a retail manager from Eldersburg, said elected officials need to stop their bickering and start focusing on public’s business.
“Sometimes it seems like once you get in office, [with] all the mudslinging, you can’t concentrate on what you are going to do,” he said.
Capital News Service talked with 38 voters on Oct. 1 in malls, markets and other public places in Baltimore City and Carroll County.
In Baltimore’s Lexington Market, Greg Pride paused during lunch to say he wants his congressman to vigorously represent his constituents on issues important to the community.
Pride, a Baltimore corrections officer, said over the din of the crowded market that the qualities he looks for in a public official are “honesty, sincerity, aggressiveness. A go-getter for the people.”
Robert Allen Morrison suggests the only way for elected officials to keep in touch with the communities they represent is for them to wear down some shoe leather.
“Get out more, deal with people on the street, be more personal,” said Morrison, 47, a welder from Baltimore.
Will Taylor, 52, an Eldersburg auto shop owner, wants his elected representatives to turn their attention to small businesses.
“Everything is based on corporate America and large corporations, when the small business owner has to be concerned with how much to pay for a pencil,” Taylor said.
Other voters said they want elected officials who will represent all their constituents — including the less well- heeled.
“The rich never have the same interests as the poor,” said William Harris, 41, a cable contractor from Baltimore.
Harris said the governor and other elected officials need to have the foresight to see the long-term effects of their actions.
“Work hard for the future, make sure to provide for the next generation,” he said.
Harris said he has his own vision of a better future — it’s Nov. 4, the day after the general election.
“I like when [elections] are over; campaigns, they are in your face,” he said.