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Politics: always in season

“I think that I’m very qualified and I think I’d make the best judge.”

Joseph M. Stanalonis, prosecutor with the state’s attorney’s office, in January. Stanalonis lost the judicial election to David W. Densford in November.

“They forget I have prosecuted cases. They forget I have been on both sides, with domestic and civil cases for 27 years.”

Densford on his qualifications.

“It’s a sad attempt by supporters of my opponent to once again try to tell the people of St. Mary’s County who they want for judge.”

Stanalonis about a judicial campaign conduct committee’s findings that claimed Stanalonis violated state judicial conduct standards.

“It’s been a great nine months.”

Densford upon winning the election. He had been serving on the circuit bench since his appointment by the governor in December 2011.

“I’m going to get back to my regular job of working for the people of St. Mary’s County, as a prosecutor.”

Stanalonis after his defeat. Densford received 52 percent of the votes to 48 percent for Stanalonis.

“My highest priority is to continue to make Leonardtown the best place to live, work and play in Southern Maryland.”

Dan Burris, who filed in January to become the new mayor of Leonardtown. He won the election against Thomas A. Mattingly Sr., a former three-term county commissioner.

“If the people in Leonardtown are happy, I’m happy.”

Mattingly, after losing to Burris.

“Thirty-one years in the Congress, 14 years in the state Senate — what has he done for us?”

Del. Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s) in January on his run against Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th).

“I’m ready to kick some tail.”

O’Donnell in September.

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of in fighting the good fight.”

O’Donnell after losing the election in District 5 overall, as well as the vote in both St. Mary’s and Calvert counties.

“At some point you just have to recognize that if people want something, that’s what a democracy is.”

Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary’s) in February on supporting gay marriage during the 2012 session of the General Assembly. Maryland voters approved it in the November election. St. Mary’s voters voted against Question 6, 25,971 by a tally of votes to 20,606.

“I believe that extending the definition of marriage to committed relationships between two people, irrespective of their sex, is the right thing to do and will not, in any way, undermine the institution of marriage.”

Hoyer on same-sex marriage.

“I think the voters provide the ultimate term limits. If I’m not doing my job, then voters are going to let me know.”

Cathy Allen, member of the board of education, in March. She won re-election in November to a fourth term.

“They’re going to try and raise taxes on everything they can find. It’s unfortunate, but we have a legislature that loves to raise taxes.”

Del. John F. Wood Jr. (D-St. Mary’s, Charles) in January.

“What universe is he living in? It’s not the universe I see the citizens of Maryland living in.”

Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R-Upper Shore) on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal to raise several taxes in January.

“I know that every family is still feeling the hurt of this recession, nobody else is going to do this for us.”

O’Malley (D) calling for a tax hike on gasoline. No such tax was passed.

“I think what’s going to happen is you’re going to see almost an adverse relationship between the rural areas and the more urbanized areas of the state.”

Sen. Roy Dyson (D-St. Mary’s, Calvert, Charles) on new state land-use laws.

“In my career, this is the largest environmental change being contemplated.”

Daryl Calvano, director of environmental health for the St. Mary’s County Health Department, on the federal Watershed Implementation Plan to reduce pollutants from entering the Chesapeake Bay.

“This plan pretty much takes Southern Maryland, puts a gate across the highways and says ‘No more.’”

Wood on PlanMaryland, a state land-use policy to direct growth into designated areas.

“If we don’t do this right, we could end up bearing a huge burden for the entire state in meeting some of the goals.”

Bohanan on PlanMaryland.

“The old Democratic Party is dying out. The old line of folks are dying off.”

St. Mary’s County Commission President Jack Russell (R) in March on the number of Republicans finally overtaking the number of Democrats in St. Mary’s after generations of a Democratic majority.

“These guys are like tax addicts and we should not go into special session because they crave another tax increase.”

O’Donnell in April at the end of the General Assembly, which did not pass a budget as constitutionally required within its 90-day session.

Law and order

“I apologize. I should not have been driving.”

John Patrick Kravats in court, sentenced to a year in jail for a crash with a school bus on Nov. 22, 2011, that injured 15 students. Kravats was under the influence of alcohol during the accident.

“I don’t see how a long prison sentence is going to be useful to Ms. Findlay.”

Judge Karen Abrams in February about her five-year prison sentence to Joanna Joyce Findlay, convicted of killing her husband in 2010. In December, she was released from prison to be deported to her native Scotland.

“That’s a testament to the discipline of the people who were on the scene. The negotiations were very successful. That’s our goal in every single case, a peaceful resolution.”

Sheriff Tim Cameron (R) on a barricade situation in March where a man allegedly shot at police.

“She remodeled her kitchen with the company card, bought three cars and sent her family on trips all over the place.”

St. Mary’s Assistant State’s Attorney Daniel White in May on Cortina Lynn Nelson, who agreed to pay $100,000 in restitution for theft.

“The state of Maryland takes threatening a public official seriously, and so do I.”

St. Mary’s Circuit Judge David W. Densford about a charge against Jake Christopher Horn that he threatened a judge and state’s attorney online in May.

“While you may not be a predator, you are a manipulator.”

Visiting Prince George’s County Circuit Judge Sean Wallace to John Waring Raley, who was sentenced to 18 months in jail in July for a guilty plea to abuse of a vulnerable adult.

“I’ll bet you the public doesn’t even know they are here. I believe they belong in prison.”

St. Mary’s sheriff’s Capt. Mike Merican on inmates being sent to the county jail for sentences longer than 18 months.

“It was an accident that took place because of a grossly negligent act, traveling 80 miles per hour in the dark of night.”

Prince George’s County Visiting Circuit Judge Graydon S. McKee III after sentencing Jarron Alonzo Jennings in August to 18 months in jail for vehicular manslaughter in the 2010 death of Richard Arland Jackson at Maryland International Raceway in Budds Creek. Jennings was released to home detention later in the year for a knee surgery.

“His focus was to become a police officer here in St. Mary’s County, and I think he would have been a great one.”

Sheriff Tim Cameron (R) on the death of 17-year-old Tyler Brett Mattingly, a student intern, in a car accident in August.

“I feel as much the victim as anybody else. I don’t see that I am the predator that this has pretty much made me out to be.”

Gwan Jamal Ball, sentenced to 15 years in prison for committing a second-degree sexual offense in 2011 with a 12-year-old girl.

“This has been the most under-investigated and overcharged case in the history of St. Mary’s County.”

Attorney James F. Farmer in August on a case where his client, Robert William Rice Jr., was charged for vehicular manslaughter that killed two women in a Callaway crash. Rice was sentenced in November to five years in prison.

“He was completely aware of what he was doing. He was completely aware of the risk that he was posing to other individuals on the road.”

Prince George’s Circuit Judge Maureen M. Lamasney on the conviction of Rice.

“Lexington Park is not a safe place right now. That’s got nothing to do with my business. I can’t control what goes on in the park.”

Kris Greer, licensee of The Lexington Restaurant and Lounge, in front of the St. Mary’s liquor board on a fight and shooting that happened outside the business in July.

School days

“Maintenance of effort is a floor … If you can afford more, then, by God, you should be putting more into education.”

Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary’s) in January.

“Throwing money into a system does not necessarily produce the best value.”

Del. Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s) on school spending in February.

“I can’t change how the legislators choose how to use some of the data.”

Elaine Kramer, chief financial officer of St. Mary’s County government, on state rankings of education funding.

“We’ve been watching the train come down the track and we’ve been trying to alert the trainmaster … But the crash seems to be imminent.”

Cathy Allen, member of the St. Mary’s school board, on shifting some teacher pension costs from the state to the counties.

“Anytime you reduce the oxygen to the brain, which is pretty much what’s happening [during the knockout challenge], there’s always possible injury to the brain.”

Trish Wince, supervisor of health services for St. Mary’s public schools, on a game where students make themselves pass out.

“All of our elementary schools today are in the red, in terms of seats in the building, except one, and that will be shortly.”

Brad Clements, deputy superintendent of schools, on the need to buy land for more schools.

“We’re going to tap into that $30 million fund balance.”

Superintendent Michael Martirano in February on county government’s $30 million in unspent money. The commissioners used $10.56 million of the money for retiree benefits and to forward fund building projects.

“We will not tolerate any type of racism in our schools and will deal with it aggressively.”

Martirano after a student fight at Leonardtown High School which was deemed a “racially baiting interaction.”

“I think parents are scratching their heads wondering how they’re going to afford it.”

Peg Duchesne, trustee of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, in March on a 4 percent hike in tuition at the institution.

“I am thrilled to report we didn’t have any snow [cancellations] this year.”

Martirano on the mild winter of 2011-2012.

“I don’t think I’ve ever taught the same lesson twice. My husband calls me the oldest first-year teacher.”

Bernadette Scheetz, a math teacher at Esperanza Middle School. She was named teacher of the year in St. Mary’s public schools.

“Today, the bachelor’s degree is what the high school degree used to be. More and more employers are looking for higher levels of skill.”

Mel Powell, executive director of the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in June.

“I hope to be working here for many years to come.”

Martirano after his employment contract was renewed by the school board in July at an annual salary of $216,985.

“Our organization did advocate for that position. I’m just hoping that it’ll remain there and be strengthened through the work she’s doing.”

Janice Walthour, chair of the St. Mary’s NAACP education committee, on the school system’s hiring of Charna Lacey as a diversity and equity specialist.

“None of them will lose their jobs, providing they’re in good standing with the school system.”

Greg Nourse, assistant superintendent of fiscal services and human resources, on a shift in August to move up to 250 employees to a temporary job agency.

Running the county

“It’s a way to try to make things a little bit easier for local people. It’s a conscious effort to try and help local businesses out.”

County Commission President Jack Russell (D) on a local vender preference policy on county bids adopted in February.

“I think attacking this incrementally is the way to go at it.”

Commissioner Dan Morris (R) on the completion of FDR Boulevard from California to Lexington Park.

“Bob Schaller resigned. That’s it.”

Russell on the March 8 resignation of Bob Schaller, director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Economic and Community Development. Schaller later said he was given the option to resign or be fired.

“The email speaks for itself. We’re dealing with public money; it’s not ours.”

County Administrator John Savich on Schaller’s resignation following an email Schaller sent to the school superintendent on behalf of a friend about a propane gas contract.

“If I were an executive director of a noncounty agency, I don’t know [if] I would want to be reliant on county government to fund.”

Commissioner Cindy Jones (R) on reducing funding to nonprofits and other groups outside of county government.

“I doubt it’s in the best interest of St. Mary’s County to do away with them in total.”

Russell on the funding for noncounty agencies.

“We did not elect you to put citizens in a position to lose nonprofits. Fully fund and forget zero.”

Janice Walthour, a retired educator, at a May public hearing on the county budget.

“There’s no reason to be cutting them. There’s so much good that comes out of them. You’re talking about such a small amount of money.”

Commissioner Todd Morgan (R) on the county’s funding to noncounty agencies.

“I’m very comfortable with the direction we’ve taken with the noncounty agencies.”

Jones on the funding reductions she called for, which were adopted.

“There’s thousands and thousands of hours of manpower poured into this since 2005. We were just amazed. We were just floored.”

Developer John K. Parlett on the commissioners’ disregarding the recommendations of a workforce housing task force.

“You’re screwed regardless. There’s nothing you can do, no matter how mad we get.”

Morgan in May on the federal Watershed Implementation Plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

“This is not a tenable plan for any of the counties to consider. We’re in a no-win situation. We can’t afford it.”

Russell in June on the federal Watershed Implementation Plan.

“These aren’t criminals we’re dealing with. These are people trying to make a living.”

Morris on scaling back enforcement on the proliferation of liquor store signs in May.

“Someone has created a perception.”

Commissioner Larry Jarboe (R), who offered to sell his old lumber mill property to the College of Southern Maryland this year, while he voted to remove a public sewer project in Charlotte Hall, where the college is looking for land.

“That’s easy for me. I would just abstain from all of it.”

Jarboe on the possibility of the College of Southern Maryland asking for money to buy land in Charlotte Hall for a new campus.

“What a prize that would be to have a fourth college campus in St. Mary’s County.”

Parlett, who also offered to sell land to the College of Southern Maryland.

“It was an unexpected turn of events.”

Jacquelyn Meiser, director of the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission, of the county commissioners’ decision to remove a public sewer project out of Charlotte Hall, a town center.

“If [Jarboe] wants it in Hughesville, why not withdraw his land?”

Former Commissioner Thomas A. Mattingly Sr. on Commissioner Jarboe’s comments on where a new College of Southern Maryland campus should go.

“I’ll let the people of St. Mary’s County make a determination of how the board of education has responded to accountability.”

Jones after approving the school system’s budget in June at a commissioner meeting where no elected school officials attended.

“We always demonstrate accountability to the commissioners and more importantly, at least to me, the public.”

School board member Cathy Allen in response.

“I don’t want St. Mary’s County to be a haven for Charles County criminals.”

Jarboe in July after a mutual aid agreement between the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and Charles and Calvert counties was stalled at the St. Mary’s commissioner table.

Military matters

“This fifth-generation fighter behind me is absolutely vital to maintaining our air superiority. And it will enable the kind of vital operations that we need in anti-access environments.”

Leon Panetta, secretary of defense, speaking of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in January.

“The good news about a BRAC, if that does happen, is that we have been through this process before as a community and have come together.”

Glen Ives, vice president for Sabre Systems and former commander of Pax River, in January on a possible new round of base realignment and closures.

“I’ve heard plenty of water cooler discussions about ‘Gee, we heard you had a UFO come onto the base,’ and that type of thing.”

Capt. Ted Mills, commanding officer of Patuxent River Naval Air Station, in March on the arrival of the unmanned X-47B.

“Who is more likely to be trigger happy, the soldier on the ground or the soldier at the remote control?”

Guy Seidman, lawyer with the Radzyner School of Law, at a forum on the ethics of robotic defense and unmanned warfare.

“The Navy had five of these aircraft until yesterday.”

Lt. Aaron Kakiel, spokesman for Naval Air Forces Pacific after an unmanned aircraft from Pax River crashed near Bloodsworth Island on June 11.

“The question is how comfortable do we feel about letting a human be a passenger on an aircraft with no pilot?”

Mary “Missy” Cummings, program manager of the Office of Naval Research’s Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System, on using unmanned aerial vehicles to fly out the injured.

“There’s no front line. In the air, in the ground, on either side, every place is a threat.”

Al Brewster, clinical social worker, on the combat stress in today’s wars.

“At this point, I consider it a highly unlikely scenario.”

Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary’s) in October on federal sequestration cuts to defense jobs.

“A lot of people have limbs that are lost. Some people have a lot more. I see myself as extremely lucky.”

De’Shawn Kittrell, a soldier and Great Mills High School graduate, injured in Afghanistan in September.

Weather or not

“I’m just so glad to be alive. I have never been so scared in my life.”

Crissy Coombs, who was aboard a boat with friends on the Patuxent River, when a powerful derecho thunderstorm hit on June 29.

“He was baked. It caused his heart to shut down.”

Peggy Johnston speaking of her brother, 72-year-old Bernard “Buddy” Ellis, who died July 8 in an apartment in Leonardtown with no air conditioning.

“Irene was pretty devastating. I think we were extremely fortunate here.”

Bob Kelly, director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services and Technology, on the passing of Hurricane Sandy in October, leaving St. Mary’s County largely unscathed.

It happened this year

“I don’t know what it’s going to do to the park development process.”

Christy Bright, manager of state parks in St. Mary’s County, on the closing of Newtowne Neck State Park in January after World War II ordnance was found on the beach.

“I’m sure the park won’t be open until they know it’s safe, whenever that may be.”

Caryn McMahon, deputy state fire marshal, on Newtowne Neck State Park.

“They’re protected species, too. You just can’t shoot them.”

George Erichsen, director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation, on black vultures hanging around the county airport.

“It’s an unusual opportunity to shoot a coyote in Southern Maryland, especially in St. Mary’s County.”

Pete Jayne, associate director of game management for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, after a Hollywood hunter shot a coyote off Medley’s Neck Road.

“We lived on a farm and had cattle, chickens, turkeys, ducks and some crops, and at times we’d set traps for muskrats for the fur, but other than that there wasn’t much going on.”

Ernest Webster Dyson, 91, on farming at Cedar Point before Patuxent River Naval Air Station took the land in 1942.

“When I first started, when doctors came into the room, we’d stand out of respect, and doctors and patients used to be able to smoke in their rooms.”

Rose Nelson, who started as a nursing technician at St. Mary’s Hospital in 1966. The hospital celebrated its centennial this year.

“The birds apparently found a hospitable place.”

Kyle Rambo, conservation director at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, in March on a killdeer’s nest on the ballfield at Evergreen Elementary School.

“I’ve always been a student of history since I was young, so it’s been a blessing to me to have a parish with such a long history.”

The Rev. Brian Sanderfoot on the 350 year anniversary of the St. Francis Xavier Parish.

“I’m certainly satisfied with their preliminary indication they found the chapel site.”

Sanderfoot on an archaeological team’s report it had found the original 1662 chapel of St. Francis Xavier parish.

“This will be here long after any of us.”

Nathaniel Scroggins, president of the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions, on the new monument to honor Union and Colored troops from St. Mary’s who served in the Civil War.

“He lived and breathed the water.”

Mike Barbour, member of the 7th District Optimist Club on the nomination of Robert C. “Bobby” McKay Sr. as waterman of the year.

“It is extremely disturbing that laws are being applied differently to one business than another with the exact same request.”

Thomas F. McKay, president of Fairland Market, in June, on efforts to upgrade an alcohol permit at a store in Hollywood. The permit was eventually approved.

“We’re certainly pleased that the national health care is going to go forward.”

Ella May Russell, director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Social Services, after the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also called “Obamacare.”

“I’m not worried about Pax River being closed … but I am worried about us becoming dependent on one type of industry, because if that starts to cut, what do we do then?”

Robin Finnacom, director of the Community Development Corp., at a meeting of community leaders about the local economy this summer.

“It didn’t look like was very happy hanging out in a puddle.”

Brandon Dembers upon finding a snakehead fish off Budds Creek Road in July.

“I just went back in the house for a moment. I went back out, [and] he was gone.”

Brian Corbin of St. Inigoes on the disappearance of his Pekingese dog, Gizmo, killed by wild dogs.

“All the memories come back now. I was in high school when he was reported MIA.”

Eleanor Ann Fearns, 88, of Leonardtown after learning in December that the remains of Capt. Walter Francis Duke, who was shot down over Burma during World War, II may have been found in the cleared jungles.

Moving on

“It’s been a great opportunity for me, and we’ve accomplished quite a bit.”

Phil Rollins, upon retiring as the director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks, only the second man to hold the job in the county, a job which he held since 1991. John Baggett was the first director of the department.

“But I’m not going anywhere. Leonardtown is a great place to live and I’ll continue to live here and be involved, no doubt.”

J. Harry “Chip” Norris III after announcing he would be stepping down as mayor of Leonardtown after 17 years on the job.

“It’s the chance for us to teach our participants life skills that they can apply outside of the center.”

Jack Hormell, executive director of the Center for Life Enrichment since 1988, upon retirement this year.

“You know when it’s time. It’s time to pass the torch.”

Virginia Tennyson on her and husband, James, retiring from running the Chaptico Market after 47 years.

Saying goodbye

“Jenks was always one to put the community before himself.”

Lois Duke, St. Mary’s register of wills, speaking of Charles “Jenks” Mattingly III, who died Jan. 16 at the age of 68. He was a judge of the orphans court and a lifelong volunteer firefighter.

“I think the county will remember Dr. Jarboe for a long time. He had a big impact on the community.”

Dr. John Fenwick on the death of his longtime colleague, Dr. J. Patrick Jarboe, on March 11 at the age of 78.

“He was the chief architect of modern St. Mary’s County. He was the inventor.”

John Hanson Briscoe, retired circuit judge and former state delegate, on the Aug. 21 death of J. Frank Raley, former state senator and delegate.

“She’s been the glue that holds this organization together.”

Developer John K. Parlett on the Nov. 1 death of Mary Ann Chasen, executive director of Christmas in April - St. Mary’s County.

“The accident finally won; it beat her.”

St. Mary’s County Commissioner Todd Morgan (R) on the Nov. 14 death of his wife, Maria, 47, 16 months after an incapacitating car accident on Route 235.