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From the Desk of Commissioner Candidate Marty Qually

(11/1) It is time that we had Adams County Commissioners with the experience in local government, the ability to work with others, and the energy to get the job done. It is time for us to stop looking back at our mistakes and start looking forward to how we can succeed. On November 8th you have two votes for County Commissioner, I would be honored to receive one of your votes.

My family moved here when my father, Robert Karsteter, was transferred from his post in Germany to become the first commanding officer of the Gettysburg College ROTC program. My three brothers, three sisters, and I all grew up here and attended Saint Francis Xavier, Delone Catholic High School, and five of us attended Mount Saint Maryís University. My parents are both still very active at Saint Francis, but it has been left to my oldest brother, Burton, to carry on the Delone tradition, with his four children all attending Delone.

After graduating from college, I spent eight years with the City of Frederick as an administrator, implementing State and Federal programs for residents. I now own and operate a successful catering company focused on buying from Adams County farms. Most people agree that working as an administrator for the City of Frederick, helped me to understand government and thus would serve me well as a Commissioner. When people ask how catering prepares me for County Commissioner, they are surprised at how similar the two jobs are. Being able to help a couple balance what they want and what they can afford, and then following through on the contract is what being a caterer is all about. When I cater a large event, twelve hour days are the norm and having to think on your feet is just as important as planning for the event. And at the end of the day I need to show a profit so that I can pay my bills. We need Commissioners able to balance what we want out of government with what we can afford. We need Commissioners who can work the long hours, not just in the Courthouse but throughout the County, listening to our concerns on our time, not at their convenience. I have worked in both government and in private businesses, but in both my priority has always been serving the people that pay the bills and getting them the best bang for their buck.

I currently serve you as Adams County Auditor. It isnít just in my personal business that I watch every penny. For the past year I have been watching every dollar of County money and learning how to streamline County government, so that we get every ounce of value out of our tax dollars. I am the only candidate with a working knowledge of the County budget and with this knowledge I have every intention of opening the 2012 budget for potential improvements on day one of my term. We will not wait a full year to start improving government, we will begin planning on November 9th (the day after the election) and we will be ready to move forward on January 1st. I say we, because I will take the time to listen to your concerns and only after public comment will changes be made. I learned the hard way working on a friendís farm in high school that there are two ways to hit the ground when you jump off a moving truck. You either hit the ground running or you hit the ground face first. When it comes to the budget and County finances, I will hit the ground running!

Adams County faces many challenges in the years to come, but we will only move forward by taking a hard look at what we want to achieve, instead of a look back at past mistakes. Economic success has been passing us by as our Commissioners sat in the courthouse dealing with government bureaucracy. It is time to set clear goals within the courthouse for the County Manager to begin implementing and time for Commissioners to provide leadership to County staff. While much of a Commissionerís job requires that they work in the Courthouse, they must get out of the Courthouse and listen to citizens. We should be using our staff more to solve our problems and not hiring more consultants to tell them what to do. While I have worked in government, I have no intention of micro-managing in the courthouse. I know, if challenged, our qualified staff will to respond and we all will see more tax dollars saved. But we must have leadership with the courage to change the 9 to 5 paradigm and begin accepting the challenge that being a Commissioner means being on call for the citizens 24/7.

It is time for Commissioners with the business sense to understand that you succeed by increasing your customers, not by charging more to those you have. For Adams County this means increasing our tax base, not our tax rate. We must have Commissioners who will work with local leaders to attract appropriate businesses to Adams County, so that more tax revenue comes in. We need businesses that will not harm our quality of life or infringe on our current economic strengths of tourism and agriculture. To do this will take hard work and Commissioners able to work with others to bring economic development to Adams County.

It has been clear during the debates this year that each of the four Commissioner candidates care about Adams County, but you only get two votes on November 8th. Paul Kellett will fight for you and his command of the issues and data are impressive. Jim Martin has a passion to serve and his lack of public office experience may be more of an asset than a liability. Randy Phiel has proven that he can bring economic success to Gettysburg, but will he rise to the challenge of bringing success to the entire County?

Since you get two votes, I contend that we need both Kelletís fight and my energy, Martinís passion and my experience, Randyís business sense and my ability to work with others. Do not look at which one attribute you like the best, but instead at which two candidates share your vision of Adams County.

On November 8th you have two votes for Commissioner, I would be honored to receive one of your votes. Letís return Adams County to the people by electing Commissioners with Experience, a Hard Work Ethic, and the Ability to listen.

If you would like to discuss any issues or become a part of my campaign team for this final week please contact me at 717-339-6514 or at And feel free to visit my website at

Marty Qually

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