Access to quality public education is the best and most impactful investment that we make as a county. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” FCPS is a great school system, but we need to continue to increase their funding. FCPS receives the second lowest per pupil allocation of any school system in the State of Maryland. We are far from the second lowest county in economic wealth, and we need to invest more. FCPS salaries need to be more competitive and that cannot be done without increased funding. They also need more funding for special education, and to lower class size. Our County has grown substantially and more capital funding for new schools and renovations of our older facilities is needed. We are also blessed with a great community college in FCC. Our community college is a great investment in allowing students to complete their degrees at a much lower cost but also by providing them work-force skills that are needed to improve their employability and increase their value to current employers. I will be a huge advocate for education!
Many Frederick County residents must commute outside our county for their employment. This along with more people moving to Frederick County has caused many congested roads in the area. Some of these roads are State roads but there are still many congested county roads. I am committed not only to road improvements but also to trying to attract more employers to Frederick County offering jobs where our residents do not need to drive down I-270 for work. Public transportation can also play a role in helping reduce congestion. Frederick County’s has been fiscally responsible and has a AAA bond rating. This bond rating has allowed us access to capital at the lowest costs. We need to responsibly use that capital and maintain our high rating to make capital improvements. We need to work with our federal, state, and local partners to complete needed projects. Quality of life is why so many people have moved to and stay in Frederick County. Being able to get around the county without spending additional time on the roads in congestion is part of that quality.
Having a safe community to live and work in is part of why people love Frederick County. I am very committed to supporting our Sheriff’s Department, Detention center, Division of Fire and Rescue Services, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services, Emergency Management and Animal Control. All these divisions are critical to a safe and vibrant Frederick County. Having been active in the Frederick Community for over 40 years, I have built relationships in law enforcement and in the fire services community that help me understand their needs and how they best serve our community. Frederick County also has many municipalities that also provide these services and the county must work with them to coordinate services. Quality of life includes being safe!
Understanding the needs of business owners in our county is critical. The County Executive and the County Council play a vital role in attracting and retaining businesses in Frederick County. Both my wife and I have operated small businesses in Frederick County for over 20 years. We understand the challenges that business owners face and how local government can play a role in the success of failure of businesses. I will work hard with our local businesses to understand their needs and make government an enabler of good business as opposed to being an obstacle. We need to continue to encourage smart business opportunities in our county to help keep people both living and working here!
I hear loud and clear from many that Frederick County has grown and that we haven’t kept up with all the needs of that growth. We are facing many over-crowded schools, congested roads, and pressure on our public safety professionals. Growth is inevitable but controlling growth and placing an emphasis on the infrastructure needed to accommodate that growth is necessary. I am a life-long resident of the county and I have enjoyed the expanded opportunities and the increased diversity that growth has brought. Frederick County is an exciting place to live, and I want to make sure that we do not over develop our county and lose the charm that we have. We need to look at more opportunities for development that will allow for new employers and that will provide the space needed for businesses to locate to support the needs of our county.
Parks & Recreation
Frederick County has an outstanding Parks and Rec Division. We are blessed to have so many great parks in Frederick County including some of the newest Othello Regional Park, Urbana District Park and Utica Park. I have been a representative on the Parks and rec Committee over the past several years and have a good understanding of the counties park system and the programs that are offered. Having great parks and having great opportunities for people to enjoy our parks and county facilities add to the quality of life in our county. Many of the programs offer opportunities for young people to get involved and participate through sports and other activities. I will support these opportunities strongly!
Seniors and Retirees
Frederick County is a great place to live work and raise a family. We need to make sure that when people retire that they can continue to afford to live here, and that they have the services that they need. Property values have escalated tremendously over the past several years. We need to make sure that seniors and retirees are taking advantage of the homestead property exemption and those that qualify know about the property tax credit. We cannot let retirees get taxed out of their homes. Frederick County does a good job providing services to seniors through the senior center and the Parks and recreation department. We need to continue to expand opportunities for seniors to keep them here in Frederick County. This is one of the fastest growing populations in the county and we need them to stay here!