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Patrick Richards seeking re-election in Bel Air [Letter]

The following is a letter to The Aegis Open Forum:


I wanted to take this opportunity to reintroduce myself as a current Town Commissioner running for re-election this November.

I am a long-time Bel Air resident who grew up in Homestead Village attending Wakefield/Homestead elementary, Bel Air Middle School, and John Carroll High School. I graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Salisbury State University and a Masters in Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University. I work for Laureate Education, Inc. heading up their Global Real Estate Operation.

Prior to becoming a town commissioner, I served on the Town Planning Commission for approximately 10 years. My wife and I have been married for twenty-seven years and we've raised our two children here in town over the past twenty-two years. Our entire family enjoys being in Bel Air and we try to take advantage of all that the town offers.

The last four years on the Board of Town Commissioners has been an unbelievable experience. I applaud the Town staff, who work incredibly hard to deliver the best value for its citizens. The collaborative environment that exists between staff and town commissioners is enormously productive and yields great progress on issues. As a commissioner, I enjoy working with staff and other board members, and feel strongly that my background in real estate and business experience, brings great value to the board dynamic.

Over the past four years we've accomplished a great deal and I'm enormously proud to be a contributing member of the following:

• Securing the long-term future of the town's water supply that achieves both the ability to serve its citizens in times of emergency needs and fosters the town's future growth and development capability;

• Continuing to improve and enhance a more business-friendly environment in the town;

• Securing and supporting the continuation and connection of the Ma & Pa Trail;

• Enhancing and supporting the town's sustainability mission;

• Reducing energy consumption/costs and creatively financing the replacement of town's infrastructure through a partnership with a third party;

• Supporting the town's mission to become more bike and pedestrian friendly;

• Deepening the town's commitment to the Arts and Entertainment District by investing in the Armory and its operations;

• Continuing and enhancing the outstanding service tied to both public safety and public works;

• Begining to inventory our real estate assets and classifying them into operational, strategic and surplus assets in order to develop a master plan for these assets;

• Lastly, and most importantly, being as efficient and as cost effective with the Town's tax dollars as possible. Every decision I make, I view through the lens of the Town citizen and what impact or benefit it has on them.

It's been an honor and a privilege to serve these past four years. I believe my background is of great value to the board function, my focus is on serving the town citizens and my commitment is to always be a trusted steward of town resources.

I'd like to continue being a part of the great work that's already underway for this amazing Town and to contribute to Bel Air's future by serving an additional four years. I ask for your support and for your vote on November 7.

Patrick Richards

Town Commissioner

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