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Dave Roush: Focused on business, community

I am Dave Roush, the County Commissioner from District 3. I am currently serving as President of the Board of County Commissioners. I am running for re-election. I have brought to county government the experience and knowledge I gained in a lifetime of leadership in industry and community service to. I earned a degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh Univ. and worked for Lehigh Cement Co. for over 38 years, in management positions, interrupted only by my service in the Army. We came to Westminster in 1977 when I was transferred to Lehigh's Union Bridge plant. In 1982 I earned an MBA from Frostburg and in 1985 I became the Plant Manager at Union Bridge, serving for 18 years. My wife Dee and I raised our two children here. They attended Carroll County Public Schools and went on to graduate from colleges in the area. Both now have their own families and have brought us the joys of 6 grandchildren. While with Lehigh I participated in community service activities. After I retired I got even more involved. I served the Historical Society of Carroll County, the Carroll Community College Foundation, the Hoff Log Barn Committee, the Community Foundation of Carroll County, the Board of the local YMCA, Rape Crisis Intervention Service, the Westminster Rotary Club, the Carroll County Chamber, and the Westminster United Methodist Church. I was Chair of the Campaign to build a new fire hall in New Windsor. My service to local government has included the County Bd. of Zoning Appeals, the Economic Development Commission, and, for the past 3.5 years, your County Commissioner. During that time we lowered your tax rates 3 times, made the Sherriff's Dept our primary police agency saving $2 million per year while lowering crime 12%, slowed the growth of the cost of county government, and reduced county debt. The real issue in this election year is taxes. In recent years the cost of everything has been steadily rising and home owners have been paying more and more in property taxes. We need to improve effectiveness, find efficiencies and cut costs. In my 38 years of management experience I have faced these same needs and have gained much insight about doing this. But this will not be enough. The State continues to reduce revenues and shift costs to the counties. There is only one way to prevent home owners like you and I from choking on the property tax burden. We must increase the commercial tax base by increasing economic development. Business provides more tax revenue than the cost of providing County services. Carroll County's percentage of commercial/industrial tax base is well below the state avg., as is the percentage of land area in commercial/industrial use. Carroll County needs more business to relieve the pressure on property taxes and to provide jobs for our citizens. During the past 3.5 years we revitalized the Economic Development Department and have been making improvements in this area. We have issued 840 commercial/industrial permits representing over $75 million in capital investment. This has increased the commercial/industrial portion of the tax base by more than 2%. Recent announcements of relocations and expansions by Random House, Fuchs Spices, Carlisle Etcetera, and Black Oak Associates represent $87 million in capital investment in Carroll in the next 18 months. Carroll added 800 jobs in 2012 and will be adding hundreds more from these projects. This is a beginning, but we need to keep this ball rolling. We have made substantial investments in preparing our children and grandchildren to be productive citizens. I believe we also need to be sure that they can get a job and make a home here in Carroll County. I offer you a unique set of qualifications to continue to serve you as your County Commissioner.

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