This election is not only about the immediate issues facing our county or who will be elected to address those issues. The election of 2014 is much more about what we want for the future of our county and what we are willing to do to create the Carroll County we want to live in going forward.

My name is Doug Howard. I am currently serving as County Commissioner for District 5. For the past three years I also served as President of the Board of Commissioners. And today, I am a candidate for County Commissioner in District 5. I believe that I have the experience, the drive, the leadership and the vision not only to represent District 5 and address the immediate issues facing our county, but also to help develop and define a long-term plan for Carroll County and to lead the next Board of Commissioners in pursuit of that vision.


It is the job of county government to provide excellent public safety, infrastructure and education in a cost effective, conservative manner and to protect the rights of our citizens while we are in office. I believe that I have clearly demonstrated over the past three years a good understanding of this role of government, an ability to set priorities and initiate new ideas, a willingness to work cooperatively with other agencies throughout the county and the drive to get the budgets approved and policies in place to keep Carroll County strong!

While I served as President of the Board of Commissioners, we reduced taxes three times in three years.

We reduced county debt, sold unneeded properties and eliminated unnecessary projects. We took a strong stand in support of 2nd amendment rights and a strong stand against the "rain tax". We stood up against illegal immigration by implementing E-Verify on county contracts, and we transitioned law enforcement to the Sheriff's Department. We worked hard towards negotiating out of the Waste-to-Energy incinerator project and we resisted many attempts by the State of Maryland to infringe pass costs to Carroll County and to infringe on the rights of our citizens. I am very proud of this strong conservative record.

During this time, I also strongly advocated for and in most cases prevailed in taking steps to keep Carroll County strong. I fought for education funding levels and achieved those levels each of our first three years. Despite opposition I prevailed in moving forward with the airport improvement and building of the Public Safety Training Center. I advocated for technology funds for schools, community college and the libraries and even achieved getting funds to open two of our libraries on Sundays. I strongly supported Agricultural Land Preservation funding and improvements to historic gems like the Farm Museum and Union Mills Homestead. I am proud of balancing my conservative record with meeting the needs of our community in so many ways.

I personally created a number of initiatives and work groups designed to address particular community needs. They include but are not limited to: Carroll 2030 Workgroup, Celebrating America, Carroll Business Path, Carroll Small Business Loan Fund, the Non-Profit Study Group, the Solid Waste Workgroup, and most importantly the Veterans Advisory Council which resulted in free transportation for Veterans to VA hospitals and hiring our own Veterans Services Officer to help Carroll County veterans get the benefits they deserve.

During the coming years, we must modernize or replace schools and improve teacher compensation.

We must find a permanent home for the Sheriff while improving law enforcement benefits. We must support our volunteer fire companies as they face challenges of recruiting and retaining members. We must repave more roads and replace more pipes for utilities. We must invest more in technology and satisfy many other needs along the way. It will take innovative thinking, Board cooperation, effective community partnerships and a careful balance of community needs and continuing conservative principles.

I believe that I am well qualified to lead this effort and to represent District 5 and all of Carroll County for the next four years as County Commissioner. I respectfully ask for your support during the campaign and for the support of District 5 voters at the polls on June 24th.

Editor's Note: All introductory columns appear exactly as they were received from the candidate.