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I'm Stephen Wantz, Republican candidate For Commissioner in District 1. I have lived in Carroll County all my life, where my wife and I raised two daughters, and have 3 grandchildren. I have an extensive background in public safety, and am recently retired from the Baltimore County Fire Department after a 30 year career. I am also a small business owner.

A member of the Pleasant Valley Fire Company for 37 years, I have held many administrative offices, and am currently the President. I am the Immediate Past President of the Carroll County Volunteer Emergency Services Association. As CCVESA President I worked to ensure the new Public Safety Training Center came to fruition, and improved emergency services in Carroll County.

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I have worked with many people in our local county offices that make up our government structure, from permits and inspections, law enforcement, emergency management, budget, to public works. I have worked with our nonprofit agencies, leaders of our municipalities and a host of other agencies. Candidates for county commissioner must be able to work well with the people who surround them. My leadership in emergency services ensured utilizing communication and teamwork with other agencies, to achieve needed results.

Often the Federal and State Government get the most attention, and some of the biggest problems we face in Carroll County come from Annapolis. I believe local government has to protect all facets of our day to day lives in every community. As a county leader there are obligations to deliver local government's core functions, including providing quality public education, adequate public safety and maintaining our infrastructure, in a fiscally responsible way. Economic development and the long range future of Carroll County is also part of our charge. I am a member of the current Carroll 2030 task force, examining future needs and priorities of our county. We are actively working to achieve positive long range planning.

We have spent decades building an exceptional school system, and we must support it. The county elected a school board to run the Board of Education. We have a responsibility to fund a budget to ensure a quality education, and retain and recruit the best teachers and staff. An underfunded budget damages our school system, and ultimately our community as well. Education is the foundation for all that we do as a society. We must provide appropriate long term funding.

Commissioners must be stewards of our resources, make proactive decisions, be fiscally responsible, and make sure long term planning is a priority. We must support our Sheriff's Department as our leading law enforcement agency. We must invest in our roads, technology and other infrastructure and continue to prioritize our agriculture preservation program. Our nonprofits need to be funded, as they are responsible for providing needed service to our citizens. We have young people, senior citizens, military families, and veterans in need. We must continue to build a good business foundation. If you control your budget and keep taxes lower, businesses will be more inclined to locate here, revenues will rise, and we will have funds to invest in our recognized long term needs.

Open communication leads to smart partnerships, achieving the common goal of working, living and playing in a great county. From school officials, agency supervisors, law enforcement, fire and EMS, to the employees in our county office buildings, we must value their expertise, communicate and work together. As commissioners we cannot be focused on issues outside of our area of control. We need a commissioner board with a common vision, to support our local needs. Local government can't be about political grandstanding, personal agendas and distrust of our county employees. We have a duty to represent all the citizens in our diverse county.

Remember that the decisions we make today will impact everyone's future, including your children and grandchildren. I am asking you to vote for me on June 24th. The citizens of District 1 and all of Carroll County deserve good communication and conservative leadership that is strong, effective, involved and focused. Thank you for your support.

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