Advertisement

County Commissioner, District 5 candidate: Frank Robert, Republican

Frank Robert
Frank Robert

Frank Chambers Robert Jr.

Residence: Sykesville

Advertisement

Age: 57

Other social media: www.instagram.com/votefrankrobert

Profession: Former Teacher, Coach, College Administrator

Current place(s) of employment: Associate Director Mid Atlantic United Methodist Foundation (8 years)

Education: B.A. History the College of William and Mary in Virginia, M.Ed. the College of William and Mary in Virginia, M.B.A Loyola University in Maryland

Community groups involved in: Rotary of Sykesville South Carroll; Pilgrimage Task Force (Historic Trail); Liaison to ESCAPE Ministries; Lay Member to Annual Conference & Endowment Committee Member St. Paul's UMC; Former Soccer & Softball Coach Freedom Rec Council

Past political experience: 2007 Elected Sykesville Town Council; 2009-2015 Elected Sykesville Town Council President, Chairman Budget and Chairman CIP, Chairman Sykesville Military Memorial

Why are you interested in running for this office?: My vision is to make Carroll County the Best Place to Raise a Family. Not just good but great. We led a movement to successfully make Sykesville the "Coolest Small Town in America". We can make Carroll the Best Place to Raise a Family. We believe strongly in service and giving back to the community. My father was picked as one of 40 scientists to start NASA. He then switched careers. So by the time I attended high school, I had lived in 10 different homes. This is one of the reasons that my wife, Beth, and I were so determined to stay local and become involved in our great community. We intentionally chose to move here from Catonsville in 1999, to raise a family and become involved in the community. Beth is a Special Education Elementary teacher currently at Piney Ridge Elementary. We have 2 Daughters, 2 turtles, and Bella, our 13 year old rescued Black Lab mix.

Explain why you are qualified for the office you seek: In 2007, I successfully launched Upward Sykesville, to gain council seats and move Sykesville on a positive upward track. When small towns were dying, we took on the challenge to make Sykesville successful. Elected for two terms, which included 6 years as Sykesville Town Council President, I am the only candidate that has this small-town turnaround experience. We accomplished a lot: reestablishing the Sykesville Parks and Rec Committee, creating the Main Street Association, Hiring the first Main Street Manager, originating the Sykesville Annual Holiday Decorating Contest, Establishing the Sykesville Military Memorial (honoring our Veterans and First Responders), while still doing the classic government programs: implementing community policing, repaving roads and successfully cutting wasteful spending. Sykesville is thriving! All this leading to being the "Coolest Small Town in America." I believe in term limits and stepped down after my two terms on the Sykesville Town Council. I have answered the call to lead at the County level. I am a Christian family man with strong family values who is very involved with my Church, Community Organizations, and for over 10 years, Coached Youth Soccer and Softball at Freedom Rec. We need good leaders that can be examples for our children.

What are the three main issues you wish to address during your campaign and how do you plan to address them?

My vision is to be the best place to raise a Family. To do that we must have several ingredients, Safety, great Schools and a Positive growth outlook. Low crime is essential. Without a safe environment nothing else can flourish. In Sykesville, we instituted "community policing" and it has been successful. We love our first responders and they need to know that the community and the government supports them and their efforts to fight crime. We need to support and provide them with more resources and a positive work environment. There is an immediate need for improving the disability situation for some of these folks who put their lives on the line for us. Having a 33% payout for someone disabled on the job is wrong. I would work to immediately raise that to at least 50% with the option to purchase an additional amount of 60%. Secondly we need to close the pay gap. While at least initially we might not have the highest salaries at least we can create a better working environment so that the pay gap is not detrimental to our retention.

Advertisement

We want spectacular schools. We have very dedicated folks and we need to provide more resources for them to be most effective. We should have a better working relationship between the Commissioners and the Board of Education. When the starting salary for teachers was one of the lowest in the State of Maryland it sent a strong signal that Education was not valued. I will work to make sure that does not happen again. I have some unique funding mechanisms that I will be offering to increase resources. I currently have the backing of 3 current Board of Education members and the Teachers Union. I think that listening and understanding the plight of our very dedicated educators is the first step. As a former teacher and College administrator, I understand some of the issues that can appear in a classroom and additionally how colleges view various high school students seeking admission into selective colleges. I am in the midst of visiting all of the Schools in District 5 to see and hear what are the current issues in each. I will also work to finally provide turf fields inside Carroll County.

Creating the proper business environment is crucial in a vibrant community. We need some proper growth so that local markets can thrive. I will work to listen to the local businesses and assist our staff in relocating certain viable businesses to Carroll. I will work to help make Carroll more pro-business. We were successful in Sykesville in recruiting businesses to Main Street. When we first moved here in 1999, small towns were dying and Main street was not at business capacity but we saw see that it had potential. Now Main street Sykesville is thriving. It is a destination. It is safe. We had one business leave for a cheaper location in Randallstown and immediately wanted to return because they forgot that security is very important. If we want Carroll to be the best place to raise a family, then we need a safe and secure environment, with low crime, good schools and a bustling vibrant economy. Population must be growing responsibly to support our local businesses with the appropriate restaurants, book stores, hair salons, movie theatres, grocery stores, flower shops and other local viable businesses. We want businesses to want to be part of the fabric of the community.

Advertisement
Advertisement