Ahead of this spring’s municipal elections, the Carroll County Times has asked candidates to provide information on themselves and their priorities. Their responses are listed here in full.
Kate Carter is running against incumbent Greg Pecoraro, Steve Colella, Kevin Earl Dayhoff, Ann Thomas Gilbert and Jessica Laird for one of three seats on the Westminster Common Council. Here are Carter’s responses.
As a Westminster native and having resided here for 25 years, I have been employed with my organization as a software engineer for the past 8 years and have a M.S. in Information Technology Systems. I am a founding and former member of the Westminster Public Safety Advisory Council (PSAC) , and have co-chaired the Carroll Hospital Auxiliary Ball Outside Ventures committee for the past 3 years. I am a member of a local church and a supporter of the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster. I have previously worked on political campaigns ranging from a gubernatorial race to local campaigns and also designed a voter data project used to help predict the outcome of future elections which later became a collegiate class.
Why do you want to serve in this role?
I believe that we should give back to our community. While there are many ways one may make a difference, I have always believed that there is no greater service than that of public service. As citizens, it is imperative we take pride in our community and strive to maintain and improve upon when necessary. I believe effecting small changes can make big differences.
How do you plan to represent your municipality’s interests in the county government?
As stated, my priorities are safety, community, and economic viability. I would like see more communication between the city and the county to strengthen our partnership and work cohesively as a team. Working sessions between the entities would benefit our mutual goals and help alleviate potential breakdowns in communication. I look forward to working with the commissioners for the betterment for all who live in both Westminster and Carroll County.
Name something you would begin working to accomplish as soon as your first week on the job.
I will work on promoting a responsive communication plan to better communicate and drive transparency to interact with the public efficiently and effectively. This would include beginning the process of upgrading the city’s website. In furthering the progress to make Westminster a vibrant, engaging city, we should have a website which is easily navigable and clearly defines all pertinent information. We also need to begin the process of analyzing how to live stream our city meetings to better inform the people of Westminster whom we serve in order to reach all citizens of our community.
What skills do you have to offer constituents that other candidates might not?
As a native of Westminster, I understand the history and families who have made Westminster their home. From traveling and living in other communities, I will bring a unique perspective and experience to our city by utilizing successful ideas that have been implemented in other areas. I also offer an unique skillset with my background in information technology and will be able to address gaps in knowledge while we continue to explore technological economic development.
What one thing would you most like to see changed?
I would like to see Westminster capitalize and better utilize our opportunities. These include creating public and private partnerships for the city and advocating for stakeholders to further their investment by creating additional opportunities for Main Street and downtown. With our historical roots and conscientious preservation, we can continue to have a city full of commerce and charm, while utilizing technology for a more vibrant Main Street. This also includes reviewing and updating the city code as necessary to identify outdated ordinances to make Westminster a better place to live, work, and play.
What are your campaign priorities?
Safety is of utmost importance to Westminster and I want to continue to make our city a safer place to live, work, and play. As a former member of Westminster’s Public Safety Advisory Council (PSAC), I know what the main concerns are and it is my conviction to continue to drive awareness for community safety and provide strong support for our police department and emergency medical services by concentrating on recruitment and retention of our personnel.
Second, I will focus on community. Being a member of a community is more than a common zip code. It is a place where people come together to support common causes and interact by sharing community activities. We need to create “One Westminster”— to concentrate on a collaborative environment between the government and our citizens and promote responsive communication. I will continue to strongly support recreational activities and promote healthy initiatives to make Westminster a “Healthy City”.
Rounding out my top three priorities is economic viability. This is a key priority where Westminster can continue to improve. There has been much commentary surrounding the concept of revitalizing Main Street and downtown Westminster by making our county seat a vibrant place. I will support efforts by making changes including updating our city's website, supporting our small businesses, and reviewing and updating the city code as necessary to support a family-friendly environment on Main Street.
What is your position on current Westminster crime, both real and perceived?
As a former member of Westminster’s Public Safety Advisory Council (PSAC), I have learned and seen firsthand of the issues and concerns facing our community. While statistically our crime is low we also have to combat perception. We live in a world where perception is reality and we must fight those perceptions. Our new police Chief Ledwell and the Westminster Police Department have been doing a wonderful job of increasing police presence and visibility. I look forward to working with and strongly supporting our law enforcement.