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Taneytown City Council candidate profile: Daniel M. Haines

Taneytown City Council candidate profile: Daniel M. Haines
Daniel M. Haines is running against Barry Guckes and Darryl Hale for two open seats on the Taneytown City Council. Here are Haines’ responses. (Courtesy photo)

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.

Daniel M. Haines is running against Barry Guckes and Darryl Hale for two open seats on the Taneytown City Council. Here are Haines’ responses.

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Biographical information

I’ve lived in Taneytown just about my entire life. My parents divorced when I was 2 years old, and my mother decided to settle down here in the year 2000. I’ve worked a number of odd jobs since I was a kid, but right now I’m beginning training to become a sign language interpreter with a video relay company in Frederick. Aside from that I’m paying my way through school as a student of economics at Carroll Community College, and an infantryman in the Maryland Army National Guard since March of 2017.

I’ve worked as a volunteer with a number of political campaigns at just about every level of government over the past few years. I’ve served on the Taneytown Parks & Recreation Advisory Board since 2015, and I presently serve as the chairman. In addition to that I’m the municipal representative for Taneytown to the CCRC (Cable Regulatory Commission).

Why do you want to serve in this role?

I believe that public service is the greatest form of patriotism, it’s why I joined the Guard. Taneytown is my home, and I want to give back to the community I grew up in, and I think the best way to do that is by running for office.

How do you plan to represent your municipality’s interests in the county government?

From what I’ve seen there’s a very decent level of communication between the county government and Carroll’s 8 municipalities. I’ll make it a point to do my part in fostering that communication the best I can, and whatever concerns that people in town want or need to be brought to the County’s attention, I will do so with due diligence.

Name something you would begin working to accomplish as soon as your first week on the job.

Immediate concerns. Numbers of citizens have pointed out potholes, flickering or failing street-lights, and petty crime which they feel wasn’t sufficiently addressed. I’d want to get these direct, everyday problems taken care of before I begin working on policy and legislation.

What skills do you have to offer constituents that other candidates might not?

My youth certainly gives me a unique perspective on the town and its problems. I might be able to offer more modern and sustainable solutions that my colleagues may not think of. For instance, my understanding of social media and technology could help improve City Hall’s marketing and recruitment initiatives when it comes to local business or community outreach. Wisdom certainly does come with time, but I think there’s merits in the intelligence of a young person as well.

In addition, my military bearing gives me a level of discipline, integrity, and motivation that are vital qualities of good leadership.

What's one thing would you most like to see changed?

One thing I’d like to see changed is the way Taneytown conducts its elections. We ought to explore ways to make voting in town more convenient and accessible, we need to enact policies which encourage and maximize voter turnout. Apathy is one of our town’s biggest problems.

What are your campaign priorities?
  1. Economic Development
  2. Government Efficiency
  3. Communication
What is your position on the currently vacant Taneytown police chief position?

A letter of recommendation was submitted to the City Council signed by each of the department’s officers formally requesting that acting chief, Lt. Etzler, be promoted to permanent status. While I do believe there are merits of opening up the hiring process, it’s also important to have leaders with an institutional memory. The letter of recommendation should be taken very seriously, as it indicates that Lt. Etzler has earned the confidence and trust of those who answer to him.

What is your position on the Civil War memorial proposed for Taneytown?

I believe that the Civil War memorial as it is currently proposed is a historical stretch. The only justifications for putting it here is our proximity to Gettysburg, and the fact that General Meade headquartered here in preparation for the Battle of Gettysburg. I also don’t think that Taneytown has the infrastructure necessary to support the influx of traffic this memorial would bring.

I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of a memorial dedicated to General Meade, specifically detailing the Union camp here, Taneytown’s history during the war, and how the Battle of Gettysburg could have been fought here had history gone a little differently. This type of memorial would be on a smaller scale, and more historically relevant to the town.

Otherwise, I think the grand Civil War memorial would find a more appropriate home in a place like Appomattox, Richmond, or Washington D.C.

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