Westminster Common Council candidate: Greg Pecoraro

Westminster Common Council candidate: Greg Pecoraro
Greg Pecoraro is running for re-election against challengers Kate Carter, Steve Colella, Kevin Earl Dayhoff, Ann Thomas Gilbert and Jessica Laird. The top three vote-getters will win seats on the Westminster Common Council. (File 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.

Greg Pecoraro is running for re-election against challengers Kate Carter, Steve Colella, Kevin Earl Dayhoff, Ann Thomas Gilbert and Jessica Laird. The top three vote-getters will win seats on the Westminster Common Council. Here are Pecoraro’s responses.

Biographical information

What is your profession (and years experience), current employment (and how many years), education, community groups involved in (and in what role), past political experience, and years (approximately) you’ve lived in Westminster?

I returned to the Council in 2015, having served twice previously, from 1994 to 2003 and from 2005 to 2011. I have spent much of my career in public service, serving as Assistant Secretary in the Maryland Department of Transportation; Chief of Staff to the Baltimore County Executive, and on the staff of a U.S. Senator and Maryland State Treasurer. Currently, I work as an executive for the American Motorcyclist Association. In the past, I’ve served on the Carroll County Charter Board, the Superintendent’s Task Force on the Future of Carroll County Schools, the Board of the Carroll County General Hospital Foundation, as a Trustee of the Central Atlantic Council of the YMCA’s of the USA, as a volunteer Youth advisor with the Carroll County YMCA, and a Lector at St. John Catholic Church. I am a Carroll County native, and have lived in the City of Westminster since 1989.

Why do you want to serve in this role?

Despite our hard work, the City still faces many challenges. We’re still working to ensure a water supply that will allow us to do all the things we need here in Westminster to provide the right mix of economic opportunities, amenities, and housing. We’ve got to police our city in a different way, to make sure everyone feels safe in their homes and in our public areas. And, we must create more opportunities for businesses to locate and grow here to provide employment for our residents.

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

Westminster is well represented in County government by Commissioner Dennis Frazier. I would continue to work with him to reach out to the other commissioners to help them understand Westminster’s special role and needs as the county seat and largest municipality.

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

With two current Council members retiring after this election, I would immediately work to bring the two new members of the Council up to speed on the many issues we are engaged in, and take more responsibility with the retirements to oversee management of our water supplu and completion of the fiber project.

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

I bring many years of experience in government at other levels, as well as an institutional knowledge based in my many years on and off the Council, and a deep familiarity with our community and the challenges it faces.

What one thing would you most like to see changed?

I am very pleased that we are already seeing big changes in how we police the City. Our new police chief is working hard to institute a number of new policies the Mayor and Council wanted to initiate to bring real community policing to our downtown and neighborhoods. Even after just a few months you can already fel the difference on Main Street.

What are your campaign priorities?

1. Secure Westminster’s water supply, which is tied to EVERYTHING we want and need to do in the city.

2. Improve public safety and support our police department’s efforts to make our residents feel safe and secure downtown and in their homes.

3. Use all of our assets, including the Westminster Fiber Network, to attract businesses to the city that provide our residents with good jobs at home, and promote greater economic vitality in our community.

What is your position on current Westminster crime, both real and perceived?

Crime is real in Westminster and so is public unease with safety. The problems that come with being the County’s largest municipality and home to most of its social service providers are also real. City is attacking the problem with our new Police Chief’s initiatives on community policing. Even so, we need to coordinate more closely with both county and state public safety and social services agencies to deal with the underlying problems we face in drug use and homelessness.