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Mount Airy Town Council candidate profile: Jason Poirier

Incumbent Jason Poirier is running against Karl Munder, John Stuehmeier and Pamela Reed and for three open seats on the Mount Airy Town Council.
Incumbent Jason Poirier is running against Karl Munder, John Stuehmeier and Pamela Reed and for three open seats on the Mount Airy Town Council. (Jason Poirier/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.

Incumbent Jason Poirier is running against Karl Munder, John Stuehmeier and Pamela Reed and for three open seats on the Mount Airy Town Council. Here are Poirier’s responses.

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Biographical information

I have lived in Mt. Airy for twelve years. This is where my wife and I started our lives together, bought our house and are raising our three children. I have been an educator in the Howard County Public School System for the past 18 years. I have a BS in Elementary Education from Towson University, a Masters in Technology Education, Advanced Professional Certificates in Data Based Decision Making and Technology Leadership, all from Johns Hopkins University, a certificate in Administration and Supervision from McDaniel College, as well as a degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland. I currently serve in many youth sports organizations and am a volunteer coach with MAYAA Soccer and Four County Little League Baseball. For the past 4 years I have had the honor of serving on the Mount Airy Town Council. During this time, I have served on several commissions: Beautification, Parks and Recreation Board, Recycling and Sanitation and Sustainable Mount Airy.

Why do you want to serve in this role?

I’m looking forward to serving in my second term because there is still much work to be done. With the Mount Airy Vision Plan being complete it is now time for the Planning Commission and the Council to make decisions on the future of Mount Airy. The council, in collaboration with commission groups and residents, need to decide which projects hold priority. We all love our town. I believe that by being on the Council, I am able to be the voice that people need and want to maintain the charm we have, move forward with projects to develop what we have and to invest in a positive future. I feel I have consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership skills over the past four years. I’m able to work with many differing personalities while still accomplishing the goal at hand. My ability to listen to people and their concerns while offering possible solutions and outcomes allow people to see the “light at the end of the tunnel” to their problem.

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

The municipal elections in Taneytown will be contested this year, with four candidates running for mayor, according to information provided by the city clerk.

Mount Airy is a central hub to Carroll and Frederick Counties. We need to continue to promote our great town. When there are important issues that may have a negative impact on our town we need to speak up. We have been able to prove this by standing up and attending Board of Education meetings. Myself, the mayor and the SAVE MAES group collectively joined together to rally several times to prevent MAES from closing. It may also be necessary to make a trip to Annapolis to fight for local restrictions that impact our user tax base. I’m Mount Airy’s voice and I will continue to voice and stand up for what is right for the betterment of our town.

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

My first goal is to find a permanent location for the MAPD. I realize that the Vision Plan highlights one possible solution, but there are many factors to consider. I understand that this is no easy task, however, and I look forward to this challenge. We have invested a lot of time, money and energy into the MAPD and I am proud to say I was part of the team to get it off the ground. This has been a wonderful asset to our community, and finding them an appropriate home is paramount to their continued success.

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

Working in a classroom for the past 18 years has allowed me opportunities to develop and use skills in ways that most people will not. Patience is my highest regard. I believe I am patient in working through difficult problems, patient in my listening without reacting or responding, patient in my actions and patient in my demeanor. I try to not rush to conclusions. I listen, problem-solve, and persist. I feel I am personable and can connect with people. I am genuine and feel people know what they are getting when they speak with me. I do not hide my thoughts, beliefs or intentions, but also do not let my personal feelings cloud my judgement of what is best for the town. I think these traits all make me a loyal and honest Councilmember.

What one thing would you most like to see changed?

Our drug epidemic is frightening and scary at times. I am worried for the individuals living in our town that face these problems and difficulties on a daily basis. I want to continue to work with several community leaders to help these individuals and provide opportunities to seek the help they so desperately need.

What are your campaign priorities?

The strategic implementation of the Mount Airy Vision plan is my number one priority, as it encompasses so much. Locating permanent housing for the MAPD is also high on my list. I also feel continued efforts to ensure that we work diligently on a budget plan is key in all we do. I hope to continue to keep our taxes affordable and use appropriate funding that is necessary to help the Vision Plan begin its first steps.

What are your thoughts on Mount Airy’s new police force?

I was afforded a great opportunity in serving while our Police Force was created. I was there to vote against renewing the MD State Resident Trooper Program. The resident troopers, although professional and serve with dignity, did not serve our town, nor its residents efficiently. The MAPD has taken to a new style of policing- community policing, and I think the results thus far are tremendous. Lead by Chief Reitz, who was hired for this specific style, he has developed, trained and reinforced what it is to be a town police officer. I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts of Chief Reitz and all of the MAPD officers. Whether I am re-elected or not, one of the things I am most proud of is being part of bringing the MAPD to fruition.

The council recently added a fee for those who leave lawn clippings on streets and sidewalks. What’s your position on that ordinance?

With the assistance of the Recycling and Sanitation commission and Water and Sewer commission this was an important ordinance in regards to Mount Airy’s Water filtration system. Others may not agree, however, the unnecessary strain that lawn clippings and other debris put on the town’s filtration system is huge. It was necessary that something such as this be done. Another option would be to raise taxes for a new filtration system. Why should everyone be penalized for something that could be avoided? They shouldn’t be. As part of a commission that made this recommendation, I was able to see all the benefits to this ordinance. The town can now focus its efforts on correcting those that are negligent and better ensure the success of our filtration systems, not to mention keeping everyone safe, as clippings are dangerous for motorcyclists and cyclists alike.

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