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.
Kimberlee Schultz is running for re-election to the New Windsor Town Council against Michael Scott Barclay, Terry Green, Thomas Frank Gubernatis Jr., William Holl, Michael Zepp and fellow incumbent David Hoffman. Three council seats are open. Here are Schultz’s responses.
I have been in communications for 29 years. I have worked since 2010 at the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services; I am the public affairs director. I have been on the New Windsor Town Council for eight years and in town for 25 years. I am a member of the New Windsor Heritage Committee and the Historical Society of Carroll Count, and on the Boards of the Human Services Programs of Carroll County and the Carroll County Arts Council.
Why do you want to serve in this role?
I love New Windsor.
It is a remarkable community and I enjoy working to preserve and improve what we have.
How do you plan to represent your municipality’s interests in the county government?
I will continue to monitor the County Commissioners meetings and stay in touch with Commissioner Bouchat. I will continue to attend the Maryland Municipal League (MML); the Commissioners attend MML and give County updates.
Name something you would begin working to accomplish as soon as your first week on the job.
We learned this month that the State is forgiving an additional $250,000 of our water plant loan. The original loan balance was $4.53 million. Thanks to advocacy by Mayor Roop and our Annapolis representatives, the balance is now $138,982.
I will work to pass these savings on to the citizens and reduce the water-sewer bills. We also need to evaluate how the connection charges from the two new developments impact our reserves and see how we can further reduce the bills.
What skills do you have to offer constituents that other candidates might not?
My professional background is in communications; this often helps in my Town Council role as I advocate for outreach to better engage our citizens.
My experience: with eight years on the Council, I come to the position familiar with the duties and ready to get to work. Long before I was an elected official, I regularly attended the Council meetings and volunteered at events.
What one thing would you most like to see changed?
I want to see the Dielman Inn developed into a commercial property. The building’s location makes it ideal for a variety of venues. We have had interest in the property from a few parties, one of whom has in mind a business that could make New Windsor a “destination”. Ideally, we want businesses that are good for economic development and bring in tax revenue, while preserving our small town charm.
What are your campaign priorities?
My top priority is to administer our budget so that we can repair our infrastructure. This includes reducing the water-sewer bills, while ensuring that there are reserve funds to replace and repair our aging systems.
Another related priority is ensuring that the State Highway Administration (SHA) comes through with the pledged funds to re-do the water lines, streets, and sidewalks on Main and High Streets. The Town has already invested in this project, based on SHA’s commitment, and we need to ensure that the project is completed.
What is your position on the “pay-as-you-throw” pilot program?
In general, as a Council Member, I support programs that save taxpayer money and offer other benefits to New Windsor.
By far, the largest bill we have as a town is trash removal: about $90,000 annually. About half of this amount it to pay for the garbage trucks; the rest is the County landfill’s tipping or dumping fee, which is about $64 per ton. We do not pay a tipping/dumping fee on recycling.
Prior to the pilot, we paid an average $2,669 per month in tipping fees. During the pilot, we would have paid an average $1,498 per month.
In theory, the pay-as-you-throw could save the Town more than $1,100 per month and more than $14,000 per year. We are already looking at options for less expensive bags, which would also save money.
However, the potential savings are dependent on a number of factors that are out of New Windsor’s control, such as whether or not the County raises the tipping fee or starts charging for “tipping” recycling, and the fee for the garbage pickup is in the coming years.
Having to purchase garbage bag makes us more aware of our options, so we may send things to charities, recycle, use less, etc., all of which saves the Town money. It is also a more equitable system because we pay for what we use. If my household has twice as much trash as my neighbor’s, I am responsible for that cost.
So, my position is that, if the savings and benefits continue, New Windsor could use the potential $14,000 per year savings for other needs. However, if the program stops saving us money, or if the County significantly changes how it manages the landfill, then the pay-as-you-throw program would not work for our town.