Carroll County finally has its full complement of legislators in Annapolis.
On March 13, Gov. Larry Hogan appointed April Rose, a Westminster resident, to fill the vacant seat in the House of Delegates representing District 5.
Rose's first venture into politics took place in 2002 when she attended a meeting of the South Carroll Republican Club. She eventually would rise to the office of club president. She is a former member of the Carroll County Republican Central Committee, having served from 2004 to 2010, ending her second term as the committee's chairwoman.
She was appointed to the Carroll County Board of Elections in 2014 and worked as a legislative aide during the Republican National Convention in 2008.
Rose was selected after a "thorough vetting process" that included interviewing multiple candidates, according to a news release from Hogan's office.
She has worked in the private sector for many years, including selling real estate, in the mortgage business, and she currently works as human resource manager and a recruiter for NMR Consulting, a company that staffs federal contracts with people who have security clearances.
Since her appointment March 13 to the House of Delegates, she has been assigned to the Health and Government Operations Committee, and has spent her time getting accustomed to the long, hectic schedule that is the norm near the end of session.
The Times caught up with Rose to ask her about her experiences so far, what she hopes to accomplish, and what she is looking forward to the most.
Q: What's it been like being a new delegate jumping into the middle of the legislative session?
A: Well, it's just been a whirlwind. Truthfully, from the minute I was sworn in we've been working. I've been learning as I go along, working with the budget and the crossover coming up, getting assigned to subcommittees and a committee. It's been a lot of listening and learning and voting. It's been very interesting. It's been a whirlwind, I don't know how else to put it. I've had so many other people say "you came at the worst possible time." Everybody's been very helpful, which is good.
Q: What made you decide to apply for the vacant delegate seat?
A: I certainly have been active in years past, and I thought about running in the House, but the timing wasn't right. I just thought that this was a unique opportunity and I felt like I would be able to go down and do a good job for our community. There are a lot of issues I would like to be able to work on, certainly following Sen. Justin Ready's work. I noticed that he was on the Health and Government Operations Committee and so I was interested in some of the things he has posted about, such as Alzheimer's, and other issues like veteran's jobs — that's another big thing I care about. I just felt like I could come down and do a good job for the community and work on issues I think are important.
Q: How do you think your past experiences will help you as a delegate?
A: In Human Resources, a lot of the laws that are passed all end up in the HR office, and we are left to implement new changes and new guidelines, things that affect people. I feel that, as I am hearing the new bills, I'll have the mindset of being the person that has to put that into action, and I think that can give a good perspective. In the past, I've sold real estate, and worked in the mortgage business years ago, so I feel like I can bring some insight into those fields as well.
Mainly, I'm very interested in growing the economy… and making sure decisions are not made that are hurtful to business or make it harder to do business. Obviously, there has to be these laws, but having someone who can think like a business person and really understand that sometimes things sound great in theory, and might be a good idea, but in practicality and carrying something out, it can sometimes cause a lot of burden to business. A voice to bring that up and discuss it will be helpful.
Q: On your questionnaire the Carroll County Republican Central Committee had you complete as part of their recommendation process, one question asked if you have ever been a defendant to a civil or administrative proceeding. You answered no, but in 2012 you were listed as a defendant in a civil suit in the District Court for Carroll County. Could you clear this up for the readers?
A: Somebody brought this to my attention and I wasn't aware that it was there. That particular item was a medical dispute that was actually satisfied before, so I don't know why it was recorded. It was a medical bill that we thought was paid through insurance. Upon [a family member's] passing, I had the responsibility of taking care of the estate. In all of the amazing amount of paper work and stress, it was an oversight. But we did pay it, it's not anything that's owed and it was dismissed. I certainly did not intend to not be truthful, I have a top secret security clearance.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about the next session?
A: That it won't be this session. I think that having some more time to prepare will help and to see what it is really like at the beginning with everyone else and having the opportunity to see how everything happens down here organically so I'm walking along with everyone. Right now, I feel like I sort of stepped onto a fast-moving treadmill. It's been very interesting and I'm looking forward to getting a better sense of what an actual session is like from beginning to end.
Q: From the end of April to January, session is adjourned. What are you planning to do as delegate during this time?
A: Well definitely constituent services, and figuring out and implementing a scholarship program I'm working on, getting that up and running as well. In my job as a recruiter, we do veteran transition workshops ... so anything I can get involved with that would benefit veterans finding work; I'll be finding my way and finding areas for me to contribute to. I will certainly be open to hearing from constituents and local small businesses.
I feel very honored for this privilege and opportunity and I want to do a good job for our community, our constituents, and the one thing I can promise you is I will give it my very best effort and I will work very hard.