In this run up to the District 5 commissioner primary, it is important to reflect on the importance of effective leadership and the high price my Freedom community has paid after making the wrong choice. Our last eight years of commissioner representation in Freedom have been a complete disaster. There have been no major governance accomplishments and we are considerably worse off than we were in 2008 when the community was on the rise and even ranked as the No. 56 best small community in America to live.
What happened? Our commissioner(s) preferred chasing after national conservative political issues and tilting at perceived liberal windmills to upgrading our infrastructure or schools, they ignored upgrading parks and recreation facilities and cancelled CIP budgeted upgrades to our roads. Sadly, we've also experienced no real, measurable economic development in our district, except a bunch of new retail clogging our failing roads. Retail jobs don't provide a living wage in a community, where the average home is over $300,000. Our commissioner cheerleaded Carroll's lowest paid first-year teachers, championed embarrassing English-only ordinances and defended legal fights over secular prayers at Board of Commissioner meetings.
In a complete abdication of advocacy, sometimes there's even outright work against the community's best interests like the visionless, high-density community master plan, written by county planning staff and approved by a hand-picked planning commission with not one member residing in the Freedom district. We need to start over completely after the November election.
To this end, I am endorsing Ed Rothstein for District 5 commissioner, because I know Ed is the right person for the job. Ed is his own man and a concerned leader. He has demonstrable leadership experience as the base commander of Fort Meade. As a retired Colonel, we also know he's an effective manager and not somebody who organizes meetings, so he can listen to himself talk. Ed gets things done. In leading one of the premier regional business organizations, he's proved he also has a strong rolodex and the respect of regional business and government institutions. Moreover, Ed is an honorable person and father. He has a tireless work ethic and is fun to be around. The more you talk to Ed, the more you like him, which is high praise, not generally reserved for most people running for political office. Vote Ed Rothstein for District 5 commissioner!