This is late in coming, but thank you to everyone who took the time to vote in the recent primary. I am humbled by my wide margin of victory in my race for county commissioner. As I gear up for the general election, I thought I'd offer some mid-summer musings.
A lot of hay is still being made by local politicians about how they saved us from the "rain tax." Except that right there on the back of Carroll's property tax bill is a note about the Watershed Protection and Restoration Fund. Turns out the state got what it wanted during negotiations; a dedicated fund to pay for stormwater projects in older developments, while the politicians got what they wanted; something to crow about. I am still confused as to why our politicians created a policy that requires all property owners to pay into a stormwater fund an amount based solely on one's tax bill with no regard to the actual stormwater runoff or lack thereof from one's property.
Here's hoping uses for North Carroll High School can be found that are compatible with its zoning. It's a shame it's been sitting nearly empty for two years, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars per month to taxpayers, because the commissioner's plan for its use was never approved by the Town of Hampstead. As commissioner, I will work to ensure that any future closures are properly vetted through all concerned parties and any proposed usages are truly viable.
It seems the plastic straw is the newest cause-du-jour around the country, with Carroll recently joining in. I'm all for reducing our usage of disposable products, especially plastic ones. I also believe that we can't recycle our way out of reducing our trash production; that consumption must be reduced. However, honing in on the plastic straw without consideration as to how a ban might impact disabled persons, or at the expense of ignoring bigger issues, is misguided in my opinion.
Westminster recently held its first Pride Festival. It was a wonderful event and should rightfully take its place among the many annual festivals on Main Street. There was a great turnout, although apparently absent were most of Carroll's politicians, as if LGBTQ+ kids are only born to Democratic parents.
In closing, come out and support your local famers' market, the various fire company carnivals and the 4-H Fair this summer!