Carl Neimeyer, a nine-year Navy veteran and small-business owner, has wanted to run for office for a long time. But the circumstances never lined up for him, he said, until now, when he noticed the increasing political polarization in Washington, D.C., filtering down to the local level.
“My wife and I both tend to be centrist people. So the dialogue [at the Anne Arundel County Council] is something we both felt that I could have a good influence on in the community,” Neimeyer said.
The Arnold resident grew up Republican but officially switched his political affiliation to Democrat after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
He said he agrees with the work Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman has been doing over the past four years and would try to support him if he is elected as the District 5 council member and Pittman is reelected.
“I found the budget to honestly be very reasonable that the administration has put forward — the increases in first responder funding, the increases in teacher funding, the increases in public works,” Neimeyer said. “I would want budgets to include those. I’d also want to increase our current funding for roads, schools and safety.”
He said he’d also try to work with the council to keep the area a competitive place to live for people looking to move to the Washington-Baltimore region.
“Also parks and recreation — the West B&A Trail coming online, getting a trail in Broadneck that will actually connect the B&A Trail down to Cape St. Claire — these are huge things that make our area competitive with the other surrounding counties,” he said. “We want people to come here. That’s what’s going to increase the revenue that allows us to do these things that make a place better, but unless we make the investments up front to get the people here, those things are never going to happen.”
Neimeyer said none of this would necessarily require raising taxes, just spending wisely.
“We’ve done a very good job in the last four years of increasing the county’s revenues, making investments, and that same thing needs to continue,” he said. “People are moving here, as we’ve seen with our better schools and new schools being built. I’m seeing homes pop up all over the place and those houses are getting filled in a heartbeat. It’s allowing us to do the things we need to do.”
He has a similar plan for improving the county’s public safety — moving around county resources to meet the demand better. Neimeyer said he would talk to police and fire departments about making changes they think need to be made.
Maryland Policy & Politics
“Do you have enough manpower to manage the areas you feel you need to put people into?” he said is something he would ask fire and police chiefs. “At the same time, is there waste? Maybe we have too many [people] that can be reallocated across the board. I’d make the sound financial judgment based on the data that’s there to get them what is needed to best protect our communities.”
Neimeyer also said he’d try to ensure teachers in the county are paid enough to live here, an issue he says has improved over the years but not enough.
“They have all of my respect,” the father of five said. “They deserve competitive pay that is commensurate with the work and the education that they have. I was appalled looking at budgets in the prior administration where our teachers’ raises were on hold. I think a teacher should be able to live in the community where they teach if they so choose.”
He said he also sees ways to fund the salary increases that don’t involve increasing taxes, like redistributing tax revenue in the existing budget.
Neimeyer said his experience as an engineer in the Navy and running his Severna Park-based business, Bernward Mechanical and Construction Solutions, in the county since 2016 position him to understand how to fix problems and have instilled a sense of empathy in him for other small-business owners and working-class residents.
“People shouldn’t be forced to go somewhere else because they’re middle class,” he said. “Everyone should be able to share in this great area.”
Republican Amanda Fiedler currently represents the district and filed for reelection in August. District 5 includes Arnold and the Broadneck Peninsula.