Carroll County Commissioner
Thomas E. Irwin, Jr.
Taneytown, Carroll County
Farmer / Agronomist
Westminster High School University of Maryland at College Park Bachelor of Science in Crop Science Agronomy
Presently, the Chairman of the Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board for Carroll County. Recently, a committee member on the "75,000 Acres Preserved & Growing" committee for the Carroll County Commissioners. I was a Westminster High School class President, and a President of the Westminster Future Farmers of America
Why are you running for office?
I offer a very unique perspective, for the voters of Carroll County. There is no substitute for life experience in shaping decisions. I have worked over 30 years, in the Agribusiness industry in Carroll County. I want my representative to be responsible for the tax dollars I pay. I see a need for someone, like me, to be on the Board of Commissioners. That's why I'm running.
What do you see as the most pressing issue the county faces and how would you address it?
I see unfunded liabilities as a pressing problem, in upcoming years. The desire for some to raise taxes and expand government is a certain problem, in the future. I will not tolerate wasted tax dollars.
What plans do you have to help the county and its businesses successfully emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Remove unnecessary restrictions on business. Let businesses conduct business, and remove governmental restrictions.
How will you tackle the issue of producing solar energy while preserving quality farmland in the county?
Carroll County has over 75,000 acres in land preservation. We rank #1, in the State, for preserved acres of farmland. Our county ranks #2, in the nation, for preserved acres through easement purchase. Agriculture is the #1 industry in Carroll County. While solar energy is important, it does not supersede the need for productive farmland.
What would you do to address broadband access in the most rural parts of the county?
I live in a rural part of Carroll County. I have broadband access, because a provider services our area. As a Commissioner, I would encourage competition and free enterprise to expand coverage across Carroll County.
What steps should the county government take to address opioid overdoses and deaths?
Enforce the law and prosecute the criminals. Educate people on the horrific dangers of these drugs.
What role can the county government play to improve education in county schools?
Carroll County public schools are very important to the community and are recognized statewide. I will ensure that our schools are managed correctly, emphasizing traditional values and curriculum.
What efforts does the county need to make to address systemic racism in government services?
Government services should treat every citizen equally. Period.
What steps must the county take to improve public safety?
Enforce the laws and prosecute the criminals.
How is climate change impacting the county and what can be done locally to address the effects?
If you believe that people are changing the climate, and we can locally address the effects, then there are two options. As carbon emissions are blamed for the climate changing, we can reduce carbon emissions and/or expand carbon removal from the atmosphere. In Carroll County, we can remove huge amounts of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Agronomic field crops remove large amounts of carbon, in making glucose, in making bushels. You want to locally address the effects, have as many green, productive acres as possible. Nursery, row crops, hay, pasture, trees, woods, etc. Preserve farmland and make it productive. Until technology replaces the internal combustion engine, as our power source, we can do something about the carbon dioxide it produces, locally.
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