Carroll County Commissioner
Taneytown, Carroll County
Creative Freelancer (Writing, Editing, and Graphic Design)
I'm a graduate of Mount Saint Mary's University, where I studied history, political science, and philosophy.
I'm a third-term member of the City Council of Taneytown, where I currently serve in the capacity as both Mayor Pro Tem and council liaison to the Taneytown Police Department.
Why are you running for office?
For love of home, and to protect those things we love ñ that in this county, we still believe in God, in family, in parental rights, in individual rights, in law enforcement, in real education, in agriculture, in community, in timeless values, in helping others, and in hard work.
What do you see as the most pressing issue the county faces and how would you address it?
There are two. First, public safety ñ from supporting and properly funding law enforcement, to continuing to partner with public and private agencies to combat the opioid crisis, to continuing to develop the Department of Fire and EMS to provide critical support for local companies. Second, being cautious toward development. This is important not merely from a sense of community and home, but from a public safety perspective, as well. We need to be able to adequately provide emergency services for our residents, and unlimited growth will further complicate an already serious situation where, with 22,000 calls for medical assistance last year alone, ambulances have had to be, and are still being rerouted to other hospitals, while the first responders themselves need help in keeping up with the demand for their assistance.
What plans do you have to help the county and its businesses successfully emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Staying out of the way of businesses so that they can keep open and operate is the best thing government can do to help them. That includes opposing mandates and opposing returning to a state of lockdown despite calls from some to do so.
How will you tackle the issue of producing solar energy while preserving quality farmland in the county?
The emphasis of preservation has to be on agriculture. If we're speaking about solar farms, in order to consider one plausible, it must be cost-effective, must not infringe on local property rights, must not disrupt local farming practices, and must not create any other kind of adverse condition or burden to the area. As far as individuals and their own homes and property are concerned, I'm in favor of private use of solar panels.
What would you do to address broadband access in the most rural parts of the county?
At present, internet access in daily life is important ñ from keeping in touch with friends and loved ones, to learning and homework use, to work and careers. Continuing to secure grants and other funding, while partnering with providers through agreements regarding residential unit density, will help to connect outstanding homes to broadband.
What steps should the county government take to address opioid overdoses and deaths?
Enforcement, advocacy, and education are going to continue to be critical. If you deal drugs, you need to go to jail. The Sheriff's Department, and our municipal police departments, have been adept at cracking down on drug activity, and disrupting the trade. It is, however, a constant fight, as drug dealers are relentless ñ and so properly funding and supporting law enforcement to counter the threat is crucial. We also have to work with our delegation to push back against drug legalization and other counterproductive policies from the state, advocating for harsher penalties for dealing. At the same time, we have to continue to support and fund education initiatives ñ including prevention, training, and treatment ñ not just among adults, but also among students. Our current Board of Education has been insistent on this, as well, and that is to their credit.
What role can the county government play to improve education in county schools?
Commissioners can fund education budgets which are not based on divisive and politicized curriculums, such as those with Critical Race Theory. While the development of education policy properly and justly rests with the School Board, commissioners can certainly lend their voices to support of the School Board when they take stands in support of parental rights, actual education, and especially in support of students themselves. Communication ñ a working relationship ñ with the Board is going to be essential. School safety is also paramount to providing an environment in which learning can occur, and so I wholly support the school resource officer program.
What efforts does the county need to make to address systemic racism in government services?
If some instance of racism should be encountered, it must be dealt with. Racism is evil. Bigotry of any kind is evil. Because these things deny our humanity, they deny our very soul, and in so doing, deny God. Zero tolerance for it in government services is the appropriate response. To that end, hiring anyone based on anything other than merit, or denying any citizen help based on race, is wrong.
What steps must the county take to improve public safety?
Our Sheriff's Department and our municipal law enforcement agencies do phenomenally in their work to keep the public safe. Commissioners can help maintain, and further grow a pro-police environment by continuing to speak positively of law enforcement, fully funding the Sheriff's Department, supporting school resource officers, supporting community outreach, and supporting areas of cooperation between county and municipal law enforcement, such as with the Sheriff's cross-jurisdictional deputization agreement.
How is climate change impacting the county and what can be done locally to address the effects?
Climate has changed and fluctuated over time, with or without the presence of human beings. Any farmer, any hunter, anyone with common sense will tell you that nature has to be cared for, tended to, used but not abused. I believe that God calls upon us, as such, to be good stewards of His creation. After all, we depend on the Earth for our survival, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear to the places that we live. Any elected official must therefore balance the needs of human beings with the impact on the environment. You cannot make policy at the expense of human life, and you cannot make policy that will cause wholesale destruction of the natural world. To that end, recycling, energy efficiencies, the creation of nature parks, agricultural preservation, and more, are certainly helpful.
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