Spending – A Time for Solutions

Carroll County faces difficult times. The challenges of the job losses, budget shortfalls, rising costs and a series of incomplete projects leave our county needing real solutions. Accordingly, I have decided to run for County Commissioner in District 5 (Eldersburg & Sykesville area).

The budget is in serious trouble. The budget is important because it defines the scope of County services and the resources we have to meet community needs. It also determines what we will pay in taxes. Commissioner decisions and circumstances beyond the County’s control have left us with an ominous situation.

Revenue sources are down. Federal and State deficits will cut revenue to the County and pass more expenses down. We continue to struggle because of our low commercial/industrial tax base. Housing-related revenues will decline due to lower assessments. We face growing costs in some areas and have just begun to see the impact of adding an extremely expensive, ill-conceived high school to our operating costs.

An ineffective pattern has emerged in County government. The county starts a major initiative, spends a great deal of money, hires consultants and acquires assets. They get partially done, only to be stopped by citizen outcry, technical obstacles or our own state delegation. The airport, police force, Pathways, incinerator and other projects have followed this ineffective and expensive pattern. Some projects should never have been pursued. Others should have been successfully completed.

We need a better process that limits government, looks for private sector solutions and requires organizations seeking funding to improve efficiency, coordinate with other agencies and seek alternative funding sources. We need to encourage new business that creates high paying jobs without disrupting the community. We do not need hundreds of acres rezoned. We need real economic development. Small business must be encouraged. Property rights must be protected. We must leave the control of the destiny our citizens in their hands not in the government. This is a time when a real conservative perspective is needed.

I want to bring real solutions to Carroll County. My experience as a business owner, director of CATS and involved member of the community will allow me to work cooperatively with four other commissioners to find these solutions. We must establish clear and measurable goals, seek real community involvement at all stages of a project, harness the talent and capabilities of our citizens and bring projects to completion.