Welcome to the
Breakfast with Frederick County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly
League of Women Voters of Frederick County
2013 City of Frederick General Election
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
League of Women Voters of Frederick County, has produced this guide for use in the upcoming City of Frederick General Election, to be held Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that works to promote political responsibility through the informed and active participation of citizens in their government. The League does not support nor oppose any political party or candidate. Nothing in this Voters’ Guide should be interpreted as an endorsement by the League of Women Voters of any party or candidate.
The Voters’ Guide contains only the names of the candidates on the official ballots as certified by the City of Frederick Board of Supervisors of Elections. Candidates for each office are listed in the order in which their names appear on the ballot.
All candidates for each office were sent identical questionnaire. Candidates answers appear as submitted. If answers exceeded the specified word limitation, the excess words were cut from the end of the candidate’s answer and indicated by an ellipsis (…). If a candidate did not respond to the questionnaire, it is noted on the guide as “No response received.”
Although the utmost effort is made to ensure accuracy, the League of Women Voters can assume no liability for errors or omissions. The League thanks all candidates who submitted answers to the League’s questionnaire. The cooperation of The City of Frederick Board of Supervisors of Elections in making this Voters’ Guide possible is also gratefully acknowledged.
The City of Frederick to manage the election
The City of Frederick will for the first time be conducting the election without County assistance for the first time. The County will be responsible only for verifying voter registration.
The City is using a new voting system
The City will be introducing the DS200 scanner to tabulate votes. Each voter will color in an oval by their choice of candidate[s] on a paper ballot and insert it into the DS200. The scanner will review the ballot and reflect a message that either the ballot has been counted, or if there is an error on it such as an over-vote or under-vote. Voters will be given the opportunity to correct their ballots if they so desire.
Who may vote in the City of Frederick General?
To vote in the City election you must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of The City of Frederick for at least 30 days prior to the next City election, and at least 18 years old on or before Election Day.
All City of Frederick registered voters are permitted to vote in the General Election. If you have questions about your eligibility to vote, please call the Frederick County Board of Elections at 301-600-VOTE. All other questions regarding the election should be directed to the City of Frederick Board of Supervisors of Elections at 301-600-2575.
How to get an absentee ballot
You must apply in writing for an absentee ballot. An application may be obtained by telephone, written request, or in person at the Frederick County Board of Elections. An application form may be printed from the City of Frederick Election website at http://www.cityoffrederick.com/DocumentCenter/View/2971. Until seven days before Election Day, you may apply by mail. However, within seven days before an election or on Election Day, you or your designated agent may only apply in person for an absentee ballot. When your application is processed and you are determined to be qualified, an absentee ballot will be issued to you or your agent.
Deadline for receipt of absentee ballots
If returned in person, the City of Frederick Board of Supervisors of Election must receive an absentee ballot at City Hall, 101 North Court Street no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Voters are cautioned that if an absentee ballot has been issued to them they will not be permitted to cast their vote at their polling place on Election Day. Also, absentee ballots must be returned by mail or in person directly to The City of Frederick Board of Supervisors of Elections at City Hall; they cannot be accepted at the polls on Election Day.
Ballots mailed on or before Election Day, bearing a postmark verifying that fact, and received from the postal service or private mail carrier within 24 hours of the closing of the polls will be counted.
Where to Vote in The City of Frederick Elections
Please note that the City polling locations have changed and most differ from county election locations. Check your new voter registration card for your poll location, or visit http://spires2cityoffrederick.com/elections/polling_loc.php type in your address and your polling place will be displayed.
1* Burck Street Youth Center 413 Burck St.
2 Frederick Church of Nazarene 7899 Opossumtown Pike
3 Evangelical Lutheran Church 35 East Church St.
4 Cornerstone Fellowship Church 66 Waverley Dr. #630
5 William R. Talley Recreation Center (Armory) 121 North Bentz St.
6* Cornerstone Fellowship Church 66 Waverley Dr. #630
7 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 1811 Latham Dr.
8 Cornerstone Fellowship Church 66 Waverley Dr. #630
9 Cornerstone Fellowship Church 66 Waverley Dr. #630
10 Frederick Church of Nazarene 7899 Opossumtown Pike
11 William R. Talley Recreation Center (Armory) 121 North Bentz St.
12 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 1811 Latham Dr.
*THESE ARE NEW POLLING PLACES FOR PRECINCT 1 AND PRECINCT 6
(Vote for no more than one)
(50 word limit except for PRIORITIES)
BIOGRAPHICAL: Brief biographical sketch including information on your qualifications for the office you are seeking.
PRIORITIES: What are the three most pressing issues facing the City of Frederick? What measures would you take to address them? (100 word limit)
CITY FINANCES: What is your position on the City’s finances?
GROWTH: What are the major growth issues concerning the City and how would you address them?
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: What measures can the City take to increase availability of affordable housing?
TAXES: Is there any way to lower the property taxes for City residents yet maintain all the services they now enjoy?
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: How can a more cooperative relationship between the Mayor and Board of Aldermen provide for efficient issue management?
ELECTION PROCESS: Frederick County no longer manages City elections. Are there any changes in election law that you would recommend for the City?
ENVIRONMENT: What environmental problems does the City need to address?
Randy McClement (R) (Incumbent)
Email: email@example.com Website: www.reelectrandy.com
Facebook: Mayor Randy McClement Twitter: @reelectrandy
BIOGRAPHICAL: Mayor 2009-Present. President Maryland Mayors Association 2013. President Frederick Chapter Maryland Municipal League 2011-2012. Governor’s Small Business Task Force 2011-2012. Charter Review Committee 2008-2009. Ethics Committee 2007-2009. Tourism Council Board member 10 years (Past President). Owner/Operator The Market Bagel & Deli 1999-2011. Vanguard Management Inc. Director of Property Management 1986-1999.
PRIORITIES: Fiscal Responsibility – Continue to maintain tax rates while providing essential City services. Public Safety –To continue with the amazing character Frederick is known for, we must provide a safe place to live, work and play. I will work to maintain our way of life by continuing to find ways to strengthen our police force and allocating funds for much-needed road repair. Economic Development – We must continue to resolve the issues that are barriers for businesses. We must continue to update the “One Stop Permitting Shop.” Completion of Phase II of Carroll Creek and a hotel/meeting center are also important economic factors.
CITY FINANCES: Balancing the cost of essential services against burdens placed on taxpayers is my proudest accomplishment. I have balanced the past four budgets during the most challenging financial years in recent history, and I've done that in a way that keeps us safe, growing, and kept our tax rates under control.
GROWTH: One issue facing us is adequacy of infrastructure as construction begins again in the residential construction industry. I will focus on maintaining a good APFO to ensure that future growth is sustainable and pays its way. Growth is inevitable, but inadequate infrastructure is not.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Maintain an effective partnership with County Housing department and the State Department of Housing. The City is already a portal for assisting with mortgage issues. The creative staff at Frederick Community Action Agency leverages our local resources with state and federal programs. I support doing more in this area.
TAXES: My most important political accomplishment was holding the tax rate steady without drastically cutting services. The last four years saw record projected deficits, but with my team, we were able to protect City taxpayers. I promised careful fiscal stewardship, and the record proves I kept my promise.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: We are talking about politicians, elected on their own merits and ideas. Some level of tension is inevitable, and it's probably healthy for good governance. Cooperation, though, gives more focus, which in turn reinforces time management, and gets the job done. I have strived for this focus throughout my Administration.
ELECTION PROCESS: I would really like to see non-partisan City elections. City elections should focus on issues important to the citizens and not to partisan filters. Potholes, playgrounds, finances, public safety and water lines are not Republican or Democrat issues; they are technical problems for government to solve.
ENVIRONMENT: Our water and sewer treatment plants need to be maintained to state/federal mandates, and that cost keeps rising. Our need for new residential/commercial growth will place burdens on these systems that must be managed through planning and engineering. These are environmental issues that will be with us for decade
Karen Lewis Young (D)
Email: Klewisyoung@hotmail.com Website: www.karenyoung2013.com
FaceBook: Karen Young for Mayor Twitter: @YoungForMayor
BIOGRAPHICAL: BA, Franklin & Marshall College; MA, MBA Columbia University. 33 years executive management experience, primarily financial services; President Pro Tem, Board of Aldermen; Vice-Chair, Legislative Committee, Board of Directors; Maryland Municipal League; Chairman, Washington Council of Governments; Vice-Chair, Air Quality Committee; Extensive community service
PRIORITIES: Economic development: Attract and develop an educated and skilled workforce; Complete Carroll Creek Linear Park; Facilitate downtown hotel and conference center; Expedite the planning of East Frederick Rising; Pursue industry diversity; Improve permitting processes; Foster Public-Private Partnerships; Encourage innovation. Traffic congestion: Maintain our roads and infrastructure; Seek innovative funding sources; Encourage walking and cycling; Predictable transit; Incorporate best practices in urban design. Livable Community: Promote education and culture; Strengthen public safety; Better paying jobs; Affordable housing; Preserve historical heritage; Hold/reduce taxes.
CITY FINANCES: During the past ten years the City's budget has increased by 86%. The cost of employee benefits has increased by 111%. In 2004, benefits were 45% of salaries. In FY 2014 they will be 75%. These trends are not financially sustainable and a course correction is needed quickly.
GROWTH: The population is expected to grow by about 20,000 (30%) by 2030. However, job growth is not expected to increase proportionately. We must be proactive about addressing that imbalance. Also, we must carefully plan where and how we grow. Infill development, and East Frederick, should be our priority growth areas.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Blighted and vacant properties can be identified for possible conversion for multi-purpose use with a housing component. Partnerships with experienced housing agencies, with a proven record of utilizing innovative financial tools to achieve outcomes, could leverage public private partnerships. All new development must allocate affordable housing or a financial contribution.
TAXES: I believe that the City should engage in business process review in order to achieve greater efficiencies. There are 21 departments/functions that are duplicated by the City and County. The County should reimburse City residents at a higher rate for this duplication. Also, the commercial tax base should be expanded.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: The Mayor and Board need to work in a very collaborative manner. This will require ongoing, timely proactive communications and responsiveness to questions in order to build an atmosphere of trust and cooperation. Aldermen should be regularly briefed on issues that are likely to affect citizens or require legislative action.
ELECTION PROCESS: I have recommended that the City election go on the same cycle as either the presidential or gubernatorial election. This would result in a much higher voter turnout as evidenced by other municipalities around the country that are on that cycle. It would also save taxpayers approximately $140,000 per election.
ENVIRONMENT: The City needs to do its part in mitigating climate change including developing and implementing a comprehensive energy plan, improving air quality by reducing fossil fuel emissions and redesigning or replacing aging storm water infrastructure and reducing runoff. A more effective balance is needed between recycling and solid waste management.
Jennifer Dougherty (Unaffiliated)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Webpage: www.jenniferformayor.com
FaceBook: Jennifer for Mayor Twitter: Jennifer4Mayor
BIOGRAPHICAL: Mayor of Frederick (2002-2006); Business Owner – Magoo’s Pub (2009-present), Jennifer’s Restaurant (1987-2008), Dougherty’s Irish Shop (1999-2006), Realtor (2006-present); Civic - Chamber of Commerce (Chair, 1999), Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, Heartly House, LLS Light the Night; Education – Mount St. Mary’s College, BA-History, magna cum laude (1983).
PRIORITIES: 1. Leadership – I will make the necessary choices to improve public safety, stabilize the pension/retirement funds, sell the Hargett Farm, restore bulk trash and deliver on needed tax reform. 2. Public Safety – I will add 10 officers within 18 months and offer a one-time extension to senior officers to keep our ranks adequate until the new officers are trained. 3. Budget Management – I will lower the Homestead Property Tax Credit to 3%, lower the Business Personal Property Tax by 50% and level the City-County tax differential (saving city residents money)
CITY FINANCES: We have the money to provide needed services without raising taxes. The annual audit shows the City has more than twice the amount available in the fund balance than necessary. I will direct those funds to necessary priorities and improve transparency by creating an Audit Committee of City residents.
GROWTH: Water supply is good, but we have no water storage capacity. We have a unique option available – the quarry – and we should start long-term planning now. Wastewater treatment capacity needs aggressive attention to increase efficiency and add capacity. We have to improve our transportation network including mass-transit to jobs on the 270 corridor.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Housing prices have dropped more than 25% in some neighborhoods, so it is difficult to suggest techniques beyond what the national economy delivered. We can reward density of projects with smart legislation (MPDU) and continue to make our federal block grant funds available to qualified homebuyers.
TAXES: Yes, we can reduce the Homestead Property Tax Credit from 5% to 3% next year to avoid paying higher taxes when the State Assessments go up. I will also use all available funds for services except the recommended 12% fund balance – current available fund balance is over 23% (per the audit).
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: I will start the Brown Bag Lunches for elected officials on all levels, NAC members, business people and interested students. This monthly meeting will help build awareness and increase friendships that will help promote a unified approach toward solving the City’s problems.
ELECTION PROCESS: I support including all voters in the primary process by moving to a non-partisan election or at least open primaries. I support early voting for City elections and making polling places convenient throughout the City.
ENVIRONMENT: We need a “Get Off the Grid” plan. I suggest a pilot program to convert the wastewater treatment plant to a renewable energy supply saving money and being “green”. We need to protect the City Watershed with a plan that will inventory, map and restore the 7,000+ acres of watershed.
(Vote for no more than five)
Daniel D. Cowell
Email: email@example.com Website: www.votedanielcowellforfrederick.com
Facebook: DanielCowellforCityofFrederickAlderman Twitter: @votedancowell
BIOGRAPHICAL: Education: Middletown High School; Frederick Community College, A.A., Business Administration Towson University, B.S., Business Administration concentrating in Marketing. Professional Experience: Currently a Credit Manager for national financial institution in the banking industry. Formerly a Credit Analyst and Customer Service Representative in same industry. Governmental Experiences: Western Maryland Young Republicans: Treasurer
PRIORITIES: Restructure the City pension and health plan, reduce City debt, and focus on public safety. Health care expenses and City pension benefits are no longer sustainable in today’s economy and must be curbed. This will immediately reduce debt. Keep open communication lines with all neighborhoods regarding safety issues.
CITY FINANCES: Frederick’s finances are budgeted, however unfunded liabilities are a concern. Three credit entities determining Frederick’s credit rating indicated unfunded pension/ healthcare benefits if not funded will impact our credit rating. If the City has a subpar credit rating, interest rates on debt become higher possibly causing increased taxation to residents.
GROWTH: Increased traffic issues would be resolved with additional traffic signals in needed areas. Containing increased costs caused by growth would be addressed by regular reviews of expenditures.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: The current affordable housing counsel established in 1993 is doing its job. The City should continue to foster housing rehabilitation initiatives.
TAXES: Yes. Reduce the debt the City owes, which will allow for lower taxation. We also need to review and reform healthcare and pension liabilities.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: The mayor is the CEO of the business, and the Board of Aldermen are the executives working with the CEO. There needs to be respect for a cooperative relationship to ensure Frederick moves forward as the premier municipality in Maryland to live and work.
ELECTION PROCESS: I am not aware of any problems with the current election process.
ENVIRONMENT: Continue to monitor the waste treatment facility for proper discharge and maintenance of equipment. Have oversight for the health of the water along the Carroll Creek linear park.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Webpage: phildacey.com
BIOGRAPHICAL: Graduate of TJHS, UMCP and University of Baltimore Law School where he attended at night while working full time in the Maryland Senate. Attorney for State of MD. Served on Frederick Board of Zoning Appeals, Frederick County Ethics Commission, and was appointed to the Governor’s Criminal Justice Information Advisory Board.
PRIORITIES: 1) Managing growth responsibly to bring jobs, 2) Reducing criminal activity and reducing the perception of crime, and 3) Ensuring quality of life services continue – fostering the arts and cultural amenities that are offered by the City.
CITY FINANCES: The City must prioritize funding for three main areas 1) Adequate infrastructure, 2) Public Safety, and 3) Maintaining quality of life. Other spending such as $300,000 in FY 12 for new golf carts for Clustered Spires should be spent more wisely.
GROWTH: Infrastructure is the major issue concerning future growth. Frederick has more than doubled in population since my birth in the 70s but the roads are largely unchanged. We need to prioritize infrastructure spending to ensure that we are not a community paralyzed by needed new growth.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: As Frederick develops, it is important that the City ensure that a variety of housing is offered in the new construction areas to accommodate various income levels. The City should priorities high quality jobs so that families can live, shop, and work within the community.
TAXES: Frederick should prioritize its spending so that a reduction in property taxes is possible. For example, the golf course is owned by the City and could be sold to non-public entities and placed back on the tax rolls. This revenue could be used to offset City taxes.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: Congress is broken as a result of poor cooperation; citizens deserve better and Frederick should not go down this path. As a licensed mediator, I understand how important communication can be in accomplishing a task. Adults should act maturely and respectfully, and listen to each other even when disagreeing.
ELECTION PROCESS: Frederick should transition to non-partisan elections. Partisan labels are not particularly informative or helpful at the local level—there’s no Republican or Democrat way to build a road. Most voters are interested in who can do the job, not what party a candidate belongs to.
ENVIRONMENT: As a customer for waste management, Frederick needs to urge the county to revisit both the concept and location of the proposed incinerator. I am concerned about the potential air quality impact of an incinerator project located only miles from the border.
BIOGRAPHICAL: Former Alderman; bachelor degrees: Business Administration, American History, Loyola College; MBA, Hood College; Fellow, Academy for Excellence in Local Government, Univ. of MD.; Retired Project Manager, AT&T; Vice-chair Planning Commission; Vice President, WASHCOG; Vice-chair, Greater Washington 2050; member: Maryland Military Installation Council, Workforce Development Board; Chair, Debt Affordability Committee.
PRIORITIES: 1) Jobs: retention of both existing and new jobs; if the City is to maintain it’s pre-eminence in the western region. 2) Education-prepare for the jobs of today and be ready for the jobs of tomorrow. 3) Reduce the Property Tax rate.
CITY FINANCES: Directors of Budget and Finance do an excellent job in preparing background information for financial decisions. An annual review with Bond Advisors helps maintain our various bond ratings and within bonding limits. Property tax revenue grows annually an average of 5.4%, so overall the City is in good shape.
GROWTH: How to adequately handle the anticipated growth in jobs and provide for a range of housing choices for the 15,000 new residents the State is projecting over the next 20 years. New zoning to allow for higher buildings outside the Historic District and increased public transit are but two ideas.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Using the example of the Hope VI process that provided affordable housing in a number of neighborhoods, perhaps the City can re-establish the 2002 Affordable Housing Steering Committee, on which I served, to update potential sites for future development and take advantage of new financing options.
TAXES: Yes, through a combination of increased commercial/industrial zoned acreage and constantly applying Quality Assurance principals to all the City’s departmental processes for efficiencies. An increase in the amount of new revenue when combined with cost reductions can affect a lower property tax rate.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: In our charter, we have a “strong” mayoral form of government. A role of the aldermen should be as the additional “eyes and ears” for the mayor to provide early identification and information on issues raised by our businesses and residents.
ELECTION PROCESS: Move the City elections to the Presidential cycle. That would save not only on the cost, but eliminate the confusion of different polling places used between the various election cycles. The change would definitely have more residents voting for our local leaders!
ENVIRONMENT: Storm water management has been, is and will be a major problem as all municipalities deal with State mandated regulations that are often difficult to achieve in an established city, especially in our historical downtown area.
Email: email@example.com Website: www.NashforFrederick.com
Facebook: katiejonash Twitter: katienash
BIOGRAPHICAL: Bachelors, Political Science and MBA (Hood College). Worked in the Maryland legislature, now work as a Business Manager for a Frederick professional services/IT firm. Active in PTA, Fort Detrick community, and Tech Council of Maryland. Participant in the Women to Women Mentoring program. Blessed working mother of two children.
PRIORITIES: 1) Financial Reform – the current way we spend money has reduced our ability to invest in our future. 2) Growth – infrastructure before development. Work with stakeholders to create a local infrastructure bank to fund growth-related projects. 3) Good government –everyone deserves a voice. Implement nonpartisan elections and early voting.
CITY FINANCES: We currently pay too much for large capital projects. We can’t dedicate resources to an all-weather shelter yet we prioritize hotels and golf courses. We cannot realize tax cuts until we reduce expenditures – with our City’s resources, this can be done. We also need to implement long-term financial planning.
GROWTH: Traffic is cited as a problem every election cycle. Our current planning methods do not work - we need innovation and a desire to learn from other municipalities. We build houses and play catch up. To change this, we need financing options. Hence the concept of a local infrastructure bank.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Workforce housing must be thoughtfully planned in collaboration with the development community. Rentals and moderately priced dwelling units are our assurance that we are providing affordable housing. We can borrow lessons learned elsewhere and implement to enable our police officers and teachers the ability to work where they reside.
TAXES: Yes! But not without challenges – we need to act to make businesses externally competitive to create a wider assessable tax base. More businesses paying for services, a better division of cost, and the ability to ultimately lower taxes. Refer to the above relating to my views on our expenditures.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: Debate is healthy for the City and a variance of ideas is a great thing. Citizens should demand that these debates be exercised professionally. Thoughtful dialogue will lead to a more open government and greater participation from citizens. Additional participation ensures that more people are engaged and their voices heard.
ELECTION PROCESS: Frederick is one of three existing municipalities with partisan elections (Annapolis and Baltimore). National-level partisanship negatively impacts our voter turn-out and dialogue. The issues at the city level are unique to Frederick, and don’t need to reflect the Washington discord. I recommend nonpartisan elections and early voting.
ENVIRONMENT: Recycling for businesses and increased frequency of pick-up through a partnership with the County’s recycling program. This is not an easy fix but with some creativity can be achieved. I would also like to partner with the private sector to consider additional transit options (such as the East Street Trolley).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.voteschmidt.com
Facebook: facebook.com/dave.schmidt.frederick Twitter: twitter.com/_Dave Schmidt
BIOGRAPHICAL: Attended Frederick Community College before serving as a United States Marine. After years working in the family business (Frederick Air Inc.), branched out in 2011, starting a company that does business process/efficiency consulting. Served on Transportation Services Advisory Committee. Testified on behalf of residents and local businesses at City Hall.
PRIORITIES: 1) Making the city government run as efficiently as possible. 2) Going after our State and Federal delegations. City residents are not seeing a return on taxes sent to Annapolis/DC. We need that money spent here. 3) Widen our tax-base, by making Frederick “The Place” for new businesses and residents.
CITY FINANCES: Unfunded liability is unacceptable; we need reforms that take the City towards a sustainable financial future. The current Board/Mayor have gone a long way towards fixing the OPEB side of our liability, if they are unable to complete reform before the election, I won’t stop until this issue is resolved.
GROWTH: Infrastructure and interconnectivity, both within the city, and surrounding areas. We need to break down the political wall preventing state funding. Also it’s important we follow sustainable growth principles. My experience in energy efficiency/“green-building” gives me unique insight into new and inventive technology to modernize our City and grow intelligently.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: We need to grow the tax base. When we bring more people and businesses into our city, we can lower the tax rate across the board. More jobs, and a lower tax burden, are the only way to guarantee our residents can afford to continue living here in the city.
TAXES: The only way to accomplish lowering the property tax rate is to grow the tax base. We need our residents to be able to earn and spend money here in the city. If more people are contributing to pay for services, there is less of a burden on each individual.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: The next Mayor and Board’s relationship has to be built on a foundation of understanding. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing: A safe, beautiful city that every resident can afford to live in. If we work against each other, we will never accomplish anything.
ELECTION PROCESS: I would support nonpartisan Elections. There isn’t a single issue in the City of Frederick that can be expressed purely in the terms “Republican” or “Democrat” This system of associating our residents with a particular candidate because of a national or federal ideology is damaging to our local political environment.
ENVIRONMENT: As I stated before, my experience with home energy efficiency and sustainable building gives me a unique perspective on how to intelligently approach growth. As an Alderman, I would welcome every opportunity to ensure we are protecting our local green-spaces and waterways. We’re not responsible for just roads and buildings.
Email: email@example.com Website: www.JoshBokee.com
FaceBook: Friends of Josh Bokee
BIOGRAPHICAL: Twenty years of professional experience, including as a director for Government Affairs at a communications company and a public sector legislative analyst. Skillsets include building budgets, evaluating complex organizations and working collaboratively to complete projects. B.S. in Business Management, Penn State; Masters of Community Planning, University of Maryland, College Park.
PRIORITIES: 1) Safety: Every neighborhood should be safe: Ensuring a fully staffed police force, addressing blighted properties and providing traffic relief. 2) Affordability: The ability to buy a home and also afford to stay in your home throughout retirement. 3) Economic Opportunity: Spurring private investment that leads to good paying jobs.
CITY FINANCES: Strong fiscal responsibility and taking a pragmatic approach to the city’s budget is essential. In their most recent reports, the bond rating agencies were generally positive about the city’s financial health and outlook as long as potential pension liabilities continued to be addressed and healthy fund reserves were maintained.
GROWTH: Ensure we first address the needs of existing neighborhoods, including intersection improvements to relieve local traffic congestion and every day quality of life issues (i.e. sidewalk repairs). We need to work with the state and county on traffic issues on state roads that pass through the city.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Encourage the market to produce a range of housing types, from single family to condominium units. Target reinvestment zones for mixed-use redevelopments, work with non-profits like Habitat for Humanity and be aware of how changes in property tax rates can impact personal budgets, especially for fixed income earners.
TAXES: Work towards eliminating duplicate taxation on residential property by identifying remaining services that the city provides, but residents pay the county for as well. We should also implement a feasible process that institutes regular reviews and audits of program and service delivery effectiveness.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: We need to ensure that there is both mutual respect and an understanding of one another’s roles – the Mayor as both chief strategist and day-to-day manager and the aldermen as the final authority on budget and policy while also serving as representatives of all residents.
ELECTION PROCESS: We should always be reviewing all programs and processes for effectiveness. I would require more information before being able to give an informed opinion on this question; including understanding what the options are and how other communities have balanced costs while ensuring full voter access and participation.
ENVIRONMENT: We should re-examine new opportunities for energy conservation measures (which also saves on operating costs) for public buildings and vehicles; implement a cost effective plan to start weekly recycling and bring back bulk trash curbside pick up to reduce illegal dumping.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.DanielsForAlderman.com
BIOGRAPHICAL: Community college with sufficient credits to obtain AA Liberal Arts; AS Business Administration; AS Culinary Arts. University of Hawaii, studies in Environmental Science; University of North Florida, studies in Business Administration. Professional experience: U.S. Navy Master Chief, Naval flight engineer, Norwegian Air Force avionics engineer, Electrical marine surveyor, small business owner.
PRIORITIES: 1) Dealing with blighted properties. Blighted, vacant or underutilized properties make no economic contribution and encourage other undesirable activities. 2) Carroll Creek Phase II. Completion will create opportunities for development and redevelopment. 3) Airport. Extending the runway allows more corporate traffic and potentially attracts feeder flights to our regional airports.
CITY FINANCES: The city bond ratings indicate our finances are sound. S&P AA, Fitches AA, and Moody’s Aa2 having a positive outlook all reflect high-grade investment bonds. Maintaining a strong fund balance, decreasing our debt burden and reducing our unfunded liabilities will result in stronger ratings and improve the city's financial outlook.
GROWTH: Transportation infrastructure is the piece of growth that most affects the quality of life. A traffic study is required for a development to move forward; however, it is a local study and does not address the regional issues created on the roads not under the control of the city.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: The first step would be to conduct a needs assessment and resource availability study. After determining the effectiveness of the current programs, additional funding and flexibility could be achieved by establishing a fee in lieu of requiring that developers provide affordable housing as part of the development process.
TAXES: Decreasing property tax by one-cent requires approximately $632,000 in cost savings. Delivering services in a more efficient manner with more efficient equipment could result in significant savings. Evaluating each service the city delivers for need, effectiveness and efficiencies, including equipment requirements, would identify the potential savings.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: Issue and constituency case management, including transfer of information between the Legislative and Executive Branch, is sorely lacking. Hiring a dedicated legislative assistant to the Board of Aldermen should improve the flow of information internally, as well as provide timely feedback to constituents.
ELECTION PROCESS: Providing voting opportunities such as same day voter registration, out of precinct voting and early voting clearly increase voter participation and should be adopted immediately. Online voting can be as secure as is online banking, and is clearly a preference for many voters. It should be implemented sooner than later.
ENVIRONMENT: Reduce carbon dioxide! Carbon dioxide is the major contributor to global warming and the major emitter is coal-fired power plants. This is a global issue that must be addressed at the local level by reducing energy consumption through efficiencies and generating clean energy from sources such as solar power.
Email: email@example.com Website: www.vote4donnak.com
BIOGRAPHICAL: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Certification in Management. Highly involved in local and county-wide PTA for over 15 years. Currently Realtor with Mackintosh, Inc. and Grant Writer for Frederick County Humane Society. Experience in non-profit program management. Served Frederick for 12 years as Alderman, Planning Commission member, Education Commission Chair.
PRIORITIES: Education – Support public/private partnerships that enhance education of youths and adults. Supply job training opportunities for city residents. Increase vibrant city-wide cultural awareness. Planning – Develop strategies to enhance quality of life, travel and livability. Accessibility – Expand physical accessibility. Increase citizen communication to help citizens make connections with vital resources.
CITY FINANCES: National ratings on the City’s finances are stable to positive. If Other Post-Employment Benefits are covered through the program recently presented to City elected officials, finance ratings will continue to be positive. Government should fund General Budget and Capital Improvement Projects that enhance our Quality of Life.
GROWTH: Traffic, sustainability and parkland are biggest growth issues. Support continuing involvement in regional transportation planning, as well as planning and building local roads to provide more connections within City. Support requiring sustainable building practices for new development. Support expanding and enhancing City park system.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Voted to make Moderately Priced Dwelling Units part of the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. Do not support fee-in-lieu of this for large developments. For small developments, fee-in-lieu should be set to cover true cost of losing affordable housing and put into fund to expand affordable housing in the City.
TAXES: With growing senior population, would like tax break for seniors who have lived here for more than 5 years. State legislation should require County to reimburse City proper amount for services it doesn’t provide City residents (Planning, Parks, Permits, most Police services, etc.), then City taxes could be lowered.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: There is a difference between cooperation and compromise. People can appear to cooperate fully, yet never get anything done because they don’t compromise. Democracy is founded on compromise. Although we had our differences, I worked effectively with 3 different City administrations because of my ability to compromise.
ELECTION PROCESS: Running an election is a monumental task. Changes often have unforeseen consequences. The City needs to make sure the process itself works before considering making changes that could affect its ability to run a fair and un-biased election.
ENVIRONMENT: Sustainable energy, urban green space, and transportation pollution must be addressed to ensure Frederick continues to be a vibrant community. The Hargett property can be used for two of these goals – urban green space and a solar energy field. Enhancing and expanding public transportation is a necessity.
Michael C. O'Connor (Incumbent)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.mocforalderman.com
Facebook: facebook.com/mocforalderman Twitter: twitter.com/CitizenMOC
BIOGRAPHICAL: Elected Alderman, 2009; Lifelong Frederick County resident; Business Manager, Saint Katharine Drexel; 20-year local radio & television journalist and moderator; past Workforce Development Board chair; Aspire Frederick co-chair; 2006 Committee for Frederick County Civil Citizen Award recipient; Leadership Frederick County, 1997; married; two daughters in Frederick County Public Schools.
PRIORITIES: Ensure policing, code enforcement, and multimodal infrastructure support, necessary for safe, clean, and connected neighborhoods, for residents and businesses; seek additional tax fairness and tax base diversity to provide responsible financial stewardship; promote increased citizen engagement for the City to hear and respond to the concerns of its residents.
CITY FINANCES: We elevated the profile of Economic Development and updated the City’s financial policies. Further expand and diversify our tax base; obtain additional tax fairness from the county; explore operational efficiencies to stretch tax dollars, balancing limited resources with needs; support 21st century management of long-term (pension & OPEB) investments.
GROWTH: Infrastructure funding; implementation of the East Frederick Rising and the Golden Mile Small Area Plan visions, through the regulatory framework (overlays, codes, design standards), ensuring appropriate tax base diversity as infill and redevelopment occurs and properties are annexed; ongoing review of LMC so it works for residents and businesses.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: We must ensure (through infill, redevelopment, and new construction) a diversity of available housing options, while encouraging designs that keep homes, and energy and maintenance costs, affordable. We should promote construction of moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs). Supporting workforce housing will ensure essential Frederick workers can live here.
TAXES: Yes. The combined City/County property tax rate has decreased during our administration. Further refinement of the tax differential formula can bring additional tax fairness, but the County must agree. We should increase economic development support, focused on nonresidential tax-base expansion. Also, technology can improve service delivery and efficiency, lowering costs.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: The 60th Administration sought a high standard for collaboration. However, the lack of a guiding vision impedes efforts to focus on the myriad issues and what’s most important. Following through on the Strategic Planning resolution adopted by this Board will target resources to the issues most important to our citizens.
ELECTION PROCESS: Appoint a task force, outside the Election Board, to explore voting by mail and other approaches, and the impact of changing the election cycle. I support a nonbinding ballot question for 2014 on holding nonpartisan elections for County offices for constitutional offices such as Sheriff, and for municipal elections.
ENVIRONMENT: Air and water quality, and energy costs; solutions begin with the energy audit we funded, hiring the sustainability manager we authorized, and implementing any recommendations. Building multimodal neighborhoods and requiring energy-efficient design are additional measures. I support expanded recycling, implementing organics recovery, and environmental site design to protect local waterways.
Kelly Russell (Incumbent)
Email: Kelly@votekellyrussell.com Website: www.votekellyrussell.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AldermanKellyRussellIn2013 Twitter: KellyMRussell
BIOGRAPHICAL: Current Alderman. Twenty two year veteran (Lieutenant) of Frederick Police Department; AA in Criminal Justice w/ Honors; Serve on Planning Commission, Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Green Team, Affordable Housing Council, Child Advocacy Center, Human Relations Commission; Vice Chair-Hometown Emergency Preparedness Ad hoc Committee; Thirty years of public service to Frederick.
PRIORITIES: Police/Safety: A fully staffed police department with modern technology to collaboratively problem solve to lower crime. Sustainable City Growth: Mixed development must meet our community vision of neighborhoods with green space, interconnectivity, and environmental sensitivity. Economic Development: Continue attracting and retaining businesses to provide local job opportunities for all residents.
CITY FINANCES: Our budget has a surplus and an additional “Rainy Day” fund equal to 12% of total general fund expenditure. Our bond ratings are Aa2, AA+, and AA, with positive outlook. Changes to the tax equity structure resulted in city/county combined taxes dropping $0.04. We held to constant yield for FY14.
GROWTH: We are projected to grow by 20,000 in 20 years. We must ensure that development provides affordable housing, jobs, and recreation opportunities near home. We need to create and implement the Small Area Plans as identified in the Comprehensive Plan, and build the regulatory framework to implement those plans.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Currently we do not permit Single Room Occupancy (SRO), so that is an idea we should explore thoroughly. Through the MD Department of Housing and Community Development, we currently operate several housing programs. We must continue to advocate so we get our share of that funding to grow those opportunities.
TAXES: We have lowered the combined city/county taxes by $0.045 in this administration by changing the taxing method and holding FY14 to constant yield. Continued refinement of the taxing methodology by examination of double taxation of duplicated services will have a positive effect on city taxes into the future.
MAYOR-BOARD COOPERATION: Communication and collaboration yields a more thorough examination of issues, resulting in a more effective and efficient operation. It is critical that personalities and philosophies not get in the way of the work to be done. Each must understand and respect the role of the others in the governing process.
ELECTION PROCESS: We contracted with Frederick County to assist with this election. Both City and County received training with the new paper ballot system. We have changed our law to allow all voters to use absentee ballots. Early voting and possibly online voting are ideas to be explored for future elections.
ENVIRONMENT: Reduce trash going into the landfill by expanding recycling and implementing organics recovery. Protect our streams and watershed to prevent further erosion. The silt and pollution drain directly into the Chesapeake Bay. We must harness natural energy from the sun to reduce our use of “dirty” energy sources.