“Be the change you wish to see in the world”

Almost eight years ago, I was elected to the very first Charter government in Frederick County. I am extremely proud to have been a part of this successful change in our form of government.  We have succeeded in passing good bills and for the most part, the Council has worked collaboratively with the County Executive and among ourselves to overcome the efforts of those who would like to see this Charter form of government fail.

I am proud to have helped steer seven (soon to be eight) reasonable, fiscally responsible budgets through the legislative process for approval.  These budgets reflect the priorities and the needs of our community, as we have heard from you, without once raising the rate of property taxes. We have provided variety of assistance programs to businesses, large and small, to help them get through the pandemic.  Working co-operatively with the County Executive and her administration, the Council has consistently voted to approve the funding necessary to provide for essentials such as PPE, food, housing and utility assistance, pop-up testing and vaccination clinics and even a mobile health van that was able to take the testing and vaccination services to the far reaches of the county.   Frederick County is getting through these challenging and uncertain times by working together to address the needs of the entire community.  And the County Executive and the Council Leadership (myself as President and Michael Blue as VP) are leading the way by collaborating, communicating and advocating on behalf of all of Frederick County residents.  I am exceedingly proud of the work we have accomplished and to be part of this team effort.

Over the past seven years, working with the County Executive, the Council has voted to increase the number of emergency responders, so the community’s safety needs are being better met. We have been steadily addressing salary discrepancies of our employee groups in comparison to those same groups in other counties, so that our workers once trained will remain here. The Council has approved the funding needed to build more schools to address overcrowding issues, so our children can learn in safe and secure buildings.  The County Executive has proposed funding a record NINE (9) school construction projects in the FY’23 budget alone and I will work to ensure we have the votes on the Council to make that effort a reality.  We are advancing road, bridge and park projects as well as other amenities, all of which make Frederick County such a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Working with the County Executive, I ensure that the Council approves the funding necessary to address the health needs of those living in neighborhoods and towns all around Frederick County and that we continue to address those disparities between communities that were exposed so starkly during the pandemic.  We worked together to address drug problems in this county by approving the funding necessary to build a detox center right here in Frederick. And we continue to fund adjustments to our senior services programs to meet the needs of our ever growing senior population.  And again, working together with the County Executive the Council has done all of these incredible things without raising the rate of our residents’ property taxes.

Despite all our challenges, and there have been many, we are moving Frederick County ahead and proving that Charter Government is a huge benefit to all Frederick County residents. Our economic outlook is promising despite the setbacks of this pandemic and the havoc it has waged against our community.  Working with CE Gardner, the Council is finding innovative and creative ways to welcome and assist businesses that are creating more, and better paying jobs right here at home, allowing our residents to work where they live.  Yet, there is still more to be done.