Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.

 

From the Desk of County Commissioner Candidate Paul Smith

My wife and I moved to Frederick in 1979. Nine of our children have graduated from Frederick High School. I have a successful law practice. I served as Frederick City Alderman for four years. I understand the issues that the County faces, and I know how to address them. No candidate better understands the complexities of planning for roads and jobs than I do. I have the leadership abilities to handle complicated issues, to deal with strong-willed advocates, and to solve tough problems. I am running for County Commissioner in order (1) to help bring good jobs to the county, (2) to help improve local businesses, and (3) to reduce the cost and size of county government. Promoting job growth is the key to accomplishing all of these.

Jobs. The County’s biggest need at this time is to bring new jobs to the county. In the past 2 ˝ years the County has lost over 3,000 jobs, not counting the 900 jobs that Citibank just announced will be leaving. Frederick is one of the most attractive places for employers in the entire Washington-Baltimore region. We must make prime land available to these employers. We must streamline and shorten our permitting processes.

The County needs to support the proposed employment area north of the city, near Ft. Detrick. Job growth more than pays for itself; it can help solve the shortfalls in budget revenues by bringing jobs and millions of dollars of tax revenues; and it can help finance some of the road improvements we need This job center has been planned for this area for many years; it is close to water, sewer, roads, commercial areas and homes, and to Ft. Detrick—which makes it an extremely desirable location for the new jobs that we need.

Municipalities/Down-zoning/Property Rights. The County’s recently passed Comprehensive Plan calls for the cities to handle most of the new residential growth that is projected for the County. This is good. But then the plan proceeds to cut back the projected growth areas for virtually every municipality in the county. This was a serious mistake. In addition, the Plan down-zoned to "Agriculture" over 600 properties around the municipalities. Cutting back municipal growth areas is backwards planning, and makes it impossible for the municipalities to accommodate the residential growth the Board is now telling them to handle. The result of the current Board’s policies is to promote residential growth in the areas outside of the municipalities; their policies are causing the very sprawl that they say they oppose.

Roads. The County Comp Plan removed by-pass roads that some of the municipalities wanted built. The Board said that unless substantial funding could be shown for such roads, then the Board would not show them on its Comp Plan. The Board also refused to put the North/South Parallel Road on its Comp Plan. This road, which would be federally-funded, is a key to solving the serious traffic congestion on I-270 and US 15, which is caused by regional and national uses. We must lobby the State and federal governments to fix the problem. Based upon my four years experience on the Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board (TPB), I believe the planners at TPB would support this road and include it in their plans. We need to do something, or else we will be plagued with increased traffic congestion forever—traffic congestion that will ruin our quality of life and hurt local businesses.

To find out more about me, visit my website at www.votepaulsmith.com.

 

Read position papers of other candidates running in the 2010 primary