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Responses of Pat Joy

To questions submitted to candidates by the Emmitsburg News-Journal

Questions1: What community organizations in Emmitsburg have you served in? During your tenure with each group, please articulate what you consider your most significant contribution and why.

Currently I am a member of the Knights of Columbus Brute Council in Emmitsburg. We do various charitable works within Town and support various organizations especially St. Joseph's, Mother Seton School and The Catoctin Pregnancy Center. Although not a member of the Lion's Club, My wife and I spent a significant amount of time last year working with Cliff Sweeney to organize and expand the Emmitsburg Community Heritage Days held in June. My wife and I have also organized the music for Community Day for the last few years.

Question 2: What do you consider the top two most pressing issue facing the town? If elected, what will you try to do to address these issues?

The two most pressing issues facing our Town are related; business development and responsive Government. We need to ensure we have a Town Government that is open to bringing businesses to the area and is willing to work with potential investors. In a small Town like ours, anyone should feel comfortable calling up the elected officials or Town staff asking questions and they should get helpful and relevant answers. Too often this has not been the case.

Question 3: The town is currently suffering a teen drug abuse situation. Do you see a role for local government - other then law enforcement - to help tackle the issue? If not, why not? If yes, what actions would you undertake if elected?

For the most part, there is not a role for local government in this issue. I have attended a few meeting with local citizens looking for ways of keeping our kids off drugs. There is a new non-profit housed in Thurmont but looking to work in Emmitsburg also. They are gathering volunteers and fundraising. The role of the Town is to work with the various organizations in Town to help coordinate a response to the problem. The Town must also be an advocate for non-profits in helping to get County, State and Federal resources in our area.

Question 4: Through traffic on Main Street - most notably 18 wheel commercial trucks and trailers - continues to be a headache for residents, business, and visitors. If elected, what actions would you support to reduce this constant annoyance?

Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done except build a bypass. And a bypass would not be in the best long-term interests of the Town. Main Street is a State highway and banning trucks is not an option. Additionally, as development happens around Emmitsburg, more cars and trucks will need to use 140 to get around. We should try to capitalize on the additional traffic through the main street revitalization plan and get traffic to stop and spend money in Town. The best we can do for the trucks is to work with law enforcement for more truck checks and talk to the State about trying to get the speed limit for trucks over a certain size reduced so the vibrations will be less.

Question 5: Many commercial buildings on Main Street are vacant. Do you believe the town government has a role in fostering a business friendly environment? If no, why not? If yes, what steps would you take if elected to improve the present business environment?

One of the main jobs of local government is to foster an environment that is residential and business friendly. Knowledgeable and responsive Town employees are a must. If an individual wishes to take a chance and invest in a business downtown, the need to be able to go to the Town office and talk to staff that are helpful. The Town government also needs to make sure they review all laws to ensure they are current and easy to understand.

Question 6: The poor physical condition of some rental properties in town have been called into question. Do you believe it is in the long-term best interest of the town to establish standards for dwellings? If not, why not. If so, what actions would you undertake if elected to achieve this end?

The Town has adopted voluntarily architectural guidelines. We also need to develop a policy so all rental properties are registered with the Town. This registration should not cost the property owner anything and should be used only to help the Fire Marshal enforce current State and County laws. Currently under State law, the Fire Marshal is charged with inspecting rental property to ensure they are safe. The Town also needs to continue with the current grant program that help pay for repairs to building in our historic district.

Question 7: Many residents feel the town has a parking problem for residents, businesses, and guests on the main streets - specifically on overzealous ticking policy. It not uncommon to see a lone car in a sea of empty parking spots - sporting a parking ticket. Do you think the current parking meter enforcement policy is beneficial to the Town? If so, why? If not, if elected what will you try to do to correct the situation?

I do think we need to review the current location of parking meters and look towards reducing the number of meters concentrating them in the Downtown area only. We also need to look to parking off the square to help relieve the parking congestion downtown.

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