Advocacy and education are two critically important functions of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce's mission. To that end, we recently held a joint County Council candidate forum with the Frederick County Building Industry Association. During that event, we asked a number of Yes/No questions. To be fair to the candidates, we offered them the ability to respond with a fuller answer to the questions posed during the forum. They were asked to reply by Sept. 24, with responses being posted to the Chamber website by October 1st. Those candidate responses that were received by the deadline can be found below.
Questions asked to the candidates:
1. This Council will be tasked with appointing a Charter Review Committee, what charter changes do you support? What type of committee members will you be considering for appointment? 2. Based on your respective campaign commitments, what specific growth policies and regulations do you plan to introduce? 3. Livable Frederick, now going on three years of preparations, has been both criticized and lauded for how it evolved. As a Council candidate, what is your perception of Livable Frederick, and what would you want to see in order to gain your support? 4. What areas should the County Staff/Planning Commission begin with their first Community and Corridor Plans, following Livable Frederick? 5. What approaches would you take to garner support for legislation that you are introducing? 6. If elected and you knew you had full or enough support what one piece of legislation would you introduce day 1? 7. The County Executive has the primary duty of preparing and presenting a balanced budget to the Council. The Council is restricted to reducing planned spending. Do you have priorities that you’d like to present to the County Executive for inclusion in future spending plans? 8. What specific initiatives will you be pursuing to support our small businesses in Frederick County? 9. When it comes to business-friendly policies and regulations, are there specific programs, services and regulatory changes that you would undertake? 10. In your discussion with the business community what have you found to be the greatest challenges facing the business community constituents? 11. If elected, what would you do to improve/enhance the relationship between the County and the Frederick County General Assembly delegation? 12. Are there any specific solutions or ideas you have identified to support accelerating the needed widening of US 15 and I-270 projects. 13. The first County Council has been seated for almost 4 years now, and has had to maneuver through establishing certain ‘norms’, ‘processes‘and ‘rules of order’ to administer their agenda. What is your observation of the first council and if elected what would you propose to further refine the legislative process in the County?
YES OR NO?
One of the key initiatives the Chamber learned from the Greenville SC trip was a Citywide TIF, that was purposeful, and led to strategic investment of longer term infrastructure needs for all types of development. | 1. Do you support Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) mechanisms to support infrastructure necessary to bring forth…Residential Opportunities… (YES/NO)… in Frederick? 2. Do you support Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) mechanisms to support infrastructure necessary to bring forth…Employment Opportunities (Yes/NO)…..in Frederick? 3. Do you support Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) mechanisms to support infrastructure necessary to bring forth…Mixed Use Opportunities (YES/NO)…in Frederick? Related to financing of Infrastructure, but not utilizing a TIF as described for prior questions | 4. Do you support broad-based taxes and fees to pay for school infrastructure needed as a result of enrollment changes? 5. Do you support broad-based taxes/fees to support constructing specific transportation projects? Relative to County Operations/Separation of Powers |6. Do you support a completely separate staff for the County Council in order for the Council to have independent-or-autonomous review and analysis of legislative initiatives that come before them? Over the last four years the County Executive has introduced as much legislation as the Council. Further if you look at the Council bills, many are as a result of an administrative policy or issues that required the Council to take up as a result of administrative actions. | 7. Do you think the Executive Branch is attempting to address too many legislative initiatives as opposed to running the administrative arm of the County, or is this the right approach? The Frederick County Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) has been in existence for nearly 30 years. During that time, there have been specific adjustments to how it is administered with the most recent significant changes occurring in 2008. Now, in 2018with a rapidly changing economy, demonstrated shifts in county demographics, and housing choice preference from both existing/resale and new home buyers, combined with programmatic decisions affecting capacity in different ways throughout the County. | 8. Do you support a comprehensive review and analysis for best practices and enactment of a better approach that will lead Frederick County’s Growth Management into the next decade? The council addressed a number of bills brought forth to them affecting business development and land use; | 9. Do you support a more targeted approach to updating certain code/zoning changes, rather than dealing with issues on a piecemeal basis?