McIntosh to Visit Hagerstown

Delegate Maggie McIntosh, Baltimore City Delegate and Chairman of the House Environmental Matters Committee, will be visiting Hagerstown on Tuesday, May 13 to tour several businesses in the city and meet with City and County Officials to discuss economic development. Chairman McIntosh is visiting Hagerstown on the invitation of Washington County Delegation and specifically Delegate LeRoy Myers, Delegate Andy Serafini, Delegate Neil Parrot, Senator Shank and Delegate John Donoghue.

“Earlier this year, Chairman McIntosh sponsored several bills to stimulate economic development in Baltimore City”, said Delegate Andy Serafini. “During these bill hearings, we realized that our cities share some of the same challenges. Delegate McIntosh was gracious enough to accept our invitation to visit Hagerstown and we look forward to these discussions.”

“The redevelopment of Hagerstown has to be real a priority”, said Delegate LeRoy Myers. “Many of the problems in our city start right there; jobs, the loss of population, abandoned properties – all of those things could be mitigated if we moved forward with a sound economic development plan.  This is where we have to start, and it needs to happen now. Our citizens have waited long enough.”

Chairman McIntosh will visit Volvo-Mack Hagerstown, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Ghattas Enterprises and Global Data Consultants. She will also be meeting with City and County officials. A full itinerary follows.

11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. Volvo-Mack Hagerstown

1:15 P.M.-1:50 P.M.  Sierra Nevada Corporation- A provider of high quality multi-mission Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products and services.

2:00 P.M. – 2:45 P.M. Ghattas Enterprises and Global Data Consultants- Class A LEED office space

3:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. Chairman McIntosh’s and Meeting with City Officials at Library

4:15- 5:15 Chairman McIntosh’s and Meeting with County Officials

 

Washington County Must Control Its Own Economic Destiny

In the last twelve years in the General Assembly   I have learned that more often than not, Annapolis is the last place to look for good ideas – particularly when it comes to creating jobs and growing the economy.

As a business owner and employer, I have seen how it is becoming increasingly difficult to do business in the state of Maryland. Lately, this state has done more to bind businesses with regulations than it has to create jobs. More and more we continue to see taxes and regulation from Annapolis; the Rain Tax, the minimum wage increase are only a few examples.

In Washington County, we need to forge our own path. We have a tremendous amount of assets at our fingertips, our citizens, our businesses, our natural resources. We need only to tap their potential. Our entire region needs to distance itself from the Annapolis game, where everything comes with a price.

Washington County has one of the highest unemployment rates in Maryland. This is something that touches every aspect of our way of life. We need jobs and we need to revitalize the city of Hagerstown – but we cannot be dependent on Annapolis for this. We must do it on our own.

Washington County needs to incentivize and encourage investment in Hagerstown. We need to give our citizens and businesses a reason to stay AND attract new citizens and businesses to move to Hagerstown – reducing tax burden while expanding our tax base.

One way to do that is to allow Hagerstown homeowners to carry over a portion of their homestead property tax credits when they move from one home in Hagerstown to another. This allows families to stay in the city as they contract and expand without the sticker shock of higher property taxes.

We need to also look at the property tax structure in Washington County and in Hagerstown. We need to study the feasibility of lowering the property tax and increasing the Homestead Tax Credit to a rate that attracts home buyers and developers.

I believe the best way to increase jobs and growth in Washington County is to get government and burdensome taxes out of the way. The reality is that government does not really create jobs – people do.

Local government – the government closest to the people should be a partner for growth and not an obstacle. As your next Commissioner, I will work to forge a partnership between local government and businesses that fosters job growth and a revitalization of our economy. Washington County must be in control of its own destiny, and we can do this together.

Remembering Ryan

Ryan There are moments that change your life forever. When, in an instant, nothing is ever the same. For my family, that moment came five years ago today with death of my son Ryan.

There is an order to life. Our children are born, we hold them close and do our best to keep them safe. We watch them grow knowing that one day, we’ll be gone and they will have to walk this road without us. We never expect – not even for a second – that it could be us who  walks the road without them.

Ryan's flowers

Flowers placed this weekend at Hilltop Christian Fellowship Church, in Ryan’s honor.

We are not meant to bury our children. That’s not the way it is “supposed” to be.

Ryan was a beautiful boy. He had such a passion for life, a force of nature.  Even though it has been five years since his death, it still feels unreal in so many ways. This is not something you ever get over, it is a wound that does not heal. You just learn to live with it.

I will love him and miss him forever.

Bill For Transgendered Rights Has Dangerous Loopholes

With just over 10 days left in the 2014 session, this has been a very busy week in Annapolis.

One of the big issues we’ve been dealing with this week is legislation that protects transgendered people from discrimination.

My chief concern with this bill deals with public accommodations, specifically restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, etc. that are traditionally designed for separate genders. There is nothing in the bill to prevent a sex offender or some other person with nefarious intent from poses as a transgendered person just to gain access to such a private facility.

As a father and grandfather, and just as a human being, I feel it is of the utmost importance that we protect our children.

I do not believe that because someone is transgendered it automatically means they’re a sex offender. But, I do believe that people who prey on children would abuse this law and use it as another opportunity to gain access to children.

I supported several amendments offered by my colleagues that would eliminate the most private facilities from the bill, but unfortunately all of these were rejected.

Some Maryland counties have already take the step to confer these rights to transgendered individuals. That’s fine for those counties. But this bill does not represent the values of Washington County where we put the health and well being of our children above everything else. I voted to protect the children of Washington County by voting NO on this bill.

 

Yard Signs Available!!!

A lovely addition to any yard, and certain to increase your property value,  Myers for Commissioner yard signs are now available!

They can be picked up at:

Myers Building Systems, 14627 National Pike, Clear Spring

Have a spot for something larger? There are also 4×8 signs available. If you have a location, please send the address/location, and contact info to [email protected].

Minimum Wage Hike is a Job Killer for Washington County

This morning the House debated a bill that would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. This bill is a job killer and I cannot support it.

On its face, increasing the minimum wage might seem like a good idea. The reality is that it will hurt the very people it is trying to help.

An independent study on the impact of the minimum wage in Maryland, undertaken by an economist from George Mason University, found that an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would cost the state over 11,000 jobs. A similar review by the Congressional Budget Office found that an increase to the federal minimum wage to $10 would mean a loss of 500,000 jobs nationally. In Washington County, the unemployment rate is high. We need every job we can get.

One of the most hypocritical aspects of the bill is that it exempts Six Flags Amusement Park from having to pay the minimum wage. Why? Because they’re in competition with another amusement park just across the border in Virginia, and forcing them to pay the higher rate would put them at a competitive disadvantage. This amusement park is owned by a multi-million dollar company. Apparently, according to those in power in Annapolis,  it’s okay for Washington County businesses to be at a competitive disadvantage with businesses in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, but not when it’s a business in Prince George’s County? I don’t think so.

I supported amendments to the bill that would have lessened the impact on small businesses, including an amendment that would exempt businesses with 50 or less employees. These are the mom and pop shops like Krumpe’s Do-Nuts and Bikles Ski Shop in Hagerstown, or Blue Goose Market in Hancock.

I also supported amendments that would exempt people on social security and on social security disability so they would not risk losing their benefits because of the earnings cap, as well as an amendment that would exempt teenagers from the bill so they would still be able to find those first jobs.  I also supported an amendment that would give counties the power to set their own minimum wage rates depending on their own individual economies. Unfortunately, amendments that would have made this bill a little better were rejected.

The bottom line is, this bill is a jobs killer. We need to be looking for ways to create more jobs, not to destroy the ones that are already here.

Myers Hosts Fort Hill High State Champions

On Friday in Annapolis Delegate Myers was doubly honored to host not one, but two championship teams from Fort Hill High School in Cumberland, MD.

The 2013 Maryland 1A Volleyball State Champions, the Fort Hill High School Volleyball team, showed terrific resolve, andVolleyball with an outstanding team effort earned an undefeated season of 19-0.  They beat a nine-time state championship team, and went on to win the 2013 State Volleyball Championship.

Football

The 2013 Maryland 1A Football State Champions, the Fort Hill High School Football team, demonstrated determination, and intensity of play during the 2013 football season.  They enthusiastically participated, took advantage of their opponents’ mistakes, and earned an undefeated season of 14 and 0 and outscored their opponents 162 to 13 in the play offs.

Go Sentinels!

Bill to Protect Sideling Hill Passes House

House Bill 420, a bill sponsored by LeRoy Myers that protects Sideling Hill from the establishment of off-road vehicle trails, passed House of Delegates.

Sideling Hill-East Side

In 2013, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)proposed 16 miles of trails for off-road vehicles at Sideling Hill North and another 16 miles of trails for Sideling Hill South. After a public outcry and a citizen-led petition that drew 1,500 signatures, DNR abandoned its plan.

This bill prevents any future plans to establish these trails.

For more information, click here for the article in Friday’s Herald Mail.

 

Myers Recognized for Pro-Business Voting Record

Washington County’s LeRoy Myers has been honored for his advocacy on behalf of small businesses in Maryland.

Maryland Business for Responsive Government (MBRG) has presented Myers with the John Shaw Award, an award given to legislators who have a pro-business voting record over a four-year term. MBRG is a statewide non-partisan organization dedicated to educating and advocating for economic development and job creation in Maryland.

“MBRG works tirelessly on behalf of small businesses in Annapolis, and I am honored to receive their recognition and support”, said Myers. “Small businesses are the engine of our economy. They create jobs and reinvest in our communities in a variety of ways. As a business owner in Washington County, I have experienced first-hand how government can get in the way with high taxes, over-regulation, and bureaucratic red tape. With high unemployment in Washington County, we need to do more to foster business growth. MBRG is on the front lines in Annapolis and I am proud to stand with them as we battle to create jobs.”