I believe the best form of government is one that governs closest to the people; one that knows first-hand the challenges its citizens face. Washington County has one of the highest unemployment rates in Maryland. This is something that touches every part of our community. Even if you have a job, you know at least one family in our community who is struggling. The best way to get people back to work is to get government out of the way of businesses that will bring jobs to our County. As your County Commissioner, bringing jobs and opportunity to Washington County will be my No. 1 priority.
As a business owner and employer, I have seen how difficult it is to do business in the state of Maryland. More and more we continue to see regulation from Annapolis (the Rain Tax, additional septic restrictions, and increasing storm water management regulations, just to name a few.) Lately, this state has done more to bind businesses with regulations than it has to create jobs. In Washington County, we need commissioners who have the ability to work with our delegation to stand up to Annapolis. Our County cannot afford to simply go along to get along. It is local government — not the Annapolis political machine — that is best suited to solve these problems. We need to do what is best to serve our citizens, attract businesses to create jobs, and provide economic security for our citizens.
The overregulation in Annapolis has made it increasingly difficult to market Washington County to new and growing businesses. Our proximity to not one but two interstate highways, as well as two large metropolitan areas, combined with our family atmosphere makes Washington County an excellent spot for people to relocate and/or start businesses. But with all Washington County has to offer, we still struggle to attract new businesses and keep the businesses we have. As your County Commissioner, I plan to do a better job in marketing Washington County and making businesses — those that will bring good-paying jobs and stay in our county long term — feel welcome.
A plan to make Washington County more welcoming to business must include a revitalization of Hagerstown. Our citizens must dig deep and create a vision for Washington County and Hagerstown, and then have the courage and drive to pursue it. Each time I walk down the street in Downtown Hagerstown, it seems like the number of vacant buildings has increased exponentially. While there have been many plans over the years to make Hagerstown look different, the revitalization I’m referring to goes beyond brick and mortar. It is more than a new baseball stadium or better parking. The answer to revitalizing Hagerstown begins when our citizens and local businesses work together to maximize our potential. With my experience leading the Washington County and Western Maryland Delegations, I have the ability to bring people together and make things work.
As your next County Commissioner, I believe my commitment to community service, business experience, and state leadership can make Washington County more competitive, not only in Maryland but in the tri-state area as well. It is time to get something done.