YOUR VOTE COUNTS

Tomorrow is Primary Day. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Willie J. Mahone, President of the the Frederick County Branch of the NAACP, recognizes the important role every voter plays in the election process. "It's important for all of us to understand the impact we can have on local politics if we exercise our right to vote. While we do not endorse one candidate over another, we feel that it's important voters are aware of key issues in this upcoming primary that may influence their choices." 

The Government and Political Affairs Committee of the Frederick Branch recently prepared a list of questions, listed below, for the candidates running for the Board of Education and the County Council.



Although several requests have been made, there has been no information regarding the participation of ethnic minorities and women in contracting by the Frederick County government. Do you think that such information is important and what actions would you take to actively support the involvement of ethnic minorities and women in Frederick County contracting.

I have long supported the opportunity of equality for everyone, regardless of race or gender. I would love to see us get to a point when we don't even have to be concerned about whether government contracting is fair across races and genders because we know the right person/company received the contract because of being the best qualified and able to do the job.

That should be the final goal. Race and gender should have nothing to do with it; government
contracts should be awarded on merit. Until that time, the County should do everything it can to avoid getting in the way of women andminority owned companies. The more government regulation and interference in permitting and planning - for anyone - the more difficult it is for a company to succeed.

The City of Frederick has agreed to eliminate "check the box" on applications for employment in city government. Would you support doing the same in Frederick County government?

The principle of "banning the box" so that a potential applicant's first impression is not colored by a potential criminal history is something I would support, as long as that information was made available before the final decision on hiring. Depending the severity of the crime, it could be very important in making a final hiring decision.

In other jurisdictions in the State of Maryland have statutes giving specific protections to women, ethnic minorities, and LGBT individuals. Would you support such legislation in Frederick County? 

No, I would not. I believe everyone should be treated the same and have the same opportunities afforded to them. By creating special protected "classes," we're doing just the opposite.

What will you do to facilitate involvement of ethnic minorities in the hotel/conference center construction and operation?

Not only is the construction (and operation) of the hotel/conference center being done by a private company, it is ostensibly a city project. The County Council's ability to influence construction or operations is virtually non-existent. The County has no legal authority to involve itself in the construction and management of the hotel.
 
Government has a bad track record when it comes to investing in conference centers and hotels .In a June 7, 2017 article , the Baltimore Sun noted theBaltimore city owned Hilton Baltimore Convention Center had an accumulated deficit of nearly $85 million .The same financing model is being used for the hotel/conference development in Frederick. What will you do to protect County taxpayers from the burden of paying for this project?

Government has a bad track record when it comes to investing in conference centers and hotels. In a June 7, 2017 article, the Baltimore Sun noted the Baltimore city owned Hilton Baltimore Convention Center had an accumulated deficit of nearly $85 million. The same financing model is being used for the hotel/conference development in Frederick. What will you do to protect County taxpayers from the burden of paying for this project?

In general, I disagree with governments owning and/or operating anything that could be a private business. I was not in favor of the hotel/conference center when it was being reported that the city and County would be involved in owning the facility. Since then, I have spoken with a number of people and found that the money the government will be putting into the project are infrastructure improvements like a new parking garage and road upgrades  These are items that were going to be needed regardless of the construction of a hotel. The Plamondons will be responsible for the hotel.
 
With the passing of the gambling revenue bill in 2008, money was to be put in a lockbox for funding our schools, yet portable classrooms predominate every campus in the county.What would you do to ensure that revenue from gambling goes toward educating our children?

With the passing of the gambling revenue bill in 2008, money was to be put in a lockbox for funding our schools, yet portable classrooms predominate every campus in the county. What would you do to ensure that revenue from gambling goes toward educating our children? 

This is another matter that the County Council has no control over. The state controls that revenue source. At most, Council members can lobby state officials for that money to be spend in the manner it was originally intended.

Do you support a living wage and family leave for Frederick County? 

I would not support enacting a County minimum wage law. It will end up doing more harm to the people it is supposed to help than any good.

Do you support funding universal pre-kindergarten?

 I would love to be able to fund universal pre-kindergarten, but I could not commit to that  now without knowing where the money is coming from. In the perfect world, there would be enough money to fund every organization, agency, department, and service at or above 100%. Sadly, the budget does not usually allow for this.





Justin Kiska
Candidate for County Council
At Large

Candidates for County Council

Shannon Bohrer
Galen Clagett
Jessica Fitzwater
Justin Kiska
Mark Long
M.C. Keegan-Ayer
​Susan Reeder Jessee

Candidates for the Board of Education

Jonah Eisenberg
Marie Fischer
Edison Hatter
Jay Mason
Bud Otis
Camden Raynor
Cindy Rose
Masai Troutman
Brad Young

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