With Election Day approaching, we asked each candidate to share his or her top three priorities for office so Anne Arundel County residents can make a decision before heading to the polls on November 8.
I’m running for county executive because local leadership matters. We have real problems to solve like crime, inflation, high taxes, and challenges in our schools — problems that won’t be fixed by ignoring them.
We've had a passive approach to government by our county executive, and you deserve better.
As a lawyer, civil engineer, and a mom, I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves and get things done.
My commitment to Anne Arundel County is that I will be proactive, thoughtful, and lead with common sense by bringing innovation and efficiency to our county government.
Cost of living and taxes. With inflation out of control, our current property and income tax hikes make life even more unaffordable, costing families an average of more than $1,700 over the last four years. Yet, in the last fiscal year, the county had a fund balance of $110.8 million, meaning that the county took $110.8 million of taxpayer money that it didn't use that year. Meanwhile, government responsiveness and services haven't improved, kids are stranded at bus stops, and calls to the crisis warmline have increased.
I will lower taxes and put more money into your pockets by eliminating chronic vacancies and wasteful spending.
Safety. Violent crime is up and crimes committed with guns rose 45% from 2018 to 2021 according to the latest data available from the Anne Arundel Gun Violence Intervention Task Force. I will support policies that get violent criminals off our streets and will ensure that public safety officers and first responders receive the resources needed to make our communities safer.
We're severely understaffed at the police department, having added only 18 sworn officers to the budget over the last four years. The county executive’s claim that 100 officers were added is false.
I will streamline the hiring and promotion process for law enforcement officers, which is lengthy and inefficient, to better recruit and retain officers.
Modernizing government. You deserve a government that works for you and is responsive to your needs. As county executive, I’ll implement a 48-hour policy to return residents’ phone calls and emails. I will also eliminate fees for online payments through the county and streamline processes for road repair and quality-of-life services.
Thank you for the opportunity to be your voice on the Anne Arundel County Council over the last four years. On your behalf, I’ve worked on key issues with local leaders, organizations and agencies; collaborated with Democrat and Republican colleagues on important legislation; and put people over politics. Looking ahead, my top priorities will be improving the economy, public safety and education.
Families are hurting from rising inflation and fear of a looming recession. I have cut your income taxes and opposed property tax hikes. I will work to eliminate outdated policies that hurt small businesses, the backbone of our local community; remove burdensome regulations they face; and help them create more jobs. I will continue to scrutinize county budgets to identify unnecessary spending that increases costs for our families. Without compromising important county services, I have proposed millions of dollars in reduced spending, while increasing funding for vital priorities.
Everyone should be safe in our neighborhoods. I have worked to increase respect, funding and essential equipment for our police, and I am honored to have the Fraternal Order of Police endorsement. I voted to increase police pay, implement body-worn cameras, and fund a new 911 call center to streamline emergency calls. I will support additional police positions to keep our neighborhoods safe.
Your safety also means safer roadways and walkways. Throughout the district, I have helped add new sidewalks and improve pedestrian crossings, and I will continue these efforts. I’ll also remain a vocal participant with state agencies regarding the future of the Bay Bridge, ensuring your concerns are considered.
While county council members do not have authority over education policy, I continue to advocate for our students, teachers and parents. I’m a former parent-teacher organization board member and the only council candidate with children in our public schools. I remain committed to working with the Board of Education on capital safety projects, including upgrading the entryways of our aging schools, and I support adding school resource officers and more mental health staff, like school counselors.
I don’t take your vote for granted, and I pledge to continue working tirelessly to make Anne Arundel County better for all families.
Real financial stewardship: Good stewardship of the taxpayers’ dollars means promoting good government that is both responsible and responsive. I don’t want to see us play this game where politicians either promise to cut spending and reduce tax rates regardless of the real-world effects or, conversely, promise tons of spending and investment regardless of whether it’s an effective and responsible use of funds. I’m serious about finding that balance.
There are things we absolutely expect to work — public safety, roads and utilities, our schools — and that requires investment that keeps up with the needs of a growing population, keeps up with best practices for long-term value, and meets the community’s needs. It’s not fiscal responsibility if it means departments are understaffed, underfunded, and unable to provide the services people need. It’s only fiscal responsibility if it actually works.
Opportunity: I want to use my perspective to help the county craft economic policy that is good for our whole community, as well as support education for all our youth, including those seeking to enter trades. To have a thriving community, we need gainful employment and quality public goods. We need opportunity. There’s no good in supporting labor if your policies attack the businesses that employ them. And if you’re “supporting business” but you don’t care if they’re providing quality jobs or if your policies undercut good businesses that do, then you’re just supporting corporate interests. My perspective as an employer with the support of labor and teachers lets me be of service in promoting opportunity for all.
Chesapeake Bay: I want to see us taking proactive steps to keep protecting and improving the waterways, including what we do as a county for sediment control, development and redevelopment, and how we invest in energy efficient improvements. I’m really looking forward to using my skills and experience as a professional engineer to more actively engage with transportation agencies to address the traffic issues, particularly those resulting from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and ensure the solutions are in line with best practices and will result in quality-of-life improvements for District 5.
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