By Amanda Fiedler
Councilwoman, District 5
There is no time for pause when your tax dollars are at work. It has been one month since the new county council was sworn in. While campaigning, it became clear I needed to hit the ground running. There were “backyard issues” that required attention. I wanted to focus on constituent services, being an active presence in our communities, and working together to create solutions. You have taken me up on those goals, and for that I thank you. To date, my office has more than 45 open constituent cases. I do my best to personally touch every correspondence that comes through my office, because you have entrusted me with this responsibility and I take it very seriously. Legislation initiatives at the county and state level for 2019 have just begun.
On January 9, the legislative session for the Maryland General Assembly began. This is important for county legislatures. State laws directly affect our local legislation. In preparation for the 2019 session, the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) held its annual winter conference in Cambridge, Maryland, from January 2 through 4. This conference was three days of legislative training sessions geared toward legislative priorities, intercounty relationship building, and public/private partnership opportunities. MACo is a legislative watchdog for counties across the state, voicing the positions of local government to the Maryland General Assembly. It was a pleasure to attend, and I am thrilled to be serving on the legislative committee for MACo as an alternate member representing Anne Arundel County. I will remain engaged in the legislation that comes before our state senators and delegates.
To understand how our county and state will work closely during session, it is important to understand the legislative initiatives of MACo: continuing state commitment to education, reprioritizing public health, repealing the “implied pre-emption” court doctrine, and next generation 911 implementation.
The buck certainly doesn’t stop at the state level. In District 5 specifically, we have concerns regarding pedestrian safety, most recently near Severna Park High School and Severna Park Elementary School. The Department of Public Works recently installed temporary traffic chokers and LED blinking pedestrian crossing signs at Evergreen and Cedar roads. This is not a “walk away” solution. All parties in the community, and elected officials, remain engaged in the results of these structures and finding the best solution. The year 2018 also brought record levels of precipitation across the county and state. Many of the water-related issues are new and involve a balance of county and private ownership solutions. I believe through open communication we can get there. Hopefully Mother Nature will work with us.
In 2018, I made a commitment to keep you informed on the issues, public meetings, and legislation that could affect our area. An electronic newsletter was the initial goal for this platform. In just a few weeks, I recognized the need for “real time” information to you and your family. A monthly newsletter would not be timely for those circumstances. While I continue to work with my office to create a monthly newsletter, please visit my county blog that will be updated as information comes to my office. Visit the county council website and click on my page as your councilmember. My blog is at the bottom. www.aacounty.org/departments/county-council.
My first month in office has been everything I anticipated it to be and more. Your continued communication will only better our district for years to come.