Elections Glade Valley Government 

Michael Bailey for Walkersville Town Commissioner

 1.  Tell our readers about yourself (family, education, employment, community involvement, etc.):
Hello! As a small town guy from West Virginia, I had firm roots in my home town where I attended high school and later college. While attending Shepherd University, I served as student body president from 2011-2012. It was in college that I met my wife, Alana, in the fall of 2010. After graduation I lived and volunteered for 28 months with the Peace Corps in Senegal, a small country in west Africa. While there I worked with local communities and their government officials in order to create sustainable programs that directly fought food insecurity and gender inequality. My service in Senegal culminated in the building of my communities first ever library. One that still stands and serves over 2800 community members engaged in childhood and adult literacy programs that I developed with my local community counterparts. After my return from Senegal I was blessed with a job with Department of Homeland Security and have been there for three years. It was in this transition that my wife, Alana, and I were looking for a town where we could settle down and start our family. In our search we found Walkersville, a town that checked off every requirement on our list. We finally found our home and moved in on a hot July day in 2016. We welcomed our first daughter, Harper, in May of 2017 and are expecting another daughter in October of 2018.
 2.  What prompted you to file as a candidate for the Town of Walkersville government?
My community involvement began in Walkersville after the proposition and eventual approval of the construction of Rutter’s. I watched the town come together to voice their opinion on this issue. As I attended meetings I became increasingly aware of my deep love for the town, and desire to use my skills to contribute to the towns success. After prayerful consideration and conversation with my wife, we agreed that I should run for Commissioner.
 3. What is your main priority if elected?
My main priority if elected is to work with other commissioners and the burgess in order to accomplish three main goals. First, I believe that Walkersville needs to create a strategic growth plan to address the county’s northward growth. Secondly, I will look to strengthen the towns relationships with community partners, such as GVAA, and create new programs that can bring the town together (such as a summer concert series at Heritage Park). Lastly, I would like to focus on the reestablishment of an economic development council in order to support our local businesses and entrepreneurs.
 4. What are the most important issues facing the Town of Walkersville, and how will you address those issues?
I believe that the most important issue facing Walkersville is community engagement. Communities that are engaged with each other promote local business, are safer, and provide a local support system that increases quality of life and home values. I will address this issue by working closely with stakeholders such as Glade Valley Athletic Association (GVAA), the Volunteer Fire Department, to assist in developing and promoting family friendly events that brings the town closer together. My goal is for Walkersville to become a community where our people come together and enjoy each other in the town which we live.
 5. How long have you lived in Walkersville?
My wife and I have lived in Walkersville for just over 2 years. As I have gone out and met members of the community, I have often been asked this very question. I firmly believe that regardless of how long you have lived in Walkersville, it is important to remember that we have all chosen to live in this vibrant community. Whether you have lived here for 48 years or transplanted from another location, Walkersville is our community and we all want to see it flourish.
 6. How can Walkersville’s Government support business development within Walkersville?
I believe that Walkersville should provide resources to local businesses in order for them succeed. The businesses that have chosen to set up shop drive the local economy and provide many amenities to our residents. I support the reestablishment of a local economic advisory council to address issues faced by local business owners. I would also propose in the town working with the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce to implement programs and events that could potentially benefit local business owners and entrepreneurs.
7. What are your plans to inform more residents of issues and events in Walkersville?
In our digital age, social media ranks the easiest way to disseminate information, gain understanding of relevant issues, and address potentially damaging rumors. A well informed town is a strong town. I believe in revamping our social media presence and providing community members the ability to receive up to date information regarding town operations. I would also like to upgrade the towns website and provide the ability to pay water bills, code violations, etc. directly online. After implementing these changes, we should review their efficacy and make any changes as necessary.
8. What are your thoughts on growth in Walkersville?
Growth in Walkersville, as currently zoned, has little area that remains eligible for residential development. There are areas that are currently zoned agricultural that could potentially be rezoned and sold and thus eventually developed. I believe that the town should always maintain its pastoral roots as a community of local farmers. That being said, this should not impede the land owner’s ability to profit off of land that has been passed down from generation to generation. Thus my opinion would be made on a case by case basis after reviewing the totality of the request. I am not comfortable stating that I am “anti-growth” because I believe that if a business wishes to build, the community supports the building, and it adds value to the town, I would support this “growth”. Yet when it comes to residential development, I don’t support the style of growth that we have seen in places like Jefferson place, and Urbana. The rapid and uncontrolled growth of these areas has put a strain on local infrastructure and I would thus exercise due diligence when reviewing applications for such growth. As Frederick County continues to grow northward, I believe that this issue also is of prominent importance for the town.
9. The following topics will likely come before those elected in September. Please give your thoughts on these topics:
a. Proposed Revision to the Monocacy River Management Plan:
The Monocacy River stretches southward outside of our western border. I have reviewed both proposed plans but am unable to speculate on which one will pass. I believe that due to the towns proximity to the river, that the town should be included on such management plans, as it may impact town and neighboring farm operations. For this I believe that our burgess, as the towns lead representative, should work with the county in order to address our towns interests in this project.
b. Rock Creek School Relocation to Walkersville Middle School property:
While I support the County’s relocation of Rock Creek School to Walkersville, I am unsettled of recent developments regarding the updated project plans and proposals that are not what the town initially had agreed to when it voted to support the project. I believe it is the town’s duty to review the revised project and to work with county officials in order to return to the project plan initially agreed upon.
c. Solar Farm on Biggs Ford Road:
I am inclined to support a solar farm on Biggs Ford Road. Without any specific details, this would be my tentative decision. Based upon my research on solar farms near residential areas, I have found little to no evidence of anything negative coming out of the development of a solar farm. Active solar farms promote green energy, have not been shown to decrease property values, and produce minimal sound. Therefore, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I believe a solar farm would be a good addition to our town.
d. Water Rates to pay for the new Water Treatment Plant:
The development of the new water treatment plant is wonderful for our town. Safe drinking water is of paramount importance to a community. Raising water rates to pay for the facility is a necessary cost to ensure our most basic infrastructure is improved. I will also note that our current water rates are lower than most other municipalities in the county including the county’s water rates.
Feel free to reach out with any questions regarding my responses via email or Facebook:

Email: mbailey4commissioner@gmail.com

Facebook: @Bailey4commissioner

GladeValley.net has asked every candidate for office in the Town of Walkersville’s September 10, 2018 Election the same set of questions. All responses will be shared along with any links to their campaign sites and/or social media provided.
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