Elections Glade Valley Government 

Michael McNiesh for Walkersville Town Commissioner

 1.  Tell our readers about yourself (family, education, employment, community involvement, etc.):
I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard with 18 years of service to our country. I also work as an Airline Captain for a company called ExpressJet flying 50 seat jets under contract to United Airlines. My Wife Celeste and I grew up in Maryland and have 2 sons Jake (10) and Cameron (8) who attend Glade Elementary. I am an active GVAA soccer dad, have previously coached T-Ball for Frederick County Recreation and assist my wife in her roles in the Glade PTA and Walkersville Moms Club.
 2.  What prompted you to file as a candidate for the Town of Walkersville government?
I want to be a commissioner because I believe that the skills and experience that  I have gained over the course of my career and my strong commitment in the service of others can be put to use to benefit our community.
 3. What is your main priority if elected?
Ensure Fiscal Responsibility.  We have a low tax rate compared to nearby communities and I want to keep it that way if at all possible.  To my knowledge previous administrations have done well maintaining our financial health and with the turnover their work needs to be maintained.
 4. What are the most important issues facing the Town of Walkersville, and how will you address those issues?
I feel like the most  important issues facing our town right now are development and law enforcement/traffic safety. In talking to citizens these topics come up more than any other. To address these I have met with Sheriff Jenkins and talked to a resident trooper to get a gauge of the state and function of local law enforcement and how it might be modified. I have looked into options for redevelopment of blighted commercial properties and I feel like any development needs to be strictly monitored to make sure it adheres to any plan approved by the town.
 5. How long have you lived in Walkersville?
We have lived in Walkersville for 7 years.
 6. How can Walkersville’s Government support business development within Walkersville?
I firmly support local small business and are regular customers of many in our town. I would like to examine the possibility of passing a tax break for those who live in and maintain a business in Walkersville.
7. What are your plans to inform more residents of issues and events in Walkersville?
I would like to see more information put out via social media and websites. I feel like this has improved in the last year but I believe more can be done. Since many people don’t use the internet for this kind of information, more print mailers using the Every Door Direct Mail system of the postal service would be a good way to spread information.
8. What are your thoughts on growth in Walkersville?
I like the small town feel of our community and want to maintain it. I like leaving my development and turning right and running right into farms.  I would rather see redevelopment of blighted businesses and homes than additional development. I want to protect small businesses that have made the investment in Walkersville rather than bringing in big companies.
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 is a valuable natural resource which many people use and its health needs to be maintained. This being said, I in no way support the acquisition through eminent domain of any private property located along the river. If the opportunity presents itself for the town to purchase this property if offered by an owner then I would be willing to discuss this. A final paragraph from the executive summary of the current plan states:  “This plan does not advocate the public use of private property, compromise Constitutional property rights or recommend zoning changes.”
b. Rock Creek School Relocation to Walkersville Middle School property:
I am opposed to the Rock Creek School. I think the county needs to allocate money to update and renovate Walkersville High, Middle and Elementary Schools prior to additional construction in the Community. We have classes in trailers and a potential redistricting in the works with the development going into the area next to the High School. Also I feel like the additional traffic this school would generate will be a burden to long time residents.
c. Solar Farm on Biggs Ford Road:
According to the current map available on the Town Plan section of the website that property is not within the town boundary but is within the ultimate annexation limits. So as of right now we have no decision making rights to that area. However, since we need farms for food and we live in farming community, I would encourage the county to stay consistent with its denials since the proposal does not meet county ordinance or Maryland DNR requirements in regard to “Prime Farm Land”
d. Water Rates to pay for the new Water Treatment Plant:
The new Water Treatment Plant will be more efficient than the old, with a much higher volume and presents the ability to remove restrictions on the water use currently in place. The additional volume available to be used could potentially help pay for the plant. If necessary, rates could be raised but would be offset by the fact that water softeners and chemicals for them are no longer needed. This generates a savings for many in our community.
Please feel free to contact me

michael.mcniesh@hotmail.com

Facebook:  @mcnieshforcommissioner

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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