A Candidate for ALL the People – Commentary by Mark Long

A Candidate for All the People
by Mark Long

MarkLong_editedI love Frederick County. I was born and raised here and my family has been here for many generations. I’ve lived for a few years in both Virginia and Pennsylvania, but have always returned to northern Frederick County because it’s a great place to live, work and raise a family. I want to ensure that our county continues to be a great place to live for future generations and below I’ve shared a few thoughts on how to accomplish that.

I believe that our elected leaders should be responsive to all citizens.  We need leaders that really listen and effectively represent the interests of our citizens and communities, not just a few special interest groups.  It’s crucial that our leaders consider the views and interests of everyone, then work respectfully and constructively to build consensus where possible.

I support our educators and our students. A quality education provides the foundation for a fulfilling life, and prepares students for good paying jobs and rewarding careers. Good teachers are essential to preparing our students to face the challenges of an increasingly complex world and they should be compensated fairly and competitively. Maintenance of Effort funding is not sufficient to sustain a high quality education system. It’s crucial that the new County Council work in partnership with the Board of Education, in an atmosphere of mutual respect, to find solutions to funding challenges so we can ensure that our children obtain the best education possible. Our investment in education is the most important investment we can make for the future of our citizens and our community, and is key to our economic prosperity.

I stand for strong business and economic growth. As a small business owner I understand the importance of having a business friendly environment and a strong economy.  Our elected officials must be strong advocates for the county, and I will be.  I support the work of the Department of Business Development and Retention, and will advocate for additional support for the Frederick Innovative and Technology Center (our business incubator).  We know that the kind of businesses and jobs we want here choose attractive and safe communities, with good schools, a well educated work force and a high quality of life.  Job growth is a top priority.

I support sustainable residential growth. Because Frederick County is such a wonderful place to live and work, it will continue to attract people that want to call this place home. I make my living as a Home Inspector for people buying homes, so my business thrives when the real estate market thrives.  As we grow, however, it’s essential that we manage our growth in a responsible and thoughtful way so that we preserve farms and green, open spaces, keep our roads from being overly congested, and have enough schools and enough space in our schools for students.

New development should take place near existing growth centers where infrastructure is already in place. The rollout of developments should be timed with our ability to pay for schools, infrastructure and required services, and developers should pay their fair share for the required schools, roads and services. New residential developments should not create a new tax burden on citizens.

I support caring for our environment. I love eating crabs (doesn’t everyone) and I believe it’s important that we protect the Chesapeake Bay and ensure that our streams and rivers leading to it remain clean. I am against building the Waste-To-Energy Incinerator. It would release tons of harmful material into our air and makes no economic sense.

I support our senior citizens and human service agencies. For many years our County has partnered with human service non-profits and supported human service organizations to help meet the needs of our citizens. This has been a valuable and cost effective partnership, and I believe it should continue.  For 8 years in the early part of my life, I worked with developmentally disabled adults in a non-profit organization, and I understand the good work these organizations do and the challenges they face.  My wife of 40 years, Jill, works as a Family Advocate for YMCA of Frederick County Head Start and has helped me understand the value of early childhood education.

I believe that we should continue our legacy of taking care of our elderly at Montevue Home and Citizens Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.  It is a mistake to sell these facilities, especially at a substantial loss.  I think that how a community cares for their most vulnerable citizens is a reflection of the true character of that community.

 

I believe in Frederick County and its people. I believe that we have a great and prosperous future ahead. When on the county council, I assure you that I will listen respectfully to all citizens of Frederick County, not just a few special interests. Working together we can develop creative solutions to the problems we face. Working together we can move Frederick County toward a better and brighter tomorrow.

Mark Long, Candidate for County Council District 5
www.marklong.us
Facebook: Mark Long for Frederick County Council District 5

PO Box 557
Thurmont, MD 21788

mark@marklong.us

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