GladeValley.net has invited each candidate to answer the same set of questions to provide voters in The Town of Walkersville with some information to help them make a decision at the polls on September 14, 2015.
Tell Us About Yourself:
I am a lifelong resident of Walkersville, and graduated from Walkersville High School. Retired from Alcoa Eastalco Aluminum after 36 years of employment, I am now enjoying antique hunting and spending time with my grandchildren. I am married to Peggy and have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
One of my passions was volunteering as an encampment counselor and later the encampment director at Camp WestMar, an American Legion Camp for 9-12 year old boys. I also enjoyed serving on the Board of Directors for Kids Chance of Maryland. I was active in the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Company for a total of 40 years. The Walkersville Kiwanis Club, now defunct, gave me experience by going through the offices from Treasurer to President.
Tell Us About Your Public Service Experience:
At the beginning of my political career, I served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for 2 years, then was elected as Town Commissioner and have served in that capacity 16 years. One of the highlights of my job as Town Commissioner has been to chair the Veterans Day/Memorial Day programs held at Memorial Park each year. I have also organized and chaired 2 drug awareness programs.
What do you see as the top issues facing Walkersville and how do you propose addressing these issues?
Several issues that are facing Walkersville include crime, drugs, growth, building of new water plant, and
- The new Water Plant is out for design and bid. After the proposals are received and the newly elected commission makes a decision, the new plant will be able to handle any sewage spills or other emergencies without having to tap into Frederick County water lines.
- A code enforcer is needed to be proactive instead of complaint driven, because residents are intimidated because of the threat of retaliation.
The other issues are addressed in the following questions.
Crime in Walkersville has been a hot topic lately with a public hearing schedule for September 9th on the
subject. Do you feel this is an issue? If so, what do you propose doing to address the issue?
Crime is Walkersville is an important issue, but Thank God, we don’t have the major crime that other towns face. One of the ways to help combat crime is to reduce drug use through drug awareness programs and using arrest in these crimes to let users know we are serious in Walkersville. Vandalism is an issue that can best be curbed by stepping up police presence, citizen involvement, being proactive in installing cameras and other security devices. Forming a neighborhood watch committee with police involvement would be another proactive step. Social media has led to several arrests for crimes and vandalism committed in Walkersville in the past and could perhaps be developed further. I want to reiterate that drugs are our biggest problem with overdoses resulting in the death of several persons in Walkersville.
Growth continues to be an issue about which the community feels strongly. What are your views on
planned growth and possible future development?
I will continue to vote against residential growth, and rezoning from commercial or agriculture to residential. In 16 years I have voted NO to residential rezoning. For the one property rezoned during my term, I led a petition to bring it to the voters, and collected over 900 signatures. Unfortunately, there were not enough registered voters with those signatures. Additionally, even with our slow growth rate, our schools are already at or near capacity: Walkersville High is 89%, Walkersville Middle is 74%, Walkersville Elementary is 102% and Glade Elementary is at 95%. Growth does not pay for itself, which is why we are able to keep our tax rate low (we are the second lowest tax rate in the State of Maryland).
Earlier this year, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced that the expansion of MD 194
would be moved to a top priority. What changes, if any, will you support to address traffic issues in and
The traffic within the town limits of Walkersville seems to flow okay. I recognize that there are problems getting into Walkersville on Route 194, and would look favorably on widening if the funding would be made available by the state, since it is considered a state route.