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 moved to Walkersville in 1986 and in the 29 years since have raised two children (Jessica and Michael) with my husband of 35 years, David. Presently, I work at New Midway/Woodsboro Elementary in the Special Education Department. I am a member of Walkersville United Methodist Church. My interests include photography; sailing on the Chesapeake Bay; hiking and camping in local, state and national parks;, cycling and quilting. I enjoy talking with and getting to know people of all ages. I love animals and have had a dog most of my life. You will often see me walking my dog around Walkersville neighborhoods, Old Town and various Town parks.
Tell us about your Public Service Experience:
I have decades of public service experience, all tied closely to my community in Walkersville and Frederick County. I am a member of the Walkersville Parks Commission. As a Commission member I have coordinated with community groups and their use of the Town Parks, worked on preserving the parks for Walkersville Citizens. Chairperson of Frederick County Parks and Recreation Commission. On the Commission I have participated in oversight of Frederick County Parks. I coordinated tree plantings and created a rain garden for New Midway/Woodsboro Elementary. As part of this project I applied for and received a grant and solicited donations from local businesses to cover the costs. In addition, I am a member of Walkersville United Methodist where I sit on the Weekday Oversight Committee. I have volunteered with Glade Valley Community Services Toy Shop in December for the past several years. Participating in Community Partners is another service. In the past I was a Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Leader, Assistant Cub Master and Committee member for Pack 1070. For Boy Scout Troop 1070 I sat on the Board of Review. I was a Chairperson of the Children’s Ministries for Walkersville United Methodist Church, Sunday School teacher, Vacation Bible School teacher and Preschool Director. I recently worked with a group of students to research and develop a name for an unnamed tributary of the Monocacy River. We were one of three entries in Frederick County chosen by USGS, being recognized by Frederick County at a ceremony with the County Executive.
What do you see as the top issues facing Walkersville and how you propose addressing these issues?
One of the top issues facing Walkersville is blighted commercial property. Blighted property affects all the citizens of Walkersville. It is an eyesore, safety hazard and can affect property value. As a Walkersville Town Commissioner I will work to address this issue. The Planning Commission is developing guidelines. After the guidelines are complete, the Board of Town Commissioners will continue the process of creating and enforcing an ordinance to address this issue and improve these parcels.
Petty crime and vandalism is another issue facing the Town. I will address this issue by partnering with Frederick County Parks and Recreation to offer programming for kids. I will also revive Neighborhood Watch Programs. Neighborhood Watch increases residents’ involvement in their own neighborhoods so they know what is happening around their homes and fosters relationships with neighbors. It helps to promote community spirit, one of the reason I chose to live in Walkersville.
Walkersville, like many other towns, also has to think about illegal drug use. The present board has coordinated an education night for parents and their children. As a Town Commissioner I will continue this education for our children and their parents.
Do you feel crime is an issue? If so what do you propose doing to address the issue?
As previously stated I think petty crime and vandalism is a concern in the Town of Walkersville. Breaking into cars around town is a continuing problem. As your commissioner I will work with state police to ensure that the Resident State Troopers are visible in the community. They can reinforce the importance of locking cars and removing valuables. Also, they can do safety checks on houses. Neighborhood Watch Programs can help address these issues as previously stated.
Growth continues to be an issue about which the community feels strongly. What are your views on planned growth and possible future growth?
The Town of Walkersville has an agriculture buffer that surrounds the entire town. This buffer helps insulate Walkersville from excessive growth and encroaching growth from the City of Frederick. People move to Walkersville then stay here because they like its small town community feel. Growth does happen but it needs to be planned and controlled. It is controlled and planned by the Master Plan for the Town. The Master Plan is adopted by the Town Commissioners. I will ensure that future master plans take into account the opinions of Walkersville residents.
What changes, if any, will you support to address traffic issues in and around Walkersville?
This is a challenging question because much of the traffic problem is on Route 194, which is a state road. County Executive Gardner came to Walkersville looking for input on the widening of Route 194. Route 194 could be widened up to Adventure Avenue. There are also many County roads that are used by commuters trying to bypass congested State roads. As a Town Commissioner, I will keep an open dialogue with State Highway, and Frederick County as well since this is a regional issue.