I was born and raised in Northern Frederick County where my family has lived for many generations. I love living here and want to ensure that it continues to be a great place to live, work and raise families for future generations. I’m running for County Council District 5 so that north county residents have a representative on the County Council who will put their interests first.
I believe the new charter form of government provides an opportunity for county residents and towns to have a better relationship with the county government by having a member of the council who represents their part of the county specifically. However this can only happen if County Council members listen to residents and are able work with other elected officials with mutual trust and respect.
I believe that the endorsements I’ve received from local elected officials attest to my ability to listen to local residents concerns and work with other elected officials in a professional and respectful manner.
The municipal leaders I’ve received endorsements from are Wayne Hooper, Thurmont Commissioner (R), Glenn Blanchard, Emmitsburg Commissioner (D), Wayne Creadick, Mayor of Myersville (R), John Kinnaird, Mayor of Thurmont (R), and Ralph Whitmore, Burgess of Walkersville (R). There are many reasons why these officials have endorsed me, but I’ll share Ralph Whitmore’s reason; “I’m endorsing Mark Long for County Council because he’s made it clear that he will listen to everyone in our community and address our needs, whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent.”
In addition to endorsements from municipal leaders, I’m also honored to have the endorsement of State Senator David Brinkley and County Commissioner David Gray. State Senator David Brinkley stated, “Mark Long and I had several conversations about his County Council candidacy. I’ve had conversations with several other business and municipal leaders in the district I trust. If I lived in the 5th District, Mark Long would have my vote. Mark will be available at community gatherings in all parts of the district and he will do his homework before making a decision. He will be an independent voice, regardless of which candidate is elected County Executive.”
In addition to listening to the concerns of local residents and establishing a good working relationship with local elected officials, there are also specific issues which I feel are especially important to address including; residential development, education, and strengthening our economy.
I support responsible residential growth. Because Frederick County is a desirable place to live and work, it will continue to attract new residents. It’s essential that we manage growth in a responsible and thoughtful way so that new development doesn’t negatively impact current residents. The rollout of developments should be timed with our ability to pay for schools, roads and other services, and developers should pay their fair share for these services. We should end taxpayer giveaways to developers.
I support our public schools and students. A good education provides the foundation for a fulfilling life, and prepares students for good paying jobs and rewarding careers. Ensuring a quality education for our children is the most important investment we can make for the future of our community, and is key to our economic prosperity. For many of us, schools are also the center of community life. Through sporting events, community shows, clubs like 4H, FFA and others, schools are often the center of community life. Short-changing schools the way they’ve been for the last four years, not only hurts students chances for success in the work-force, it undermines the quality of our communities.
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. We should support and reinforce the work of our County’s Department of Business Development and Retention as well as reinvest in our business/technology incubator. Job growth is a top priority. I want to restore the position of Agricultural Liaison to support our agricultural community.
There are other issues I haven’t addressed and probably a few that are important to you that I’m not aware of. As County Councilman representing District 5, one of the first things I will do will be to host town hall sessions where residents can voice their concerns and interests to me directly, so that I can better understand what’s important to residents of District 5.
I will make decisions affecting the entire county, however, I will make it my priority to ensure that northern Frederick County residents have a representative on the county council that hears their concerns and stands up for their interests.
Mark Long, Candidate for County Council District 5, Thurmont