Elections Glade Valley Government 

Tom Gilbert for Walkersville Town Commissioner

Mills Custom Wood Floors

 1.  Tell our readers about yourself (family, education, employment, community involvement, etc.):
I was born and raised in Walkersville. Both sets of my grandparents are from Walkersville. I graduated from Walkersville High School in 1971 and received a Bachelor of Science in 1975 and Masters of Science in 1978 from the University of Maryland, both degrees in Agricultural Resources and Economics. I began my 37.5 year career at Farm Credit in Frederick in September of 1978 and retired from there in April 2016. I married my wife, Ellie in December 1978. We moved to our home in Glade Village in 1980. We have two married children and five grand children.
 2.  What prompted you to file as a candidate for the Town of Walkersville government?
Soon after retiring in 2016, I accepted a position to sit on the Walkersville Board of Appeals. This prompted me to begin attending the regular town meetings. I was in general agreement with most decisions. I knew the current Board was losing some very good people due to retirement or running for Burgess, I wanted to contribute back to the town and carry on much of the path that has been created.
 3. What is your main priority if elected?
My main priority is to monitior the completion of the new water system, make sure it is safe and running efficiently, and then work on a plan to repay the debt. We have all seen news reports where municipalities have not done the best job on providing clean, safe water to its citizenry. Walkersville has done a wonderful job in the past. I want that to continue.
 4. What are the most important issues facing the Town of Walkersville, and how will you address those issues?
Make sure the new water system is completed, found safe, and form a strategy to retire the debt.
Put some plan together to reduce the blight around parts of Walkersville— e.g. encourage some property owners to clean up back yards, work with Frederick County and the State of Maryland to clean up some areas around town and as we enter town, and partnering with owners to repair unsighly and dangerous sidewalks in town.
 5. How long have you lived in Walkersville?
I was born and raised about a mile north of the town limits. My wife and I moved to our home in the Glade Village development the day before Thanksgiving in November 1980, almost 38 years ago.
 6. How can Walkersville’s Government support business development within Walkersville?
This is my first time entering any sort of political office. I believe in not “re-inventing the wheel”. For this, I am unsure what is out there but if faced with this, I would contact some of the other township governments to find out what did and what did not work for them. Good ideas can then be pursued.
7. What are your plans to inform more residents of issues and events in Walkersville?
There are numerous opportunities for residents to be informed. Listing them on the town’s website for them to pursue seems to be the most economical way to do this. Including this in the periodic newsletters from the town can expose these sources, too. Of course, keeping the town’s website updated is a must.
8. What are your thoughts on growth in Walkersville?
I remember as a 5 year old coming to town with my grandfather who dairy farmed up Rt. 194. On our way, whether down Rt. 194 or by Devilbiss Bridge Road, we road by farm after farm that now have houses on them. This was done in an orderly fashion over the past 60 years. It’s a testament that people want to live here. However, I think after the Bell farm is finished and a cluster of town homes are built on Glade Road, the development will be completed according to the master plan. I don’t think we need more as we are witnessing the crowded roads and schools, and pressure on the town workforce and amenities.
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:
We are waiting on a final proposal for the revision. Based on what I have read through the papers, it is very doubtful if one can be arranged. I do think a few things need to be in place: (1) an adequate and accurate monitoring of the water quality up and down the river (2) maintain the rights of the owners and not allowing others to cross property lines without consent and (3) make sure everyone realize farmers are stewards of their resources and don’t plan to harm those resources.
b. Rock Creek School Relocation to Walkersville Middle School property:
The property is owned by Frederick County. So long as the County performs according to Walkersville’s planning and zoning policies, there is little the town can do in my estimation. It will be necessary that the policies of our planning and zoning codes be followed.
c. Solar Farm on Biggs Ford Road:
With formerly working in the agricultural industry in Frederick County, I know Walkersville is surrounded with some of the most productive farm land in the county. I don’t like to think more of this land is going to be lost. Hopefully those owners have discussed options of preserving the farm through one of the County or State programs. If this is not reasonable, then while I don’t like the thought, I’d rather see solar panels than a housing development that would put unwanted pressure on roads, schools, and amenities.
d. Water Rates to pay for the new Water Treatment Plant:
Walkersville has some of the lowest water rates around, so I am told. That is the effort of prudent management over the years. However, we also have to plan upgrade equipment for the future— and that means safe, potable water and developing means to insure its safety. It seems to me the rates will have to increase to keep the town fiscally sound and provide a surplus for any contingencies or surprises that we don’t know about at this time. I believe this can and should be done on a manageable level.
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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