The issues we face are Calvert County problems, with Calvert County solutions. What I want to do in office is really a question of what Calvert County residents care about. By and large I believe that is money and transparency. This is why I’m running on a platform of common sense investment and governmental accessibility. Calvert County residents want their tax dollars to be used as effectively as possible and feel as if they have a voice in their local government. Calvert County is safe, but I want to make it safer. Calvert County has been built in a smart way, but I want to build it smarter. Calvert County has great public schools, but I want to make them better. Calvert County is beautiful, but I want to make it more so.
Common sense Investment
Above all, we want our taxes to be spent effectively. We want the best possible deal: great services at a low cost. Here’s several areas we need to invest in to ensure Calvert is the best possible community to live in:
- Teacher Pay: Over 100 CCPS teachers have left the school system in the last three years (not including retirement). We have to compete with neighboring counties so that Calvert attracts the great teachers and keeps the best educators in the county. The Board has routinely shoved aside the needs of teachers so much so that they are drastically behind their steps. CCPS teachers are not asking for a raise. They are only asking for the money promised to them. Our kids are the future. This is a no-brainer.
- Opioid Crisis: Maryland is one of the top four states in growth of opioid overdose deaths. In 2016, Calvert led Southern Maryland in drug deaths. We have a quarter of a billion dollar budget and not even $200,000 is going towards treatment funding. The Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse (CAASA) is grossly underfunded. We need to properly attack this public health crisis through smarter education and treatment, not punishment.
- Smart Growth: I’m all for entrepreneurship and free enterprise. We want Calvert to be a beacon for business development while containing growth within our town centers. We cannot let business run wild or else Calvert will end up looking like Waldorf and the commute to DC will become far more time-consuming. Developing within the guidelines of smart growth will ensure Route Four is not clogged up. As for incoming businesses, let’s invest locally instead of in national chains. That way profits stay in Calvert County and contribute to our local economy.
- Environmental Protection: Calvert’s identity revolves around being a bay-side county. We need to conserve this and protect the Bay at all costs, especially from federal cuts. We need to make sure businesses are not polluting our water or air. Doing all we can to make sure the Bay is clean is a worthwhile investment.
- School Safety- With the recent shooting at Great Mills High School, Southern Maryland realized that the threat of a school shooter isn’t a distant threat. The threat is in every town. We need to take steps to ensure that our students can comfortably learn even if our federal government won’t.
The commissioners’ meetings are held on Tuesdays at 10am. The meetings last but a few hours, often less than that. Every meeting they open up for public comment. I question who can make these meetings, besides retirees. Calvert County citizens want their voice to be heard. But who can be expected to take a day off from work to testify in front of our local officials? There is no reason these meetings cannot be held in the evening, after so many Calvert residents get off work. Your commissioners are hiding from you. I want to hear from you. I want to hear your input on how to make Calvert County better.
Calvert Shores Incorporation
On July 11th, I attended a public hearing regarding whether the Chesapeake Ranch Estates would become the third municipality in Calvert. Over 25% of proposed residents signed a petition to have a referendum vote on becoming a municipality. The commissioners denied the petition. Regardless of the commissioners’ personal opinions on the matter, they should let the residents of CRE decide their future. By denying them the right to a vote, they are declaring their voices meaningless. In this country the people control the government, not the other way around. The CRE earned a vote. They deserve one.