2015 State of the County
Westminster, MD
01/13/2015 04:58 PM
The Three E’s
Commissioner Stephen Wantz discusses his 3 E’s Plan: Education, Economic Development and Emergency Services. He suggests bringing these elements together to move Carroll forward while retaining the specialness that makes living here great.

Commissioner Wantz highlights the importance of education for a community. He discusses how the education system is the backbone of a viable community and is essential for economic development saying that without an educated workforce businesses are less likely to be attracted to an area.

The second E belongs to Economic Development and he discusses the need to provide a welcoming business climate. Commissioner Wantz believes such a climate is created through quality of life resources such as parks and good schools, but also through properly zoned properties that are equipped with the necessary infrastructure to support business operations. He highlights business services like the Carroll County Public Network (broadband) and the Path which attract and help retain business.

The final E is for Emergency Services, including Fire, Police and the criminal justice system. Commissioner Wantz explains the importance of working with each of these organizations to maintain Carroll’s “safest county” title. He mentioned creating a workgroup to attack the drug issues in Carroll and across the state.

Carroll’s Agricultural Heritage & Education
Commissioner Richard Weaver reviews the importance of the county’s Agricultural Preservation Program on farming. The program helps existing as well as new farmers be successful and ensures that Carroll retains this industry which not only pumps over $112 million dollars annually into our economy but also helps feed each and every one of us. He additionally notes that Carroll’s dairy production is the 3rd largest in the state – a fact many may not know.

Commissioner Weaver also discusses education and the importance of a strong educational system for Carroll County. As an educator and administrator for 38 years, Commissioner Weaver is well acquainted with the school system, its needs and its importance in the community. He understands the vital role the schools play in a community; knowing that strong schools make strong communities. He is looking forward to working with the Board of Education to reach the best solutions for the schools, the county and the community as a whole.

Economic Development
Commissioner Dennis Frazier touches on economic development in the county and the need to keep up with technological advances such as broadband to make Carroll County competitive today and in the future. The broadband network is complete, but now the county needs to focus on the “last mile” to take the service to the businesses and organizations that can benefit the most.

Commissioner Frazier will be keeping a keen eye on the budget deliberations with the hope of increasing county employee salaries in order to make Carroll County more competitive. For years now, Carroll has served as the training ground for surrounding jurisdictions. Employees learn their craft here and then move on to higher-paying counties. Commissioner Frazier believes we must break this cycle and keep our valuable employees working right here. Although change will come slowly as budgets are still tight, it is his hope that over time employees will receive fair compensation in line with their skills.

Setting the Record Straight
Commissioner Richard Rothschild discusses various topics such as the rain tax, county legal fees and Carroll’s future. During his presentation he will explain how Carroll County led the way in stopping the implementation of the rain tax on our citizens and local businesses.

Commissioner Rothschild will also discuss county legal fees used to defend First Amendment rights and how spending some money on legal fees can actually save taxpayers money in the long-run.

Finally, he will discuss Carroll’s future. Commissioner Rothschild will outline what makes Carroll uniquely Carroll and the steps that need to be taken to preserve our way of life today and for future generations.

Carroll’s Future
Commissioner Doug Howard reviews the successes of the 59th Board of Commissioners. He explains that Carroll is on a very sound financial footing with many opportunities for continued success in the future. The 59th Board has left the county in good shape and he looks forward to building on those successes and working with the 60th Board.

Commissioner Howard discusses the continued need to work collaboratively with the Rural Coalition, the members of House of Delegates and Senate, the new community leaders of the hospital, the community college, the Health Department and the new administration in Annapolis to solidify the strides made over the last four years.

He elaborates on the Carroll’s bright future and explains that going forward not only will it be important what goals we set, but the way in which we achieve those goals.
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