Tomorrow is Primary Day. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Willie J. Mahone, President of the the Frederick County Branch of the NAACP, recognizes the important role every voter plays in the election process. "It's important for all of us to understand the impact we can have on local politics if we exercise our right to vote. While we do not endorse one candidate over another, we feel that it's important voters are aware of key issues in this upcoming primary that may influence their choices." 

The Government and Political Affairs Committee of the Frederick Branch recently prepared a list of questions, listed below, for the candidates running for the Board of Education and the County Council.

Although several requests have been made, there has been no information regarding the participation of ethnic minorities and women in contracting by the Frederick County government. Do you think that such information is important and what actions would you take to actively support the involvement of ethnic minorities and women in Frederick County contracting.
I think the information is important! I spent 11.5 years working for Congress. I was Chief of Staff for a member of Congress. The Federal government has a set aside for Minorities which means that a certain percent of Federal contracts must be awarded to Ethnic Minorities which includes black, women owned business, and Veterans. I would support such legislation for Fredrick County. These businesses need a leg up to get off the ground and this opens the door to them getting a shot at being successful in our County.

The City of Frederick has agreed to eliminate "check the box" on applications for employment in city government. Would you support doing the same in Frederick County government?

Yes, of course the check box is not needed.

In other jurisdictions in the State of Maryland have statutes giving specific protections to women, ethnic minorities, and LGBT individuals. Would you support such legislation in Frederick County? 

Yes, of course. We must protest all of our citizens.

What will you do to facilitate involvement of ethnic minorities in the hotel/conference center construction and operation?

To facilitate involvement of ethnics minorities in the Hotel/conference  Center I would have a percentage in the contracts that sets aside a percentage of work that needs to reserved for ethnic minorities, women owed businesses and Veterans.

Government has a bad track record when it comes to investing in conference centers and hotels. In a June 7, 2017 article, the Baltimore Sun noted the Baltimore city owned Hilton Baltimore Convention Center had an accumulated deficit of nearly $85 million. The same financing model is being used for the hotel/conference development in Frederick. What will you do to protect County taxpayers from the burden of paying for this project?

The County is not putting any money into the Conference Center. We are only providing infrastructure improvements for the community.  I will not vote for county money to build or operate the conference.

With the passing of the gambling revenue bill in 2008, money was to be put in a lockbox for funding our schools, yet portable classrooms predominate every campus in the county. What would you do to ensure that revenue from gambling goes toward educating our children? 

The County has no role in how Gambling money is raised or spent. I think it is unfortunate that the state made the decision to divert gambling revenue to other projects when it was to be used for Education. I am a strong supporter of Education and the Frederick County Teachers Union has endorsed me for election based on my strong support of Education in Fredrick County.

Do you support a living wage and family leave for Frederick County? 

I do support a living wage and family leave in Fredrick County.

Do you support funding universal pre-kindergarten?

I support funding for universal per-Kindergarten. Early learning prepared our youth for the many challenges our youth will face in the future. Education is the key to good jobs, less trouble with the law, and a much better life in general. This is a Board of Education decision but as a member of the County Council I have help fund the Board of Education above Maintenance of Effort so that funding could be applied to per Kindergarten of they chose to do so.

Bud Otis
Candidate for County Council
At Large


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