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 that collecting this information is important to ensure that ethnic minorities and women are being given fair and equal access to the contracting process and that their participation rates reasonably reflect their proportion of the population.

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. We shouldn't put burdensome impediments in the way of individualsgetting a job once they've served their time in prison. Giving them theopportunity to get a job helps them reintegrate with society and be productivecontributors.

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. Everyone should feel safe in their community.

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

Earl Robbins, Jr., an ethnic minority, was the chair of the Downtown Hotel and Advisory Committee from 2011 until March of 2018. The Advisory Committee is the primary body responsible for planning for the hotel/conference center, developing the request for proposal, and bringing the hotel/conference center to the point it is today. The Hotel/Conference Center will be operated by Plamondon Hospitality Partners, a private enterprise who operate numerous hotels in the area . There should be no impediments to involvement by ethnic minorities in the hotel/conference center.

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?

This is not an equivalent situation. Neither Frederick County or Frederick City will own or operate the Downtown Hotel/Conference Center. It will be operated by Plamondon. Once it becomes operational, the City of Frederick, Frederick County, and State of Maryland will have no fiscal responsibility for the hotel. Public funds will pay for infrastructure such as parking and other land related
improvements and will be funded from revenues generated by the project. The City of Frederick will hold title to the land and Plamondon will pay a monthly land lease. The Hotel/Conference center will be paid for with private financing.

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 state controls the gambling funds, but I would certainly advocate with our state legislators to ensure that money from gambling that was designated for funding our schools, goes to that purpose. In general, I will advocate for funding our schools at levels necessary to ensure that our children receive the best education possible. This includes providing our teachers and support staff with fair and equitable salaries, as well as sufficient funding to build and/or renovate schools so that our students don't have to sit in portables.

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

Yes. Absolutely. The Untied Way's ALICE report shows that 32% of our population are barely able to make ends meet. Establishing a living wage will help to address this problem. Providing paid family leave is the fair and right thing to do to enable family members to bond with children after the birth of a child or taking care of loved ones during times of illness.

Do you support funding universal pre-kindergarten?

Yes. Early childhood education is crucial to helping children establish a solid foundation for learning and success throughout life. I support funding for pre-K through 2 years post high school for community college or trade school.

Mark Long
Candidate for County Council
At Large

Candidates for County Council

Shannon Bohrer
Galen Clagett
Jessica Fitzwater
Justin Kiska
Mark Long
M.C. Keegan-Ayer
​Susan Reeder Jessee

Candidates for the Board of Education

Jonah Eisenberg
Marie Fischer
Edison Hatter
Jay Mason
Bud Otis
Camden Raynor
Cindy Rose
Masai Troutman
Brad Young


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