Anne Arundel County Executive's Race

July 23, 2006

In less than eight weeks, primary voters will narrow the field in the Anne Arundel County executive's race to succeed County Executive Janet S. Owens.

The five Republican candidates are: Tom Angelis, Phillip D. Bissett, David G. Boschert, John R. Leopold and Gregory V. Nourse. The two Democrats are Dennis Callahan and George F. Johnson IV.

Recent polling indicates that growth concerns are on the minds of many residents in Anne Arundel County, especially with a large military expansion at Fort Meade on the horizon. The Sun has asked the candidates to share their views on growth throughout the county and their ideas on how to manage it.

Tom Angelis

Republican

High school teacher in Baltimore

(candidate for executive in 2002)

Davidsonville

Age: 60

In preparation for a job boom at Fort Meade, County Executive Janet S. Owens has made upgrading transportation around the Army post a priority, directing millions toward Route 175, Route 198 and the MARC commuter train station in Odenton. As county executive, what are the priorities you would establish to prepare for growth around Fort Meade?

In every discussion concerning any aspect of development, the key phrase that must be employed is managed growth because transportation, middle-class affordable housing, education, public safety and economic development are only some of the impacted issues concerning growth. In reference to the anticipated growth explosion in the Odenton/Fort Meade area, the creation of adequate infrastructure must occur to meet the aforementioned needs so that all residents of the area may experience a great quality of life.

To assist in alleviating transportation, technology communication must be explored. To accommodate middle-class affordable housing tax credits, government incentives and a healthy public/private-sector working relationship needs to be investigated. To ensure quality education, variable scheduling and offsite learning may be necessary to implement. To provide efficient public safety, extensive community policing and community involvement should occur.

Residents in Gambrills and Crofton have called for a development moratorium along Route 3 as state plans for overhauling the nine-mile corridor remain delayed. What would you do as executive to get the decades-long state project off the ground?

Again, the concept of managed growth must be tantamount to all development issues. Although a development moratorium may be an attractive and necessary short-term solution for much of the local community, it does not provide for a conscientious long-term strategy. This strategy must be locally centered as both the county government and impacted communities strive for an implementation of this managed growth that will provide a great quality of life for all community residents.

The local government must lead in this effort as it has the best tools and avenues available to ascertain what would be the most positive condition existent for all involved parties. Acknowledging that virtually no one will be totally supportive of the decision, it is the proper role of local government to achieve the most reasonable solution to this development management.

Large-scale development is largely absent in the county's southern tier, which is dominated by farmland. Given regional growth demands, do you believe this area should remain closed to such development?

The rural integrity of this portion of the county will be preserved during my administration, which complies perfectly with my emphasis of managed growth for our county as it relates to the nature of the concerned and impacted areas. Some of our surrounding counties have extensive areas of preserved "green space." As this adds to the overall quality of life of not just a portion of the county but rather to the county in its entirety, I strongly support maintaining the bucolic setting of this area of the county.

However, if development does become desirable to both the local government and the local citizenry as has occurred in areas such as Davidsonville, then managed growth must be the philosophy implemented. To do less would be injurious to the general proposition of a healthy environment created by managed growth.

Phillip D. Bissett

Republican

Former director of MARC and state delegate

(2002 party nominee for executive)

Mayo Age: 49

In preparation for a job boom at Fort Meade, County Executive Janet S. Owens has made upgrading transportation around the Army post a priority, directing millions toward Route 175, Route 198 and the MARC commuter train station in Odenton. As county executive, what are the priorities you would establish to prepare for growth around Fort Meade?

These transportation upgrades came before the General Assembly back when I was a member. As county executive, I want to fast-track them. Time is critical in readying our infrastructure to handle growth slated for Fort Meade.

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