Letter: Shoemaker says mid-term update shows conservative governance



August 18, 2012

Almost two years have passed since the people of Carroll County's District 2 elected me to the office of County Commissioner.

As an elected official, I believe it is my responsibility to keep the people I represent informed about what I've done — and what I plan to do to make their lives better. Therefore, I'd like to give an update on the decisions I've made through the first two years of my term as commissioner.

Since taking office, I've voted for a multitude of policies and plans, but there are six key decisions that exemplify the conservative principles I campaigned on.

First, I led the charge to place a limit of two terms on all County Commissioners from this point forward, ensuring that this office will never again be used to pass legislation that abuses public funds for the sole purpose of padding a re-election effort.

Second, to further protect the citizens of this county from reckless spending habits so many politicians seem to develop during their years in office, this Board of County Commissioners enacted a requirement that any proposed tax increase must receive a supermajority of votes in order to pass. We have made it difficult for your local government to take one red cent out of your pocket without being held accountable in the next election.

Third, I voted to change the rules of county government contracting by implementing what's known as an E-Verify system. From now on any business that wants to bid on a local government contract — whether they're building a bridge or delivering office supplies — must first prove that every one of their employees is a legal resident of this country. Under this board of commissioners, taxpayer dollars only pay for work performed by taxpaying, law-abiding American citizens.

Fourth, we scrapped the plan to build a countywide police force from scratch and instead voted to expand the Sheriff's Office. Not only does this save $3 million a year, it also gives people the ultimate say on local law enforcement matters by keeping an elected official, the sheriff, at the helm.

Fifth, I turned my attention to our own office, saving $400,000 a year by cutting the number of top-level cabinet members from 15 to eight. Combined with other internal cost-cutting measures, this group of five commissioners now operates on a smaller budget than the previous group of three.

The sixth and final key decision is the one that I am most proud of: I have voted for lower taxes each year I have been in office.

There aren't many counties in this state that have lowered taxes at all in the past two years, and I know for a fact that we are the only county in the state of Maryland to have lowered them two years in a row.

Term limits, supermajority for tax increases, E-Verify for government contracts, cost-effective law enforcement by an elected sheriff, slashing costs in my own office and lowering taxes two years in a row. This is what I've done in the first two years of my term as commissioner. This is keeping the promises and the principles I campaigned on.

Haven Shoemaker, District 2, Board of County Commissioners


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