Home Government 2018 General Election Voters Guide-Anne Arundel County

2018 General Election Voters Guide-Anne Arundel County

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COUNTY EXECUTIVE

Steve Schuh

STEVE SCHUH (R) (Incumbent): I am a lifelong county resident, small-business owner, father, husband, former State Delegate and current Anne Arundel County Executive. Four years ago, I pledged to make the county the best place to live, work and start a business in Maryland. We have made significant progress, and I seek re-election to continue the work we have started. Over the past four years, we have improved the business climate in Anne Arundel County. I have worked hard to make county government more efficient and customer-service oriented to make it easier for businesses to operate in the county.

We have implemented the largest tax cut and the largest fee cut in county history, reduced property taxes for four years thanks to the county’s tax cap, and enacted more than $160 million in cumulative tax and fee relief.

I recognize that a successful business climate depends on a well-educated work force and a safe living environment for employees. My second term priorities are to continue record investments in our schools by reducing class sizes, improving salaries and accelerating school construction in all parts of the County. Also, I will continue to support our public-safety personnel and infrastructure to combat the opioid crisis, gangs and crime. We will continue to increase police pay, add positions and build a fifth police district. My Administration will address these priorities without increasing taxes and fees and will continue to make County government more efficient and cost effective.

STEUART PITTMAN (D): Steuart Pittman is running a “Communities First” campaign for county executive that is drawing support from all across the political spectrum. His career as a farmer, businessman, and nonprofit executive began with a nine-year career working to bring housing and commercial investment to blighted urban neighborhoods across the country. He did that work by effectively organizi

ng at the grass-roots level, and he will bring those skills to government. Pittman pledges to shift budget priorities away from development subsidies and back to education, public safety, and preserving open space. However, he still understands the need for economic growth and that being pro-business and pro-environment can go hand-in-hand. As County Executive, he will continue work he has done with farmers to roll back regulations that are no longer serving their intended purpose, and he will apply that principle to all local business regulation. A Pittman administration in Anne Arundel County will be transparent, inclusive, and fiscally responsible. Decisions will be driven by data, and data will be shared online so that citizens and businesses can participate in county government. Pittman is tired of the pay-to-play politics that have too often disgraced county government. He is running against a local political machine made up of cast-offs from the Leopold administration that rely on the same divisiveness and bullying that have poisoned our politics in Washington. A vote for Steuart Pittman is a vote for transparent, accountable government that will put communities first.

COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1

KIMBERLY MCCOY BURNS (R): No response.

SARAH LACEY (D): I’m a mom, a top-rated plaintiff’s attorney, a former engineer, a homeowner, and a community volunteer and leader. I campaigned for and was elected to school-wide leadership positions at both MIT and CUA Law. Those campaigns, in addition to many other leadership experiences I’ve had, prepared me for public service by teaching me to listen to the people I hope to serve and to take personal responsibility for addressing their concerns. Our county has permitted severe over-development in District 1, which is the most rapidly growing and diverse District in the county. I want our representative to advocate for sustainable growth policies and catching up our infrastructure, including adding more schools/capacity, parks and recreation facilities, libraries, and even a new county government office on the western side of BWI. Paying our teachers and first responders salaries sufficient to keep our teachers and first responders working for our County rather than losing them to neighboring jurisdictions. I also want to incentivize teachers and first responders to be able to live near where they work. Protecting and improving our environment is an area where we have not only great responsibility, but great opportunity to lead through community action and partnerships, as well as legislation.

COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2

TOM GARDNER (R): First, and most important, voting is our sacred, hard-earned privilege, so please encourage your friends and family to vote this November, it has never been more important! I’ve been a resident of North County for 50 years, and I’m running for County Council because I want to strengthen and protect our neighborhoods, our schools and keep our hard-earned money in our pockets.  As a small business owner, a board of director member, a successful private sector employee, retired State IT executive, military pilot, and past Chairmen of the AACO Spending and Affordability committee, I understand that there are needs that the government must meet. While fulfilling those needs, regulations that may result cannot be so intrusive that we cannot sustain progress. I have led projects creating government efficiencies and improving ease of service, all while saving tax paying citizens both time and money. I have always been active in the community, as an umpire for local sport leagues, an area representative/ architecture review member on community associations or as a member on the AACO Community Center taskforce. As a candidate I have already had addressed, and corrected, many constituents’ issues/concerns, and I don’t plan on stopping. Protecting the tax cap and offering tax relief by eliminating the Rain Tax will be my priorities. I support a General Development Plan that won’t burden our infrastructure, schools, first responders, and nature or human resources. I have signed a pledge to oppose any tax increase in the County. Thanks and God Bless!

ALLISON PICKARD (D): The combination of strong leadership, practical professional experience, and higher education have served me well as I pursue common-sense, results driven solutions to community issues. I have forged strong relationships with other leaders in the county through my work with PTA, the Board of Education, and the School Board Appointment Commission. I bring a pragmatic and results-based approach to policy decisions. I remain committed to working hard and reaching out to all community members, business and labor leaders, elected officials, and community groups to make Anne Arundel County the best it can be. Anne Arundel County cannot keep pushing off basic infrastructure needs. The lack of strong representation leaves District 2 vulnerable especially when considering our roads and schools. Knee jerk reactions to funding decisions and policy making over the last 3 years have left our county further behind. We must develop a budgeting approach that identifies and prioritizes where help is needed most, both socially and economically. We must craft a comprehensive multi-year approach to ensure our County fixes problems and measures results. I will be a strong advocate for neglected capital projects in the Greater Glen Burnie area as well as an emphasis on roads, schools, and public safety.

COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 3

NATHAN VOLKE (R): I love the District 3 community. I love being close to my family, lifelong friends and all the abundant access to waterways. I attended and graduated from Anne Arundel County Public schools. I married my high school sweetheart from Chesapeake High School and then we decided to start our family here. This community was an amazing place to grow up, and I want my son to have that same experience as he grows up. Overdevelopment, crowded roads, outdated infrastructure – these problems are threatening that future. I view serving on the County Council as a chance to give back and help shape the future of the community I love. I believe in limited government. I support lowering taxes, especially for retirees and those who have served our community and country. I want government to spend our money smarter. I support public education and increased teacher pay. I support investing in crucial infrastructure and services like public safety, police, fire and libraries. I believe any new development proposals must be transparent and need input from the people who will be most affected—you—before they are passed. If elected, I will be a responsive representative and advocate for your needs. I will fight for this community like I fight for my clients as an attorney every day. I share your values and I will be your voice to protect our community today and for the future.

DEBBIE RITCHIE (D): No response.

COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4

TORREY SNOW (R): Torrey Snow moved to Anne Arundel County in 2006, after graduating college. He took a job at a local school, and immersed himself into the community. He worked primarily with families in local under-served communities. In May of 2007, he married Joanna, his wife of 11 years.  He transitioned careers to IT in 2008 and currently works as a manager for a computer systems administration team. Torrey and Joanna have a daughter whom he “unashamedly dotes upon” and two “wonderfully rambunctious” sons. Torrey decided to run for Anne Arundel County Council based on his passion for statesmanship.  He believes that wise statesmen will focus on creating effective government. “Residents should feel confident that their tax investment will provide positive returns to the community,” he says.  Torrey insists that effective government in turn will create informed residents. “Good government seeks to help residents understand its processes, challenges, and accomplishments.” Finally, Torrey understands that informed residents make good neighbors. “When residents understand their local community, they are more likely to lend their own talents and passion to address local challenges.” Torrey believes that his education and personal experience gives him significant comfort in connecting with people from all backgrounds. By creating partnerships, he seeks to empower the residents of his community to pursue their goals whether it is purchasing a home, starting a business, or supporting a local non-profit.  Ultimately, Torrey wants to help people by improving access to resources and tools to develop themselves and their communities.

ANDREW PRUSKI (D): As a former teacher, school board member, and public servant, along with many other volunteer positions, I have many qualifications that provide experience for my re-election to the Anne Arundel County Council. Over the past four years, I have sponsored and successfully passed over 20 legislative bills to help schools, small business, and veterans. My priorities continue to be supporting education, advocating for small business, increasing public safety, and protecting our environment. We accomplished numerous goals on my first term on the Anne Arundel County Council including funding for playgrounds, water and sewer fee waivers for veteran organizations, increased education and public safety funding, and continued support for the stormwater restoration fund.

COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 7

JESSICA HAIRE (R): No response.

JAMES KITCHIN (D): I believe that I am the best prepared to represent the people and communities of District 7 on the Anne Arundel County Council. I am an involved member of my community. I grew up in this district and graduated from our public-school system. My children are in kindergarten and third grade at our local elementary school, and my wife is a fifth-grade teacher. I am an active volunteer in my kids’ classrooms, am a member of the PTA, coach my daughter’s soccer team, and teach in my son’s Sunday school class. This community involvement has allowed me to run a campaign based on the issues that the voters of this district care about, which are smart growth, education, and the environment. I am a former high school government and history teacher. This experience motivates me to be a very strong voice for our county’s students, teachers, and schools. My current job is doing public policy research at UMBC, where my specialty is studying local governmental policies. This experience will ensure that every vote I cast will be based on ample public input, the most recent scientific evidence, and the best available data. I’ve had training on local government finances, and so I am well prepared to tackle the complex budgeting process. I believe that my experience, skillset, and community involvement makes me the best person to represent District 7 on the County Council and to execute the duties of that office. I ask for your vote on November 6.

BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 1

CANDACE ANTWINE: No response.

DAVID STARR: I was born and raised in Anne Arundel County and graduated from North County High School. I have a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from UMBC as well as two Associate Degrees from Anne Arundel Community College. I currently work as a Mechanical Engineering Superintendent. As a parent of two young children, my oldest just entered Kindergarten, it is important that members of the Board of Education have a vested interest in our school system. I am the only Candidate for Council 1 who will have children in our Public Schools for the full duration of our term.  As a parent of a child with disabilities, I would be the only member of the Board of Education with the unique understanding of the special education system within Anne Arundel County. I am a member of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Advisory Committee at UMMC. I also participate in the Parent Panel in the Psychology Department for Children with Disabilities at UMBC. Student achievement is my number one goal. Three of the biggest issues facing Anne Arundel County Schools are academic achievement, school construction, and a shortage of teachers. An increase in Anne Arundel County population, the lack of new school construction, and reduced teacher retention has increased the student to teacher ratio to record highs. Studies have shown that smaller class sizes yield better academic results. Therefore, I fully support an increase in teacher hiring and new school construction to reduce class sizes with a goal of improving student achievement.

BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 4

MELISSA ELLIS: I am running for the Board of Education to bring vision and leadership to the board that is focused on putting our resources back into schools to support our students and teachers. The past decade has seen spending on administration increase 36% while spending on teachers has increased 11% over the same period. There has been virtually no increase (0.6%) in the number of positions supporting kids in the classroom, teachers and assistants, while administrator positions have risen by 14% and other professional staff by 24%. Student enrollment has increased 10% over the same decade. These numbers demonstrate how the move towards a more standards-driven education has drained resources from our schools to increase staff and spending at central office. Large class sizes, teacher turnover, and extreme over-testing has placed undue stress on students and teachers. The result has not been students who are more college or career ready, but we do see a tremendous increase in anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other mental health issues among our student population. It is time to use our $1.2 billion budget to provide a healthier and more effective quality education to our students. My background in education, child development, human resources management, and logistics will be an asset to our school system; and my vision of a whole-child approach to learning will benefit every student, creating an experience for all that will make Anne Arundel County a nationwide leader in education.

JULIE HUMMER: No response.

BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 5

TERRY GILLELANDTerry Gilleland: I am a product of AACPS and believe the school system positioned me to achieve success. When I originally sought the appointment by Governor Hogan, I shared that I had reached the point in my professional career that I could give back to the community. Using my experiences in both the public and private sectors, I would like to continue serving the people of Anne Arundel County by advancing our school system to prepare our students for college and workforce demands, which will only become more competitive in the global environment. As a lifelong resident of Anne Arundel County, I am vested in the success of our schools and our communities. I want to ensure that we give our students the best opportunities to succeed by providing world class curriculum, lowering class sizes, improving teacher compensation, increasing school security measures, and reducing administrative costs. With the projected increase in school construction over the next decade, we also need to ensure responsible capital budgeting practices. My voting record as an appointed board member has prioritized each of these efforts and, if given the chance to serve as an elected member, I will continue advocating for them while also ensuring responsible use of taxpayer dollars. For more information, please visit www.terrygilleland.com.

DANA SCHALLHEIM: I bring the right mix of education, experience, persistence, and dedication to effect real change within AACPS. I am an MBA, award-winning volunteer, and active PTO member. Serving on the Board of Education would be an unparalleled opportunity to serve my community and positively impact the lives of thousands of children.  It would be an honor to advocate and be a voice for our children. Thriving communities are contingent upon successful public schools. Communities with underfunded public schools experience lower graduation rates and property values and higher crime and unemployment rates. Fully funding our public schools will ultimately save taxpayers an enormous amount of money in higher property values alone in the long-run. I believe in our teachers and staff and will fight for our students – all our students. Never afraid of a challenge and possessing the knowledge and skills to be successful, I will always serve with enthusiasm and integrity. Additionally, as an at-home parent, I have time to be an effective member of the Board. Voting for Dana Schallheim for AACPS Board of Education is a vote for:

  • Believing our schools can do better.
  • Desiring improved fiscal oversight, Board transparency, and accountability.
  • Properly supporting our teachers and staff.
  • Refocusing budgets towards actual school needs at the school level.
  • Closing achievement gaps.
  • Resolving chronic school racism and bullying.
  • Safe and healthy schools.
  • Opening doors to any path students choose upon graduation.

For more information about me and my campaign please visit, www.DanaforBOE.com.

BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 7

MICHELLE CORKADEL: No response. 

LATICIA HICKS: My name is Laticia Hicks. I am running for the Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) Board of Education-District 7. I am a mother with two young children in the AACPS, a public servant, and a citizen with a stake in our community. As a product of a public-school education, I understand the importance of a sound public-school system and the need for efficient and effective governance practices. The following is a synopsis of my experience and education, which I believe best qualifies me to bring the type of strong and effective leadership that is needed on the Board of Education. My experience includes more than twenty-two years in public service as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer and Educator with sixteen of those years specifically focused on the educational and career development needs of agency employees and the incarcerated. I interpreted and applied policy, managed budgets, and facilitated classroom instruction within a correctional setting. I also served my local community as an English as a Second Language Instructor. I hold a Master’s in Education from New Jersey City University, a Master’s in Public Administration with a certificate in Human Resources policy and management from Florida International University and a B.A. in Criminology with a minor in Political Science from the University of Miami. My priorities include advocating for an appropriate school budget, retaining and recruiting the best qualified teachers, smaller class sizes, and proactive policies and programs to address the safety, well-being, and development of all our students.

STATE’S ATTORNEY

WES ADAMS (R) (Incumbent): No response.

ANNE COLT LEITESS (D): I’m a career prosecutor with a proven record advocating for victims of crime and protecting the community. The Circuit Court judges appointed me interim State’s Attorney and I served from 2013-2015 managing a $9.3 million dollar budget and 110 employees. I expanded a community outreach program to help citizens avoid becoming victims of crime, modernized office technology, won grants for victims’ services and a gun violence prosecutor, implemented a website for communication with the public—all without increasing the budget. I currently manage a Special Victims Unit seeking justice for children and victims of domestic and sexual assault in Baltimore. I will resume formal training to address the alarming number of dropped/lost cases in the District Court -a symptom of ill-prepared Assistant State’s Attorneys. I will expand the community prosecution model I used in Annapolis to the rest of the county, working with police and neighborhoods to address crime. I will work with other county agencies to expand and fund programs for non-violent drug users to receive treatment rather than jail as we combat the Opioid crisis on all fronts. I would resume the Gang Task Force where agencies met and shared information to help vulnerable communities avoid violence.

CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT

DOUG ARNOLD (R): As a Deputy Clerk with 27 years of experience at the Clerk of the Circuit Court, each day I implement our mission to support families, growing businesses and safer communities. We provide fast, friendly, accurate and efficient services to families and businesses in Anne Arundel County in our issuance of business licenses, processing of criminal and civil cases, issuing warrants the same date ordered by the judges and recordation of land records instruments. People need to know and feel that they have access to justice. Building trust and confidence in the courts is essential to leading a well-run clerk’s office. The Clerk of the Court serves a critical function in ensuring equal access to the courts and to assure its integrity. One example of need is ensuring services to victims of crime in general, and of particular concern is the level of domestic violence in Maryland and the need to ensure access to services such as protective orders. I bring 27 years of proven experience in court management, operations and increasing efficiencies in service at the Clerk of the Court. I am dedicated to continuing friendly and efficient service to the people of our county. Our values are fair, equitable and accessible justice. My credentials include the Professional in Human Recourses certification from the HR Certification Institute and SHRM-CP from the Society for Human Resource Management and a bachelor’s degree in business in Political Science. I ask for your vote to lead this office in service to you.

SCOTT POYER (D): I believe people should expect more from the Clerk’s Office. I am the candidate who will bring fresh ideas and new direction to the office. I have over 30 years of experience in the military, law enforcement and public safety. As a Senior Executive with the Federal government I was responsible for operations like those of the Clerk’s Office but on a larger scale, and I earned many awards for my service. I have worked with criminal courts, civil courts and administrative law judges. I have the experience to do the job well and I will lead the Clerk’s Office in doing more to address the many problems we face. As Clerk, I will do more to reduce gun violence by identifying offenders and abusers who pose a threat to our safety, aggressively enforcing the law to prevent them from having access to firearms, and working with legislators to create stronger laws to reduce the threat of gun violence. I will reduce the backlog of 11,000 unserved warrants, which have languished for years, by working with all affected offices to finally address this problem. I will work with legislators to raise the minimum age of marriage above the current level of 15 years old. I will increase support to victims of domestic abuse, which have more than doubled in Anne Arundel County in five years. I will increase outreach to communities regarding the justice system. And I will streamline the process for obtaining business licenses in Anne Arundel County.

REGISTER OF WILLS

LAUREN PARKER (R) (Incumbent): As an attorney, I drafted Wills and Trusts for 25 years. I needed no on the job training and have 12 year’s experience as Register. Under my guidance, this office has achieved 3 perfect State Legislative Audits. The staff and I work together to exceed public expectations.  Our survey cards indicate a public satisfaction rating of 99.29% and attorney satisfaction rating of 95.73%. I have implemented credit card acceptance, a public website for case information, and an online ordering system for documents and publications. We also provide you with fast, live, personal service in answering the phone and greeting you at the front desk-all from a dedicated staff. I also created outreach programs to inform clubs, churches and civic groups regarding estates.

My biggest priority is maintenance of the well trained, knowledgeable, compassionate, computer savvy staff guaranteeing you efficiency and virtually no waiting time. I have almost completed the transition to a paperless office to save the public supply and storage costs. I am working on legislation and Maryland Rule changes to create rules for electronic filing and preparing the project plan for e-filing of estate paperwork. My main priority is always continued excellence through caring public service. The motto of myself and the staff is that “Kindness and efficiency never go out of style”.

JOSEPH JANOSKY (D): Throughout my life, I have pursued issues that I found important to my community. As past school board member, Vo-Tec board member and twenty-five years volunteering for Autism Awareness I found great enjoyment to move my community forward on these issues. I am a retired Senior Chemical Analyst and my wife is a lifelong educator. We are both involved with the Maryland Hall of Fine Arts and I am on the Board of Directors of The Captain Avery Museum. After my wife and I were appointed executors/executrix in our parent’s estates, and having to navigate the process, I found that the system is too cumbersome. We need to spend more time developing a compassionate process, that has more available information about the importance of writing a valid will and to make the public more aware of what to expect when a will needs to be executed. After two terms this office has stagnated in identifying efficiencies, showing no major improvements or innovations. If no major improvements in citizen services have been shown, what attention has been paid to our cybersecurity in this office? Greater citizens education, compassion, security, and office transparency and efficiencies are needed to move this office forward.

JUDGE OF THE ORPHANS COURT

Maureen Carr-York (R) (Incumbent): No response.

Nancy Phelps (R) (Incumbent): No response.

Alan Rzepkowski (R) (Incumbent): Thanks to Business Monthly for the opportunity to introduce myself to its readers and Anne Arundel County voters. Elected as a Judge of the Orphans’ Court in 2014, it has been my priority to maintain a high level of fairness and strong ethics in the decision-making that is required of a Judge. This elected office has the function of administering the estate of deceased persons and the probate of wills.  I am seeking re-election so I can continue to serve the citizens of Anne Arundel County. My background is as a self-employed small business owner and life-long resident of Anne Arundel county. I’ve also served as a student mentor with Maryland Future Business Leaders of America for 25 years and serve as Vice Chair of their Board of Directors, Chair of their Foundation, and Vice President of their National Professional Division.  Prior to my 2014 election as a Judge of the Orphans’ Court, I served one year as Vice Chair and five years as Chairman of the Anne Arundel Republican Party as part of my eight years on the Central Committee. This combination of business and leadership experience, as well as community service involvement, is an excellent match for serving as a Judge of the Orphans’ Court. Working closely with Judge Carr-York and Judge Phelps, our Orphans’ Court team has worked to adjudicate estates in an efficient and compassionate manner. Please vote to return Judge Rzepkowski, Judge Carr-York, and Judge Phelps to the Orphans’ Court.

Vickie Gipson (D): I have been in the legal field for over 30 years. As a real estate settlement attorney, I worked on cases involving probate matters. I am familiar with the types of disputes that can arise in probate, which is the subject matter of the Orphans Court. I am excited about the possibility of serving my community in this judicial role.​The most important priority is to fulfill my judicial responsibilities in a fair and equitable manner. I also believe that connecting with the community by participating in regular outreach efforts to stress the importance of understanding how the Orphans Court operates and the importance of estate planning so that their wishes are followed regarding the distribution of the assets that they worked hard to acquire during their lifetime. I believe that it is better to plan and provide your own instructions on who will get your assets rather than leaving it to the state to distribute those assets according to intestacy laws, which are used when you have a valid will. I believe that it is important for people to know their options and I would like to help educate the community as much as possible once I am elected to this judicial position.

Torrey Jacobsen Jr. (D): No response.

SHERIFF 

Jim Fredericks (R): I will apply my 26 years of law enforcement leadership and experience to institute a results-oriented organizational structure, and introduce high levels of accountability to the Office of the Sheriff. Two primary functions of the office are the service of warrants and the daily safety & protection of the Circuit Court building. These processes have changed so little in the last 12 years that the current practices are nearly obsolete in modern law enforcement. I have an extensive County Police background, including Homeland Security & Intelligence, Emergency Planning, SWAT Operations, Budget, Personnel Management, Recruitment & Hiring, and Media Relations. I will utilize my experience to institute real changes in court security to immediately improve building and citizen safety, as well as, employ modern practices to stem the tide of increasing unserved county warrants, which stands at over 11,000. I am offering a fresh, experienced, educated approach to law enforcement in the Sheriff’s Office with openness and results. I firmly believe that modernization of the Sheriff’s Office can best occur if done by someone with experience in the latest law enforcement ideas and processes. I believe in strong support for law enforcement and I will work tirelessly for safer communities and a safer Anne Arundel County. I believe that my law enforcement experience encompasses all aspects of the Sheriff’s Office, and my community involvement shows a commitment to help bring about a better quality of life to families, which should be a cornerstone for anyone seeking to serve.

James Williams (D): No response.