Feeling safe and secure in your community is a core value. Nothing is more important to Chris than the safety of his family. Our firefighters, police officers, and emergency services personnel deserve our thanks, and they deserve the resources to allow them to do their jobs.
In recent budgets, Chris supported funding for more public safety officials as our county needs have grown. He wants to attract the best emergency responders and law enforcement candidates to our county. We must equip our personnel with the tools and resources they need to keep us safe. This includes a new training facility to replace the current facility, which is outdated and dilapidated. Chris also supports community policing programs and neighborhood involvement.
The health of our rivers and natural areas is incredibly important to Anne Arundel County. Our environment is critical to the vitality of our economy and our quality of life. A healthy environment is important to all county residents, whether we are talking about community green space, safe and healthy seafood, or clean air to breath.
In Chris’s first term on the Council, he’s made fighting for a healthy environment a priority. Working with many advocates and stakeholders, we have established a fair and reasonable stormwater fee program to fund the much-needed projects to reduce flooding and stop polluted runoff. This investment in our communities will result in hundreds of critical infrastructure projects that will support local jobs and help our communities.
Chris also passed legislation that restricts the use of harmful pesticides on county parkland and modernized our Critical Area regulations. He will continue to be a champion for a clean and healthy environment.
Our county suffered during the “Great Recession” and we had to make sacrifices in county government just as our residents were making sacrifices at home. Because of the tough choices we have made, our county remains resilient. Chris believes the best long-term strategy to grow our economy is to invest in education and in maintaining our high quality of life. We need to continue to keep our tax burden low, make wise decisions about development and traffic, and support our community’s world-class institutions such as Anne Arundel Community College and Anne Arundel Medical Center.
Chris supports our county’s economic development corporation and regularly consults our chamber of commerce. He also supports encouraging business and job growth by modernizing our permit and inspection process and making it more user-friendly and timely.
Our children are our county’s greatest investment. Our school system is currently ranked among the best in the state, and we need to keep it that way. We must ensure our kids have access to quality public education from early childhood until the time they graduate high school. Our teachers dedicate themselves to educating our children, and we need to give them the support they need to do their job. Chris supports our county’s innovative programs like Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), the Centers for Applied Technology (CAT), the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) and the Performing and Visual Arts Magnet (PVA), and will continue to fight to protect their funding in the upcoming budgets. We must continue our efforts to close the “achievement gap” so that all students have an opportunity to succeed.
During his first term on the Council, Chris got Annapolis school construction projects back on track, after years of delay and political interference. We’ve opened up the new Phoenix Center and now Annapolis Elementary and Mills-Parole Elementary are under construction. Rolling Knolls and West Annapolis are scheduled to begin construction later this year. Chris supported budget initiatives to hire more teachers to reduce class size, and give our educators a fair salary so we can attract the best teachers for our students.
Although we have emerged from the recession, we must still make difficult decisions about how to prioritize spending. When resources are scarce, it is even more important to elect leaders who share our values. By eliminating unnecessary spending and investing in our priorities such as education and public safety, we will continue to move our county forward even during these lean times. Chris has worked for a small business, and been the executive director of a non-profit corporation that employed five people. He knows what it takes to make payroll and to manage within a budget during hard times. Chris will continue to apply this fiscally responsible approach to our County’s spending.
Land Use and Development
Anne Arundel County needs smart, responsible growth, not unmanaged sprawl that doesn’t pay for itself. When the Council considered county-wide comprehensive rezoning, Chris put community concerns first and rejected land use changes that did not fit the character of the community. We need to target growth to areas that already have infrastructure in place. Our roads are jammed, many of our schools are overcrowded, and polluted runoff is choking our rivers. We are still catching up with the demands of past development. As we grow, we must ensure that any new development is sustainable, and protects the character of our communities.
Much of our district is on the Annapolis peninsula, and the Forest Drive corridor is clearly at capacity. We must be especially vigilant about any proposed growth in this area, to make sure that we do not add to the existing congestion. In the northern part of the district, as talk continues regarding the Crownsville Hospital Center property, Chris believes we must have a planning process with participation from stakeholders and surrounding communities.
Chris is part of a national network of local elected leaders working on “smart growth” issues such as transportation and development. He believes our residents deserve more transportation choices, including mass transit, bike lanes and walkways.
Chris believes in transparent and accountable government. As our representative, He will continue to be inclusive, accessible, and attentive to all constituents in District 6.
During the redistricting process, he stood up against gerrymandering, leading the charge to defeat a politically manipulated redistricting plan and pass a common sense plan which kept our communities intact.
Chris also wants to change the process for filling Council vacancies to make sure the residents of the District get to choose who represents them.