As we noted in our June/July issue, the non-partisan League of Women Voters submits questions to candidates each election cycle and compiles the responses (unedited, in the candidates’ own words) at www.vote411.org.
Following are the responses of candidates for County Executive, President of the County Council and County Council members from each of the county’s six districts.
What changes, if any are needed in the county’s land use policies?
Barry Glassman, Republican
We recently completed HarfordNEXT, our countywide master plan, and a required zoning review using technology to provide award-winning transparency and opportunities for community input. Everything is published on the county website. Implementations include incentives to help contain the development envelope, an overlay district to boost economic development, and our green infrastructure plan.
Maryann Connaghan Forgan, Democrat
Listening to the community and taking care of our environment for the future is my priority. We cannot be so relaxed about our zoning regulations. We can change if we make the effort.
County Council President
Patrick Vincenti, Republican
Being a member of the Council that approved the Harford NEXT Master Plan for Harford County, I believe that we need to continue on a path of smart growth by focusing economic development in areas of the county where the infrastructure already exists or can be enhanced, while focusing on our public transportation needs and maintaining our environmental stewardship.
Frank “Bud” Hines, Democrat
(Response not received by press time)
Harford County Council
Donna Blasdell, Republican
The current zoning code was written in the 1970’s. While periodic updates have been made, I feel a complete revision is needed. I would like to see a committee formed to rewrite the zoning code to update and modernize it.
Andre V. Johnson, Democrat
(Response not received by press time)
Joe Woods, Republican
We need to make sure there is a comprehensive plan and review for every project that impacts our community to provide for roads, bridges and other infrastructure. We want Harford County to be a thriving, growing community but we must make certain we are protecting our quality of life. I have found that people of good will can work together as long as we avoid extremes.
Suzanne Oshinksy, Democrat
We need to carefully manage changes in our use of rural areas, in order to protect our food supply and way of life. By the same token, green spaces and parks need to be distributed more evenly. Denser areas should be given priority in developing outdoor recreational opportunities. We need to alert citizens at each step of the approval process for greater transparency and public input.
Tony “G” Giangiordano, Republican
(Response not received by press time)
Karen Kurkurin, Democrat
The county is becoming a traffic-congested, over-built nightmare because zooming codes
have been repeatedly changed for the benefit of developers and special interest groups over the community. This results in a degraded quality of life and taxpayers paying for these decisions down the road. We must make sure decisions in the next few years uphold the current Master Plan, which calls for balance.
Chad Shrodes, Republican
We need to implement planning strategies that were included in the recently adopted Master Plan into the Development Regulations, Zoning Code, guidelines and standards. During my tenure on the Council, I have created legislation that has protected our rural heritage, environment, and quality of life, while creating job growth within the development envelope.
Jean Salvatore, Democrat
More public input to development and the designation of green space needs to be sought, and better, earlier notice of proposed changes needs to be given.
Robert S. Wagner, Republican
A more realistic, long-range approach will serve our county better. Short-sighted decisions give us band aids on issues, we need to look much further into the years ahead to provide a future for our children and future generations. There is a need to develop business opportunities locally that will provide employment for our future generations. I am a responsible-growth candidate.
Bridgette Johnson, Democrat
The Rt. 40 corridor is a major commercial area located within the Development Envelope. The redevelopment of the corridor is vital to future economic growth in Harford County. To spur interest and investment in redeveloping the Rt. 40 corridor the public sector (government) will need vision, creativity, flexibility and determination.
Curtis L. Beulah, Republican
No changes needed for now. Harford County’s land use percentage is less than 20% for residential and almost 80% for agricultural land preservation, ranking Harford County in the top 10 counties in the nation consistently for the last 20 years. Recently, additional areas have been included to study for possible expansion of Harford County’s Development Envelope. High standards are met.
Winifred “Wini” Roche, Democrat
Up-zoning properties outside the Development Envelope hurts restoration and possible
revitalization of existing, older areas as it is cheaper to build new on farmland rather than to renovate or replace existing buildings. In the 2017 CZR there is a combined potential loss of 168 acres of agricultural zoned property outside the D. Envelope. Development should go where intended such as Route 40.
2018 Gubernatorial General Election
Save the Dates!
9pm, October 16, Harford County Board of Elections
133 Industry Lane, Forest Hill | 410.638.3565
October 25 – November 1, 10am-8pm
- Aberdeen Fire Department, 21 South Rogers Street, Aberdeen
- McFaul Activity Center, 525 W. MacPhail Road, Bel Air
- Edgewood Library, 629 Edgewood Road, Edgewood
- Jarrettsville Library, 3722 Jarrettsville Road, Jarrettsville
November 6, 7am-8pm.
Your polling place is shown on your voter registration card. It can also be found through the Harford County Board of Elections website www.harfordvotes.info.
Recent polling center locations changes:
- Precinct 4-02 to Youths Benefit Elementary School, 1901 Fallston Road, Fallston
- Precinct 1-02 to Trinity Lutheran School, 1100 Philadelphia Road, Joppa
Affected voters will receive additional notice of the polling place change by mail with an updated Voter Notification Card.
For more details on the registration and voting process, including how to change your registration, locate your voting precinct, a complete list of candidates and more, visit www.harfordvotes.info or call the Board of Elections office at 410.638.3564.
In addition to a Candidates Forum being hosted by the Harford County League of Women Voters later this fall at Harford Community College, other community groups are also planning opportunities for us to meet the candidates, learn their views and help form our voting decisions for the General Gubernatorial Election on November 6. At the time of going to press, details for the various Candidates Forums had not been finalized, with the exception of a Forum hosted by the Route 40 Business Association, on September 12, at Waters Edge Event Center.
The event will include dinner and a social hour, beginning at 5pm, with the Candidates Forum, moderated by Bob Bloom, beginning at 6pm. Submit questions in writing, either in advance or at the event. Because the focus of the Forum is issues affecting the Route 40 corridor, candidates for State Senators for Districts 7 and 34 and State Delegates for Districts 7 and 34A have been invited, in addition to candidates for County Executive, President of the County Council and County Council members for Districts A through F. Tickets are $50 for members of the Association; $60 for non-members. Contact 410.618.7399 or email Route40business@gmail.com.