Economic development is the one of the many challenges that face our region. It is important to work with the Allegany County Commissioners to create a Joint Economic Development Commission. Working together will give us the ability to make our city an area in which business will want locate ,and where people want to live and raise their families.
As mayor I would continue with the blight removal program, as it is a key to neighborhood revitalization. I also support the Rolling Mill project, much of the work has been completed and is in the process of being developed to improve out city and add much needed growth to our tax base.
The city of Cumberland is in dire need of infrastructure updates, in order to complete the necessary updates the city will need to work with at the county, state, and federal level to ensure the funding of these projects.
The Baltimore Street redesign is an example of a successfully funded infrastructure project for Cumberland. The funds were made available for through the Maryland Transportation Alternative Plan. With infrastructure updates in the downtown area, we will be able to attract new business and create and enjoyable area for our constitutes and the several thousand tourists that visit our city annually.
Updating the infrastructure of Cumberland allows us to add much needed renewable energy resources to our city. I will work with the city engineer to develop a renewable energy strategy that will benefit the community. We will be able to reduce our carbon footprint and protect our beautiful local natural resources.
As Mayor I will work to request the funding necessary for the complete replacement of the Cumberland Street, Fayette Street and Washington Street bridges. The critical condition of the bridges has created a public safety hazard in our community. A meaningful dialogue with CSX will be facilitated and all options will be considered.
The City of Cumberland strives to give our officers and first responders the best available resources to properly perform their duties. In order to continue to provide the best safety for the citizens of Cumberland a unilateral focus must occur with city and county first responders. This will help improve and efficiency of operation and ultimately save money.
The opiate epidemic is one that has touched many people in our community, Governor Hogan has declared a state of emergency and announced several new initiatives to build on the administration’s treatment, prevention, and enforcement. With the support of state and federal level our community can begin to take the proper steps to address this epidemic head on and reduce unnecessary over doses and deaths in our region.
Budget and Taxation
In 2017 a 9.75% property tax increase was levied. In order to show fiscal restraint and ensure the cities budget is balanced , a review of each department will be done. This will ensure that the department is being run as efficiently and economically as possible. Although inflation and rising costs for all goods and services is an ongoing issue, these costs can be foreseen and should not require tax increases. Carefully assessing our spending and planning for the future we can ensure that increases are kept at an acceptable level.
It is important to me to maintain an open transparent dialogue with the citizens of Cumberland and the members of our local government. Maintaining a good working relationship with the Allegany County Commissioners and the Western Maryland Delegation in Annapolis will only benefit our city. Monthly meetings with our commissioners will help facilitate joint solutions for any issues the city might be facing. Regardless of party affiliation, I will work to create a strong network of local, state, and federal representatives to work together for the good of everyone in our community.
As Mayor I encourage the citizens of Cumberland to express their concerns. My door is always open and I will and listen. I will work to ensure that everyone has a voice and your concerns are being addressed.