Eastcountytimes.com will preview some of the local races and candidates for the Nov. 8 Election. Here is County Councilman David Marks. He is a Republican seeking a fourth term on the County Council in District 5.
Why have you decided to run for county council?
I’ve been a bipartisan problem-solver who gets things done.
Working across party lines, we’ve advanced eleven new parks, three new schools, and two new fire stations. We blocked bad development and preserved more than 4,000 acres of land. I believe I’m the best candidate to bring together residents, businesses, and community associations to get things done.
What are your qualifications to run?
I’ve been a volunteer and community leader for three decades, serving nine terms as President of the Perry Hall Improvement Association. As a Councilmember, I’ve shown bipartisan leadership to advance new parks, schools and fire stations. I’ve also been an independent voice on the County Council, opposing every tax increase and voting to cut more money from the county budget than any other Councilmember in history. Unlike my opponent, I’m not a partisan ideologue; that’s partly why I’ve been endorsed by a diverse coalition of groups that includes 30 community leaders, the Fraternal Order of Police, our firefighters, teachers, and the Sierra Club.
What are some of the major issues in District 5?
First, Baltimore County must focus on public safety—replenishing its police force by increasing recruitment incentives and implementing a phased-in take home car program, and building new volunteer fire stations in Bowleys Quarters and Middle River.
Second, I want to implement good land use policies, particularly along our sensitive waterfront and in the MD 43 corridor. In the parts of the Fifth District that I currently represent, we developed consensus with community organizations on tough development issues, and we preserved hundreds of acres of open space.
Finally, I want to be a proactive force in improving education. I’m the first special education teacher elected to the County Council, so I understand the need to recruit and retain new educators. I’m also a parent, and I share the frustration many have with chronic issues such as transportation and student discipline. The County Council may not supervise BCPS, but we review the budget and can push for greater accountability.
What are your goals for your first year in office?
My top priority will be to secure funding to preserve the former Crane plant in Bowleys Quarters as a park. I’d like to advance funding for a new Essex police precinct and library, and achieve consensus on new fire stations in Bowleys Quarters and Middle River. In Perry Hall, my focus will be to advance the construction of the Gerst Road Park.
The next rezoning process will start in 2023, so we need to have a dialogue about how to thoughtfully develop our communities. I want to revisit the Lafarge Planned Unit Development, which passed over my opposition.
For more information, visit his website.