Galen Clagett is a candidate for Frederick County Council at-large. The primary election is June 26.
Why are you running for office?
Frederick County has always been my home. I was educated, taught and served as an administrator in our county’s schools. I raised my children and grandchildren and started my business here. I served the county for over 20 years as a commissioner and as a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly.
I believe that the breadth and depth of my executive and legislative experience, as well as my deep affection and respect for Frederick County will allow me to make a substantial contribution to the County Council.
What is the biggest problem facing Frederick county? How would you address it?
It’s difficult to choose one particular challenge, but I feel we need to take a closer look at the evolution and maintenance of our infrastructure — our ability to move people to work, to transport products from place to place, to connect people and to enable services to thrive. The county’s progress depends on this and I would strive to promote project start-up and coordination between municipal, county, state and federal governments on road improvements, traffic reduction, bandwidth and connectivity growth using emerging technologies and affordable, accessible public transportation.
What changes, if any, would you propose if elected?
The creation of new jobs and the recruitment of businesses to our county are among the issues that need a review. The economic development arm of our county government could be set up under an independent commission whose members should be appointed by the County Executive and then approved by the County Council. These commission members should have local business experience and the authority to manage and direct the commission. This commission would report annually to the County Executive and to the council as well as be responsible for its own budget. Its staff would be paid by county funds.
What is one thing you would do differently from other challengers?
I will make an effort to obtain regular feedback and input from municipal and state leaders. Maintaining a working relationship with municipal, state and federal leaders to help our county will be an on-going goal throughout my term of office.
How do you plan on working with people with views different from your own?
Working as an educator, businessman and as a public official has taught me a great deal about working with those whose views differ from my own. Our interactions should always be civil and respectful. We should always work to listen to the views of those whose opinions differ from our own, consider their value and potential and show no animosity toward them. We have to move forward together for Frederick’s bright future.