Shannon Bohrer is a Democrat seeking election to represent District 5 on the Frederick County Council. As the only Democratic candidate in the race, he will automatically advance past the primary to the November general election.
Why are you running for office?
I am running for office to bring some integrity and civility to local government. The government exists to represent the citizens. Respecting the citizens and being responsible are interrelated and needed for effective governance. Disagreeing with someone does not require you to be disagreeable.
My primary focus is the management of responsible growth. Growth is inevitable and affects all aspects of life in our county. Growth affects three large issues that are basic services for all governments: education, infrastructure and emergency services. These services are essential for all citizens.
What's the biggest issue facing District 5? How would you address it?
The growth that has occurred in Frederick County will continue. The growth affects home prices and services in all districts. The Emmitsburg area has little employment opportunities and is at the bottom in the ALICE report (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) in need of basic services, at 55 percent. Thurmont is at 43 percent, Walkersville is at 27 percent and Myersville is at 15 percent. As the ALICE report demonstrates, District 5 is diverse in issues and needs, but with many of the issues being interrelated. Addressing the issues means working with individuals and citizen groups along with county agencies in development of long range planning.
What changes, if any, would you propose when elected?
My immediate focus will be to work on planned and managed growth, using the Livable Frederick Master Plan. The plan is controversial to some citizens. In order to use the plan effectively as an outline for growth, buy-in is needed from citizens. Developing a process of working with government officials, citizens and groups that are opposed to the plan is needed. People don’t like being pushed, they like being heard, and they should expect their elected officials to listen. I also have some legislation in several areas that I would like to focus on.
What is one thing you would do differently from other challengers?
I plan to run on my beliefs and how I think the government should be responsible. I don’t know my challengers other than what their electoral ads and literature says. I would think that my challengers and I have a lot in common and we would also have some differences. To me, the important differences would be our governing views, what we expect from our government and how we think it should be managed. I hope to be able to have several debates between the primary and the election with my opponent.
How do you plan on working with people with views different from your own?
It is natural for people to have different views and perspectives, including how best to govern. We should understand that we don’t think alike, nor should we. While our diversity is natural it does not mean that we don’t have anything in common. The idea is to work in common directions that we can agree on. We can all agree that we want effective and efficient government, which is a good starting point. We also need to understand we can all [can] be misunderstood and we can all misunderstand, our communications are not perfect. Managing requires acceptances that while people are different, we still need to work together.