Joining monikers such as small-business owner, philanthropist, former foster parent and Republican Central Committee member, Joe Parsley recently added another title to his résumé when he became the Republican nominee for County Council District 3.
“I’m running for County Council because I feel like I’ve been very blessed living here in Frederick,” said Parsley, 60, of his decision to accept a nomination from the central committee to join the race.
“I’ve been here for 37 years and I feel like I’ve always tried to help the people of Frederick regardless of any kind of party affiliation,” he said. “I’ve been committed to this community personally by being a foster parent for over 20 years and through my business, Frederick Shell Carwash, and we’ve helped so many numerous causes by doing fundraisers.”
The filing deadline for the seat — which covers the western part of the city of Frederick — was Feb. 27. But after no Republicans filed to challenge sitting Democratic Councilwoman M.C. Keegan-Ayer, the central committee nominated Parsley for the spot.
Parsley will also run this election cycle for a position on the central committee, which he was appointed to in January. He said he can legally serve as both a member of the committee and a county councilman.
In his bid for the County Council seat, Parsley is focusing on issues important to his district, such as revitalizing the Golden Mile, where his business is located, and securing funds to expand U.S. 15 to alleviate traffic congestion.
“The Golden Mile part of the city, part of the district, has continued to decline over the last number of years, and I’d like to be able to collaborate with the mayor and the city government to try and bring some vitality and some of the jobs back to this district,” Parsley said.
Parsley also sees himself as someone who can bring together the residents in the district.
“I think the demographics in this district have changed quite a bit over the last number of years, and I feel the district has become pretty segregated,” he said. “And I’d like to kind of be the catalyst to bring this community back together. I think I can do that.”
Parsley, who considers himself conservative, said he is a proud small-business man who wants to see fellow small-business owners thrive. Through his business, Parsley said he’s helped people in recovery from drug addictions by giving them jobs and helping them get on their feet. As a county councilman, he wants to help promote more programs and policies to expand such efforts.
Parsley also plans to focus on working with the city and county law enforcement officials to address gang issues in the district, and he wants to make the county’s homestead tax credit an automatic saving for senior residents.
He added that he would like to see council members have more checks and balances for the county executive, regardless of party affiliation.
Parsley said he is not a politician and also firmly believes he has a responsibility to help people, which he vowed to do regardless of the outcome of the election.
“I think I’m very committed to helping the people in Frederick County, and one thing I know about me is I know I’m willing to listen and I know I am willing to take action,” he said. “Win or lose, I will continue to want to help and be a help for Frederick County.”
The County Council consists of seven members, five elected based on geographic districts and two at-large. They serve four-year terms and currently earn $22,500 annually.
The majority of District 3, about 90 percent, makes up the northwest part of the city, with some outer surrounding areas in the county. District 4 makes up the remainder of the city.
The 2018 primary election is June 26, and the general election follows on Nov. 6.