Name: Lisa Jarosinski
Political party: Democrat
Where you live: Mount Airy in Frederick County
Current occupation and employers (may also list up to two previous jobs you've held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Self-employed: prepare personal income taxes and do some bookkeeping
Political experience (public offices held and when; as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years; do not include political party positions): Ran for County Council in 2018
1 – Why are you running for the County Council? (75 words max)
I am running for office because I feel passionately about helping my community. I have the skills to bring people together, so that Frederick County can move forward. I feel that we often get lost in arguing about opposing views and talk past one another. I want to be part of the solution by representing the average citizen, so that their voices can be heard and work to bring unity and collaboration to the county.
2 – What is the most important issue in this race? How specifically would you address it? (100 words max)
The most important issue in this race for District 2 is growth. We need to be sure that growth is conscientiously managed with adequate consideration given to schools, roads, public safety, health care, jobs, libraries, parks, senior services, etc. Substantial growth has already been approved in New Market and Lake Linganore. What we need now is to be cautious about additional growth and to be wise with our choices. We need to create a balance of urban and rural areas with acceptable infrastructure support, so we keep Frederick County the beautiful and inviting place it is.
3 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this position? (100 words max)
I was an integral part in the successful fight against the proposed electric substation in Monrovia. I also advocated against the Monrovia Town Center. It takes a lot of work and patience to successfully bring people together for collaboration and compromise to be productive. I am a good listener and genuinely try to understand everyone’s point of view. However, I am not afraid to address difficult issues. I have served in many volunteer capacities, including PTSA president, church leadership, committee chair, nonprofit board member and the charter review commission. I know how to work with others.
4 – What is one major issue the current County Council has handled poorly? What would you have done differently? (100 words max)
The county did a commendable job during the pandemic. However, it would have been helpful to have had a better emergency plan in place to help businesses cope with the lost income and families with disruptions. It was and still is an unprecedented time as we look for ways to continue to manage the pandemic. I hope that the county will learn from this experience for the future. Our world is changing and we must be prepared and able to pivot to help our citizens.
5 – What do you think of the county's goal of preserving 100,000 acres of farmland by 2040? (100 words max)
Preserving 100,000 acres of farmland is not only admirable, it is necessary to maintain Frederick County’s urban and rural balance. With 64,685 acres of farmland already set aside, Frederick County is well on its way to reaching its goal. The preservation program gives farmers the option to keep their beautiful land and scenic vistas without having to sell out to developers when they no longer want or are unable to farm. It also provides us with green space and continued use of land for farming.
6 – How well does the county do at attracting new businesses and significant employers? What should the county do? (100 words max)
Frederick County has done very well at attracting and expanding business. While many counties lost businesses during the pandemic, Frederick County saw significant expansion of existing businesses, as well as adding 80 new businesses between 2019 and 2021. Clearly, our Office of Economic Development is creative and resourceful. Middletown, Thurmont, and Frederick city all had their unique ways of surveying workers and attracting business. The county continues to hold its AAA bond rating, which is attractive to business and keeps our unemployment rate low.
7 – What do you think of the Livable Frederick Master Plan? How should the county grow in population and development? (100 words max)
The Livable Frederick Master Plan is award-winning for a reason. It comprehensively attempts to think through changes and challenges for the future. The plan is policy-focused and works to balance commerce, jobs, nature (forests, rivers, mountains, countryside), housing and recreation. The plan was carefully and deliberately prepared by many stakeholders. It provides a framework for the county to continue growth in some areas while balancing with our beautiful rural countryside. The function-based groups of Community, Health, Economy, and Environment encourage us to review all areas as decisions are made about the growth and well-being of our county.
8 – Do you support a plan to widen interstates 270 and 495 and add tolls? Why or why not? (100 words max)
I’m not sure this is really a question for county officials, as that is ultimately a state decision. We do need to address U.S. 15 and look for other options, such as using shoulders during certain parts of the day, talking with businesses about remote work and work hours for commuters, or building another road that would alleviate the congestion on U.S. 15. I think there may be some creative solutions that we haven’t considered. No one likes to sit in traffic. It’s not good for our health or for the environment.
9 – How well is the county caring for a rapidly growing population of older residents? How would you address future needs? (100 words max)
Frederick County has many housing options for older residents: independent living communities, assisted living communities, and long-term care centers. We should not only consider housing options, but services such as health care, activities, and transportation. Seniors often have fixed incomes, so reduced prices for activities and targeted tax incentives are options, as well. Finding ways to communicate with our non-tech-savvy seniors, as well as caregivers and other community members, will be important to keep people informed. Frederick’s Senior Services Division has many resources and we should support them in their efforts.
10 – Has the county spent its money wisely? Give specific examples. (100 words max)
Frederick County's budget reflects its values. Education and public safety comprise approximately 70 to 80 percent of the entire operating budget, including taking care of our school employees and investing in technology for students. The budget also provides funding for nine school building projects. Second only to education is public safety, manifested by hiring more first responders and 911 communication experts. Other significant parts of the budget include an investment in public health and our seniors who, along with ALICE households, will benefit from targeted tax relief. The budget shows our values and commitment to our community and its people.