County Executive Forum

State Sen. Michael Hough, right, speaks and Frederick County Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater listens during a candidate forum Wednesday at The Arc of Frederick County.

County Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater and state Sen. Michael Hough outlined their visions for Frederick County growth during a county executive candidate forum on Wednesday.

Fitzwater and Hough were granted two minutes to respond to questions on topics that included their first 100 days in office, housing, and property and recordation taxes.

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(56) comments

gary4books

Jessica Fitzwater is my choice. She has always responded quickly to my questions and suggestions. I like her.

phydeaux994

You’re reading my mind this today. You should be scared. I like her too. I think she’ll try to keep Jan’s successes going.

gary4books

phy [beam][thumbup][thumbup]

DickD

Me too, Gary!

mrnatural1

'Affordable housing' is an interesting subject, with a lot of factors to consider.

In particular, affordable homes/mortgages. The buyer(s) purchase a home for an amount well below its market value. At some point the house will be sold. Can the owners sell for market value and pocket the difference, or does it continue to be sold at a discount?

Who subsidizes the lower initial cost? The developer is usually given some sort of break -- they do not have to pay some impact fees or the county lets them off the hook for some other costs. In the end, the taxpayers foot the bill (at least that's my impression). I suppose if a development is large enough the reduction in the cost of the 'affordable' units could be spread over the remainder of the houses.

For rentals, we obviously cannot expect landlords to cover the reduction in rent. That will have to be paid by the citizens of FredCo.

I'm not 'against' affordable housing -- that would be similar to wanting to close food banks or something -- but I do wonder how practical it is to attempt to provide truly affordable housing for everyone who wants to live here and cannot afford the going housing costs. In many cases that amounts to residents compensating for wages that are lower than they should be.

Wouldn't it be better to institute a living wage that (by definition) would be high enough that people can at least afford a basic 1BR apartment? We'd all still pay to one extent or another, but it seems better than raising taxes and/or cutting gov't services

AOC

To support our friends crossing the southern border entitlements like SS and Medicare should be means tested and reduced to help those in greater need.

public-redux

Why do you hate illegal immigrants who enter the US from places other than the southern border so much?

Awteam2021

AOC, you don’t think if you pay into the system for at least 10 years, you shouldn’t receive the benefit?

Piedmontgardener

Of course you know that they aren't eligible for these programs. Which makes you incendiary offering what it it is - a lie.

gary4books

I disagree. Our friends from south of the border should get good wages and comfortable retirement benefits when we have a reasonable immigration and guest worker law. And we need that law NOW.

phydeaux994

Absolutely!! Republibans like the Immigration System the way it is. They like the cheap labor for their constituents and have fought to keep it this way since the 1960’s. Every President since Clinton have tried to bring Comprehensive Immigration Reform to the Congress, even Trump, and the Radical Right has stopped it from happening.

gjthuro

Wonder why no one brought up the issue of Fitz being a self admitted racist and who really wants a racist running the County

phydeaux994

There is no such thing as a self-admitted Racist in Frederick County. There are no Racists in Frederick County. Sheesh, is that all you non-Racists want to talk about. Like should the mail-in votes should be counted as they come in or wait to count them two days after the Election? That is a very complex subject.

Hayduke2

Because they know it's nonsense and have the ability to process that.

dtwigg

[thumbup]

Awteam2021

Gjthuro, maybe because it was a self-reflection🤔? Recognition of a bias. It seems, only racist are fixated with her comment. Are you one? Hiding something?

Check out the morning WFMD 93.0 AM radio. They run her admitting to her past bias every morning… as though she commuted the ultimate sin, by sharing the ‘great white secret’, admitting it. Guess what? It’s ain’t no secret 🤫.

DickD

Because it was taken out of context - most of us know that, except that the MAGA Republicans are up to their usual dirty tricks.

gary4books

Perhaps because most ignore such comments.

phydeaux994

She was being facetious jethro. I know that that’s a little too sophisticated for your little brain to comprehend. Look up the word. As far as a Racist running the Country, very poorly as we know, your guy fits the bill. Go back to your room, recess is over.

Plumbum

This reminds me of when Ba’Lane wanted to be mayor of frederick and how he was sending letters to the paper trying to tell us that he is a changed person LOL LOL LOL LOL

DickD

Both Fitzwater and Hough are right. We do need more affordable housing and it can be accomplished. Cutting taxes for builders is one way, but that does not guarantee lower prices. How do you make sure builders pass on this saving to customers? I really don't know because it amounts to price setting and that has never been successful. Hough just wants to cut taxes, which can help in the short run, but how do you build new schools, how do you raise teacher's salaries, how do you pay for normal inflation? Hough is just a crack pot Trump Republican trying to pretend he is not. I will never vote for him!

Greg F

Cutting taxes doesn't help lower prices or much of anything else. We've all learned what tax giveaways do, they enrich the already wealthy....TRICKLE UP EFFECT....opposite of what they call Trickle Down baloney.

dtwigg

[thumbup]

richardlyons

Where's Hough's MAGA hat?

DickD

Good question, Richard. Maybe he sat on it or perhaps he is too embarrased to wear it and let everyone know that he works for Mooney and supports Trump.

Travis Bickle

Tax cuts to create more Jobs? What a B.S. statement that is. We already have more jobs than we can fill. At the same time if Fitzwater really wants housing to be affordable she would do away with that idiot idea of making landloards pay a fee to register their rental units. That will only be passed on to the renters, making certain she instead raises all rents. How affordable is that Jessica?

edens30

How would the county executive "do away" with a city policy?

gjthuro

Yes and if you were looking that is just what we got in the Trump years until the china coved came to America

Boomer631B

More affordable housing is not needed, we need folks to get back to work and stop thinking the government via the tax payers are always going to provide a handout - we had too much of that over the last two years with Covid relief and now we have high inflation with a recession hitting our economy and we have someone who wants us to spend for affordable housing... and yes cut the taxes because every time there has been a tax cut - tax revenues have increased due to folks investing money into business which means more jobs.

shiftless88

People ARE working. Unemployment is at record lows. Pay is slowly increasing but still too low to afford housing for many. I agree that we should not send hurricane relief funding for red states since they should stop thinking that the government via the tax payers are always going to provide a handout.

Greg F

...and of course it's a radical right state now being inundated where insurance regulations are weak and multiple companies literally canceled policies on people as the storm was approaching. Legal in FL of course, because RRR runs the place and protects companies over people...always.

mrnatural1

Greg -- Florida insurance companies don't need no stinkin' regulations. Regulations are for snowflakes and losers: [cool]

"Flaws in laws and regulations allowed insurers to be overrun by claims or operate with little financial responsibility and oversight. These issues have created problems in the market that have shepherded many insurers toward closure or left them on precarious financial footing."

"A dozen insurance companies operating in Florida have gone out of business since January 2020. Six were deemed insolvent this year. Most recently, a court found that FedNat Insurance Co. would need to be liquidated because of ongoing financial troubles, leaving 56,000 policies canceled."

"Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Tasha Carter said her office remains inundated by calls from policyholders who were dropped by their insurance companies or individuals who face significant rate increases or limited capacity in the market."

"Carter said she is particularly concerned about those who have recently lost coverage because finding a new policy ahead of a hurricane could prove to be nearly impossible."

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/hurricane-ian-reignites-panic-floridas-strapped-insurance-market-rcna49687

DickD

You might add while those southern Republican states refuse to pay their fair share of taxes. And look at W. Virginia, where there taxes are low and costs compared to income is high. That is where Hough is campaign chairman for Mooney!

Boomer631B

wages cannot keep up with the rate of inflation nor the recession costs that are now here because of Biden Administration... yes people are working but we are still way short on bus drivers, and other school support staff... it is time for folks to look at their monthly budget and adjust them and be realistic too... do away with their cable packages, eating out a lot, buying new cars and phones and taking vacations - tired of hearing how they are entitled... live within your means like most of us had to do and you can afford housing... and yes it is not easy but it is doable!

Greg F

Wages are rising because they finally are catching up with reality that has been a stifled minimum wage for decade after decade. Get real.

gabrielshorn2013

"wages cannot keep up with the rate of inflation nor the recession costs that are now here because of Biden Administration... "

How so? Do you mean because of the $1 trillion in expenses to prop up the economy, meanwhile the previous administration spent $3,16 trillion for the same? Since inflation is a lagging characteristic, wouldn't ALL of the previous spending do the same thing? Therefore, isn't it correct to say "because of this and the previous administration"?

Further, since inflation is now a worldwide crisis, does the US have an outsized influence on the economies of countries around the world? Seems like we are all in the same boat.

https://www.oecd.org/newsroom/consumer-prices-oecd-updated-5-july-2022.htm

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/06/15/in-the-u-s-and-around-the-world-inflation-is-high-and-getting-higher/

shiftless88

Boomer still seems unaware of life and economics outside of US. Maybe not even outside of Maryland. Hint, there is inflation worldwide; it has nothing to do with Biden.

Fredginrickey

BoomBoom!

Great comments, Gramps

Tuition, housing, phones, food, all cheaper when you were young.

Getting a job without a degree, easy.

Not needing a car to commute for a job, easy.

Able to save and earn large amounts of interest, easier.

Less expenditures were needed for daily living, easy.

Foreign investors weren’t manipulating the real estate markets, easy.

On and on.

You forgot to mention Lattes and Avocado Toast, the oldster’s

favorite myth why young people are struggling to get ahead.

I have a lot of empathy for the 20 somethings who are struggling with college debt, skyrocketing real estate prices, stagnant salaries and lack of opportunities.

It’s tough, far tougher than when I was their age.

phydeaux994

Boomer, there are a whole bunch of people down at the Border who would love to be trained as school bus drivers….and long haul truck drivers….and farm workers….and factory workers….and the 6 million jobs going begging right now. We had our fence power washed and stained a while back and when he finished I went out to compliment the guy on the meticulous job he did. He said “well you got the ‘A’ team, I own the Company”. Can’t get workers. He hires them, they work for a couple days and quit. Too hard of work. He won’t hire illegal aliens, he said he could but his values won’t let him. So his business is struggling.

Hayduke2

Really Boomer - take a look at the housing prices out there. Working a 50-60 grand job won't cut it. You are truly a Boomer and think house prices are at the 1950's level.

Burgessdr

As usual Hough is blathering about things he is uniformed about. For example he suggesting cutting the recordation tax to make housing more affordable is complete nonsense. The recordation tax is 1.4%. Well, houses have increased 30% in last 5 years. Assuming he would cut recordation by 0.4%, that would make a change of 29.5% in house prices. 30% vs 29.5% is essentially no change. Hough is an ignorant blatherer.

DickD

[thumbup][thumbup]

FrederickFan

Hough is just like Blaine Young. He will let developers run the county paving over more and more farmland, he will not fund education or build schools or roads, he will treat county employees terribly, he will mismanage the county and lose the AAA bond rating, take money from AG preservation and make a big mess. Didn't we learn our lesson the last time.

threecents

[thumbup]FF

Greg F

Hough, doing anything for affordable housing is a joke. Of course he will also state that anything a dem does will make denser population as that benefits his ideals to keep the mass development and house farming paving over every blade of grass. Using the land we have more effectively, thus, denser housing, is actually a good thing. Derrr...build up, not out. What do you do when you want to preserve land and not drive new roads through pristine areas? You build up vs out. Cost per square foot goes down at the same time. Hough just lies his rear off like his favorite orange dictator wannabe.

Piedmontgardener

The county is largely fiscally solvent due to good management and lucky. A lot of federal money has helped that. Cutting taxes without factoring that scenario is a predictable campaign promise without doing the math. Nice dog whistle on affordable housing, as well. If we don't want to set up employment barracks for our large service industry folks, they will leave. Or our seniors. This isn't a hard choice, if Fitzwater overreaches, she has the Counsel and the voters to answer to. No one needs a retread who won't speak clearly about very important issues of the day, such as Jan. 6th or his current inability to speak cogently on state politics. Disingenous to the extreme. I wish Steve McKay ran, that would be a real choice. Right now, it's not, unless you fall on extreme partisan political lines.

Aslan19

You mean extreme political lines like you keep harping on? You bring up speaking on state politics, but I don't see Fitzwater saying anything about state politics, but you don't call her out on it. Finally you go to the catch all (dog whistle, to use your own words) of Jan 6. Yeah, definitely extremely partisan politics.

Greg F

That dog whistle is a loud one on affordable housing. It just screams out that he's like his other favorite liar that will say anything to find a vote. Hough is in the pocket of developers and doesn't give a rat's patoot about anything being affordable to anyone.

DickD

[thumbup][thumbup]

shiftless88

Aslan; do try to keep in mind that Hough is still currently a State Senator. Therefore he SHOULD be able to speak cogently about state politics.

Plumbum

Who cares, let Asian participate with the rest of us in creating how’s demise

Piedmontgardener

Asian, I'd love to vote for a thoughtful, fiscally conservative Republican who eschews the modern brand of Republicanism that Trump owns. Sorry you just can't own what you bought.

DHM

[scared] In the background of the wickedest hurricane ever experienced in Florida, neither candidate spoke to climate change? This is frightening! While I don't see the need for housing development, or hiring freeze, I do see a great need to prepare for further climate preparation, lowering pollution, and public transit and making sure all buildings are up to code. Maryland is a sponge of rivers and streams and could easily experience a disaster way over our preparation level.

LuvFrederick

Fitzwater "...knows how government works..." Thats all she gives a qualifications. She looks bored with the whole debate thing. Thinks it should be a coronation, not an election. Sorry Ms. Fitzwater, you're not the next Jan Gardener like you are desperately trying to sell the voters

DickD

And you would vote for someone that supports a known crook, Trump?

Hayduke2

And Mike knows how to cheat and abuse the system- he learned from Moody how to cheat as his chief of staff. Oh wait, he had no idea - hope your next don’t believe that.

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