The Frederick News-Post invited candidates in this year’s Frederick mayor and Board of Aldermen election to give their thoughts on some of the city’s issues. We will publish their responses over the next few weeks leading up to the Sept. 10 primary election.
Current Alderwoman Karen Young is a Democratic candidate for mayor.
1. Should the city continue investing public dollars in business ventures? The city owns an airport (Frederick Municipal Airport), a theater (Weinberg Center for the Arts) and a golf course (Clustered Spires). Should the city be investing in a downtown hotel and conference center?
In order to increase Frederick's status as a regional economic, cultural and recreation center with a high quality of life, a reasonable investment in all of these entities can be justified. A downtown hotel and conference center is needed for a city our size, particularly if we have economic growth aspirations. The city should play a partnership role in supporting this endeavor, but that should be limited to parking, land and/or tax incentives.
2. Assess the efficiency of the Frederick Police Department. What improvements should be made?
I believe that the FPD is highly efficient. They have effectively utilized technology, they are well-trained, very professional and responsive. For the last few years they have done more with less. Under the direction of Chief Ledwell I have noticed continued excellence and a very proactive mindset. The police department has numerous vacancies, which need to be filled. We should also update the space assessment study that was done nine years ago.
3. Are the city's resources (funding, police, planning, recreation, etc.) allocated appropriately throughout its neighborhoods? Name any neighborhoods you feel receive too much or too little, and explain why.
The city's resources are heavier in the downtown area where the density is greater. There are several neighborhoods, particularly on the west side of town, that have felt neglected. In particular, they would like to see a greater police presence in their neighborhoods. I am in agreement that more police should be allocated to the west end of town. This may require an increase in the size of the force.
4. What's your view on the status of business and crime along Carroll Creek Linear Park? Is the city moving in the right direction when it comes to redeveloping this area?
There are more "nuisance" problems than actual crimes and we have witnessed a significant reduction in both during the past several months. I took the lead in ensuring that we move forward on the next phase of the creek project. It will serve as a catalyst for private development, which is expected to generate more than $2.5 million in city and county property tax revenues annually, and more than 1,500 new jobs (excluding retail).
5. What is the best plan for Hargett Farm?
A portion of the property should be reserved for a promised school site. The only way to reverse the financial drain, recoup the investment, and receive tax revenue is for the city to assume the role of developer by putting in the streets, water and sewer and selling the individual lots. This will require rezoning about 100 acres of the property. This will permit the city to eliminate the financial obligations associated with the purchase.
Name: Karen Young
Running for: Mayor
Occupation: Financial services executive
Education: B.A., Franklin and Marshall College; M.A., history, Columbia University; MBA, Columbia University
Years lived in city: 17
Current neighborhood: Culler Avenue (Rosedale)
Married? Married to State Sen. Ronald Young; Children? Melissa Sophie McCormick
Past civic involvement: Volunteered for over sixteen community organizations ranging from human services and education to a variety of organizations in the visual and performing arts.
What makes you the best candidate for this office? Knowledge, business experience, leadership, community involvement, regional relationships, energetic, communicator
Young is the last candidate to be featured.