The newest candidate to vie for the County Council District 2 seat says she’s all ears.
Mount Airy resident Lisa Jarosinski said she is running for office because she wanted to be an effective listener among the council, something she found lacking at times among the current council members.
“The biggest issue for me is there is a difference between the verb to listen and to hear,” the Democratic candidate said.
Jarosinski said she was focused on growth and planning, but she also said she wanted to meet District 2 residents and learn more before formulating policy goals.
She said she hoped to have several “meet and greet” events to get a better sense of residents’ needs.
“I just want to work to see what else is important to people in the district,” Jarosinski said.
On growth and development, she said she’d look to find balance, taking into account the goals of developers, landowners and residents. She noted that for some farmers, selling their land could be their retirement plan, so their ability to do so needs to be considered along with concerns such as school crowding and infrastructure capacity.
“We want growth to be responsible,” she said.
Addressing school crowding was another issue important to Jarosinski. In late 2016, according to previous reports in The Frederick News-Post, a school in her district, Centerville Elementary, was the most over capacity in the county at 148 percent.
Jarosinski has a track record in community activism. She had a leadership role in Citizens Against Kemptown Electric Substation, a group that fought a proposed electric substation, the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline. The $2.1 billion, 275-mile system would have crossed three states and included a $6.8 million substation off Bartholows Road. The Board of Zoning Appeals found the substation would adversely affect more than 1,350 homes in the immediate area, and plans for the structure were ultimately rejected.
“I learned it takes a lot of hard work to get things accomplished. I learned that you have to show up and speak up,” Jarosinski said.
She was also active with the group Residents Against Landsdale Expansion, a group that opposed the Monrovia Town Center, because she said she didn’t think the development was well-planned.
A Frederick County judge in October ordered the county to reconsider its agreement with the developer of that 1,250-home project over ethical concerns related to the development’s approval process.
Jarosinski also chairs the Compassion, Peace, and Justice Committee at her church, Frederick Presbyterian Church. That committee has offered classes on gun violence, racism and other sensitive subjects, she said, so she believed she’s become comfortable discussing difficult issues.
Additionally, Jarosinski said that her experience as a tax preparer and bookkeeper make her comfortable with numbers, an attribute she believes would serve her well if elected.
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 2018 primary election is on June 26, and the general election follows on Nov. 6.