Former Frederick Alderman Philip Dacey will set his sights on an at-large County Council seat in the upcoming election.
He was driven to enter the race by frustration with what he saw as dysfunction on the local and national political scenes. He has said he’d aim to bring stability and a cooperative spirit to the council if elected.
“When you have displeasure with the way things are going both nationally and locally on the county level ... we have an obligation to try and change it,” he said. “I see a lot of people that are promoting their own agendas ... and not a lot of people that are working to promote the county.”
Political bickering is harming Frederick’s image, he said, and he’d rather focus on attracting capital investment to the area.
The Republican was the only member of his party on the Board of Aldermen during his one term. So he had experience working with people who held different political philosophies, Dacey said, while advancing his agenda of strong property rights, small government and low taxes.
In his campaign announcement, he highlighted being the only alderman to vote against water and sewer fee increases throughout his term. He also said he was proud to vote to fund a year-round homeless shelter.
Dacey filed to run Friday, according to the State Board of Elections.
He is a lawyer and deputy administrator for central operations and safety programs at the Motor Vehicle Administration. Roads were one of his focal issues as alderman, and he said he would continue to prioritize infrastructure if elected to the County Council.
“This is the time that we should be investing in infrastructure in the county,” he said.
The county would need strong leadership to partner with Gov. Larry Hogan in his plan to add four lanes to Interstate 270, Dacey said. He added that the council will need to make sure the local roads feeding into the interstate were sufficient, Dacey said.
In September, Hogan announced a $9 billion project that would add lanes to the Capital Beltway, Baltimore-Washington Parkway and I-270.
Reducing property taxes would be a goal for Dacey, one that he said has taken on new urgency in light of the new federal tax plan, which imposed a $10,000 cap for local and state property tax exemptions.
Finally, he said he would urge a careful review of the education budget, which makes up about half of the county’s budget, to ensure that money “ends up in the classroom.”
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.