Candidate Survey: Glen Geelhaar for Baltimore County Council, District 6
Glen Alan Geelhaar
Office Sought and District
Baltimore County Council District 6
Stevenson University: B.S. Business Communications
Villa Julie College: A.A. Business Administration
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Engineering Assistant with Large Communications Company
I have not held Political Office, but I have volunteered to help other Candidates. Helen Delich Bentley taught me that it is important for people to be able to reach you with their concerns. Her home telephone number was published in the phone book while serving in Congress. It’s Helen who inspired me to put my Phone number on every sign.
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Why are you running for office?
One of my highest priorities is building a new Parkville Elementary School. I have seen students suffer for years from overcrowded schools. In Parkville, we have heard reports of entire grade levels held in trailers. After being sworn into office, I will be urging our next County Executive and School Superintendent to review the viability of County Owned Buildings for immediate Classroom relief. Parents demand a safe, healthy learning environment for their children, and these trailers are not safe!
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
I Consider David Marks as my role model for County Government. Our County Government is facing enormous financial challenges with aging schools and roads that need repair. However, David has managed to create new parks, revitalize older retail shopping districts, and secure funding for new schools all without raising taxes.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
In the book, “Go Quietly or Else”, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew alleges that he received an implied threat to his safety unless he resigned from office. “Ted”, as Parkville’s Loch Raven Village neighbors knew him, started the Loch Raven Community Council. He also volunteered for his Children’s Loch Raven Elementary and Dumbarton Middle school PTA. As our first Republican Baltimore County Executive, he funded new parks, new schools, and appointed a commission that lead to the Desegregation of Baltimore County’s only Amusement park. Sadly, County Executive Agnew’s accomplishments are lost under a cloud of suspicion regarding the awarding of Contracts during his tenure. As a candidate for Baltimore County Council, I think that it’s important to look back at history, so we can improve transparency and accountability going forward. We must not fall into the trap of simply continuing business as usual. The residents of Baltimore County deserve better.
What will be your top priority in elected to this position?
My campaign slogan touts the 3 E’s of Education, Emergency Services, and Economic Development. I have a one Baltimore County view of our schools. When Students who have Mold allergies suffer in schools like Lansdowne High, the reputation of our entire Baltimore County School system is put at risk. Our tax revenue is tied directly to our housing values, so healthy schools must be a Countywide Priority.
What is the biggest issue facing your county?
Despite Financial challenges, Baltimore County must resist the temptation to raise property taxes. Our neighbors in Baltimore City have one of the highest tax rates in the State which has resulted in vacant homes and closed factories. We must be creative at reducing costs by implementing increased use of Hybrid Cars in our Fleet along with scrutinizing purchases in our Baltimore County School budget.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
Once again, we must resist the temptation of raising Property Taxes. The free ride for Baltimore County Developers must come to an end! We already ask for Developers to assist with infrastructure improvements required for their new homes such as Sewer Connections, but the Tax payers of Baltimore County are unfairly handed the bill to build new schools. This is why I will be asking Developers to share the costs of building new schools just like almost every other County in the State already demands.
What is your position on a county tax cap?
Again, we must resist the temptation to raise property taxes. An artificial “Tax Cap” does not seem necessary if we all work together to solve our financial challenges.
What is your position on land use issues?
In Baltimore County, you have to own over one acre of ground to have Back Yard Chickens which seems like a Government over-reach to me. I will be proposing an exception which will allow an applicant to obtain a Permit, after securing signatures in support from most of his immediate neighbors, which will allow a home owner to have Farm Fresh Eggs in their own back yard. As your next County Council Representative, I am hopeful that most land use disputes can be handled by facilitating constructive dialog between the parties in the Community. Also, our outdated rules limiting Hunting on Sundays in Baltimore County need updating. Thank you.
What is your position on public safety?
I will be proposing that Baltimore County follow the lead of Harford County by implementing an Elected Police Chief. In Communities all across the Country, people are demanding a greater say in Police Policy that only an Elected Police Chief can deliver. Also, I support an optional program allowing our Brave Police officers to take home their marked Police Cars which will deter crime in our Neighborhoods. Ford recently introduced a Hybrid Police Responder vehicle which would make this program cost effective.