Candidate Survey: Jessica Haire for Anne Arundel County Council, District 7
Office Sought and District
Anne Arundel County Council, District 7
B.S. Civil Engineering (George Washington University); M.A. International Politics (American University); Juris Doctor (American University Washington College of Law)
Trending: Catherine Pugh Should Resign
Attorney – Government Contracts (2011-Present); Project Engineer (2005-2008) (law school in between)
Volunteer legal counsel, Maryland Republican Party (2011-present); Legal counsel successfully defending Governor Hogan’s power of delegate vacancy appointments at the highest court in Maryland – I argued the precedent setting procedural requirements for a temporary restraining order versus a preliminary injunction, preventing the plaintiff from getting an injunction against Governor Hogan; Appointed by County Executive Steve Schuh to the Anne Arundel County Commission for Women; State Party Elections Day Operations Coordinator 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016; Volunteer, Mike Pantelides for Mayor, 2017.
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Why are you running for office?
I believe that service on the County Council is an avenue to give back to the community and have a lasting impact on its future. Like others, we have chosen to raise our family here and want to foster a rewarding living and working community for all families. I am a first time candidate but I believe in public service and volunteer throughout the community as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, volunteer legal counsel to the Maryland Republican Party, and a Commissioner on the Anne Arundel County Commission for Women. Coupled with my engineering and legal background, I believe I am well suited to this role and can effectively represent the residents of District 7.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Kathy Szeliga – In a word, Kathy is fierce. She is the highest ranking Republican woman in Maryland and brings common sense to politics. She is known for being both consistent in her convictions and willing to reach across the aisle to get things done. She’s also a dedicated mother and grandmother!
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
While not necessarily a book exclusively related to politics and policy, I have to go with Freakenomics, which repeatedly disproves common assumptions about the economic impact of policies. It simultaneously brings to light lesser known causes. It’s an important reminder to ask questions, research thoroughly, and be open-minded to all possible solutions.
What will be your top priority in elected to this position?
I’m pledging to support a 3% property tax cut, which helps offset tax increases that will be caused by the recent increases in property tax assessments (on average an increase of 8.9%). Given the budget surplus, this tax cut is prudent. As an engineer, I’m also prioritizing the GDP process and comprehensive rezoning to ensure that the County sees growth only if it is supported by necessary infrastructure (roads, schools, fire safety etc.) and rooted in the improvement of the quality of life for existing residents.
What is the biggest issue facing your county?
Development and infrastructure. As a County, we have grown significantly in the past several years. At this point, it is critical that we ensure that we have adequate infrastructure for our residents. That includes improvements to the fire safety on the Mayo Peninsula, revitalization of the Edgewater Elementary School, and additional necessary police officers in South County. It also means providing leadership in the GDP process to avoid unsustainable densities in Crofton and on the Mayo Peninsula. In that regard, the small area plans are vital to represent the community interest of those who face these daily impacts.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
I believe in limited, efficient government. As stated, I believe with our current budget surplus, a property tax cut is warranted and prudent.
What is your position on a county tax cap?
I believe that the voter-imposed tax cap should remain.
What is your position on land use issues?
This covers a broad spectrum of issues; however, as a general rule I believe that the residents, through the small area plans, should have significant input in the land use decisions of the County. In that regard, South County should remain rural. In areas where development is supported, a good development/engineering team must work with the surrounding environment and infrastructure to create a space that benefits existing residents.
What is your position on public safety?
Public safety is a basic need, and in District 7 is a high priority. The geographic size of District 7 lengthens response times for backup officers, fire trucks, and ambulances over the other Districts in Anne Arundel County. I am excited that the County Executive’s proposed budget includes funding for a fifth police district in South County and I will be an advocate for public safety funding. I am also grateful that the State’s Attorney, Wes Adams, has endorsed me as the District 7 Council Candidate. I think Wes and I can work together effectively to address the current safety issues in the District.