Candidate Survey: Tom Gardner for Anne Arundel County Council, District 2
Office Sought and District
Anne Arundel County Council District 2
Bachelor’s Degree Applied Science and Technology – Thomas Edison State University
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23 years as an Army Aviator achieving the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 5 (Ret), Retired CIO for the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, Co-Founder & President of Collective Technology Consultants
I was a Governors Appointee for Hogan Administration serving as the Deputy Chief Information Officer at the Department of Information Technology. Appointed member and Chairmen of AACO Spending and Affordability Committee and Appointed to Board of Directors – Tipton Airport Authority
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Facebook – Tom Gardner for County Council
Why are you running for office?
My grandparents, on my father’s side, settled in northern Anne Arundel County over 90 years ago. I love and believe in our community so much that is why I have been a life-long resident of North County. I built a life with my family and our friends here. I’m running for County Council to continue my life of service, but this time as an advocate to strengthen and protect our community, neighborhoods and those blue-collar values. To keep our taxes low and make sure our spending is kept under control within our budget like the families of Glen Burnie, Millersville and Severn do each and everyday.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Ronald Reagan, He was a man of principles and had a vision of a smaller more efficient government that was not a burden to the people it serves. Practices which I have put into place throughout my government career.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Killing Reagan, the way he literally stood up to the communist as they threatened him physically and verbally when he was a leader of the Screen Actors Guild. We Republican candidates will also be tested. We must have strong convictions to stand up for our believes, our cause. For they are right and just.
What will be your top priority in elected to this position?
Elimination of the Rain Tax – Spending our Tax Dollars wisely.
What is the biggest issue facing your county?
The General Development Plan. I support a plan that will not overburden, our infrastructure, schools, first responders, and nature or human resources. The concept of using small area planning is a step in the right directions when doing comprehensive planning, however we must make sure the right balance of community members and leaders are involved in the planning.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
Our county is in great shape because of wise fiscally conservative decisions. Because of these decisions we will be able to meet our education and public safety needs. We need to spend our tax dollars wisely. If there is a State or private program that works and meets all the requirements the county should not reinvent the wheel or duplicate the program. We should never forget that the money we take in is NOT our money. It is the tax payer’s money. When we can we should return some of it. Therefore I support a 3 percent cut in the property tax and the elimination of the Rain Tax.
What is your position on a county tax cap?
Anne Arundel’s tax cap was enacted after overwhelming voter support and has been in place for years. I don’t think the residents would take kindly to having their cap changed in any way. I think the tax cap should remain in place as is.
What is your position on land use issues?
Each year property owners in Anne Arundel County pay taxes on the land that they own. County residents and property owners should have strong, constitutionally protected, rights regarding what they can do with their property. Property owner should have wide latitude to do what they want with their property if it does not impact the quality of the neighborhood and the safety of others.
What is your position on public safety?
I Support a budget that recruits and keeps our current first responders. We can attract more candidates the same way the military and the nursing industry does when they have a shortage by offering sign on bonuses with commitment clauses. Our police and fire who have served for 5 years earn well below other neighboring jurisdictions. As the economy allows over the next four years I’ll support closing this gap so that Anne Arundel County has the necessary first responders to meet the community’s needs.
We need to station fulltime community volunteers and peer counselors at fire stations that have been trained by the health department to respond to overdoses. We cannot have our fire department unable to respond to emergency calls because they are pulled out of service when someone walks into a safe station.