Candidate Survey: Dylan Diggs for Frederick County Council, District 1
Office Sought and District
Frederick County Council, District 1
• Masters in Government (Democracy and Governance), Georgetown University 2010
• Bachelors in Political Science, Johns Hopkins University (2008)
• High School Diploma, Linganore High School (2004)
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Senior Evaluation Specialist at the International Republican Institute
• Dan Bongino for the 6th Congressional District (2014)
• Mitt Romney Presidential Transition Team (2012)
• John McCain for President War Room (2008
Social Media Accounts
Why are you running for office?
I’m running for Frederick’s future generations. Since I was in high school I believed I could either sit out and complain about politics or take action. I’ve worked on a number of campaigns and been involved in international, national and state politics. Now I want to run with my own voice where I can have the greatest positive impact: at home. We need folks in office who can advance responsible, conservative governance in Frederick. I can be that advocate. Only by doing so can we build the foundations for freedom and opportunity can be fertile ground for future generations.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Thomas Jefferson. I know he’s not a modern political figure, but he was the first and last philosopher president. His contributions in the Declaration of Independence laid the foundations of freedom in our country, while not realized in his day, or even in his own livelihood, provided what Lincoln called a “Hard nut to crack” that sustained throughout our history. His other writings laid out the argument for small government and individual freedom in our country so clearly that they’re woven in our American character. Yet he mixed his ideological principles with a pragmatism that set up our country for success for decades after his presidency.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
A tough one. More pointedly, The Federalist Papers, is a fantastic collection of perspectives from our Founding fathers about the processes that should be the foundation of our constitutional government (The Anti-Federalist also provides an excellent counter point). Given my profession, you can’t get much better than “Democracy in America” by Alexis de Tocqueville, who analyzed the American character, about how we engage each other and the nature of our community, in a way that is so important today (check our Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone” for a more contemporary analysis).
What will be your top priority in elected to this position?
I would encourage a top-down/bottom-up assessment of government’s budget and operations to ensure that government programs are relevant to community needs, cost-effective and producing long term results. I would use the mechanisms in place to reform Charter government to ensure that there is a balance of power in the government between the Council and County Executive. Finally, I would seek to work to build a non-partisan consensus for a long term, data-based approach to growth that ensures that we appropriately plan infrastructure to lessen the burden of development citizens and maximize the benefit. Effective processes produce effective results.
What is the biggest issue facing your county?
I’m most worried about the increasing burdens that face our citizens. Individuals and families are facing rising costs, higher taxes and decreasing opportunities. They are paying more into a system and getting less out of it. These strains stem from a plethora of issues but maybe the greatest is that we are not working together to find long term solutions. Political posturing is poisoning our politics. I want to work with all stakeholders, parties and people to ensure government is efficient, effective and encourages business growth, taxes are low and we have a strategic and informed approach to growth.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
Even if taxes are a necessary evil, the fact that government revenue is from citizens’ well-earned money necessitates that government officials be responsible stewards of this money. Lower taxes puts more money in citizens’ pockets that allows them to provide for their families, pay their bulls, pursue their dreams and produce more wealth. All levels of government should be constantly assessing how we can not only reduce waste, but identify how we can revise operations and programs to be more cost-efficient and effective in producing meaningful results for citizens.
What is your position on a county tax cap?
I want a lean, efficient and effective county government. By doing so we can me more responsive to the needs of citizens, more flexible and less of a burden on the people of Frederick. I’m in favor of caps on tax raises except for the most extreme of circumstances. If elected, I would oppose tax increases and find ways to lower taxes on folks.
What is your position on land use issues?
Property rights are some of the most fundamental rights for citizens. Such rights, along with those of speech, religion and self-defense among others were the driving force behind the revolutions and the ideological founding of our nation. We need to do everything we can do to ensure that the protection of property rights is paramount. There are serious concerns among many in Frederick about the risks that initiatives such as Livable Frederick and the Monacacy River Plan may pose to their property rights. We need safeguards in place to ensure that property rights and due process is protected. As Frederick is the fastest growing county in the state, improved, data-based planning can help to ensure that development and growth is done right in Frederick and in a way that it does not impose an undue burden on citizens already living here.
What is your position on public safety?
Frederick has grown a lot since I grew up here. This has come with great benefits, but also many strains. The opioid crisis, increased gang activity and violence are all issues we need to increasingly address. As such, we need to provide the financial and operational support to empower our institutions, such as the Sheriff’s Office, police and emergency personnel, to address these issues. But we also need to invest in the preventative work to address the drivers of these issues on the front end. This should also require offering resources (such as rehab centers) to help those who are caught in this cycle get out. Only a holistic approach will prevent this fire from becoming a conflagration – for too many it already has.