Interview with Aberdeen City Council candidate Zenobia Todd:
As part of The Dagger’s coverage of the City of Aberdeen’s municipal election on Nov. 3, the following questions were presented to each candidate for mayor and city council.
The five questions (bolded and boxed) were chosen to generate discussion on specific topics. The candidates’ answers have been included verbatim as received by email or reported following an interview.
1) If you are successful in your election bid, what do you hope your legacy will be when you leave public office? How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered for having a legacy that consists of the following:
Having educated constituents by making more public resources and information to help them live their lives daily (as it relates to public services).
Increasing term limits for City Council members.
Supporting initiatives of “green” development of entertainment investments such as:
A movie theatre
A dinner theatre
A skating rink
Tourism related attraction for wetlands
2) Do you believe Aberdeen gets enough “bang for its buck” from the city police department? Would Aberdeen be better off dissolving the APD and handing protection over to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office? What changes, if any, are needed within APD – underfunded, overfunded, top-heavy, etc?
Based on various accounts of residents, more accommodations are required of the police department to protect citizens including the need to allow a sole dispatcher on duty to witness a potential crime immediately outside the doors (premises) of City Hall which may require that a dispatcher leave his or her post and a call be automatically and temporarily forwarded (transferred) to another officer.
I do not believe that it is a fruitful decision for any municipality to dissolve its police department. Proper promotions, reporting and disciplinary policies should be in place regardless of the jurisdiction of the policing authority. Additionally, I will say that I believe that working in conjunction with other agencies and departments is a positive collaboration for department heads to discuss meaningful objectives on how to work in the community, and to conduct the needs for Aberdeen residents.
A notable change would be to have cameras around the entire City Hall that the police department can use to protect its officers and the general public.
3) What do you believe is the best path to securing Aberdeen an affordable, sustainable, longterm water supply?
I have not fully researched information on the March 10th, 2009 – 5th Amendment Water Purchase Agreement signed in the Aberdeen Council Chamber. I do know that when the time comes, I will use a variety of information of how to best acquire and retain quality water, and thus, make an informed decision.
4) If the Wetlands team came back with another proposal for annexation similar to the one talked about two years ago (including the millions of dollars upfront for city infrastructure, funding for city personnel and equipment, new fire substation, etc), what would your vote be and why?
Perhaps two years ago there was not enough time to scrutinize thoroughly such a proposal favorably. No matter the benefits or shortcomings, I would like partner and consult with members of the Maryland Municipal League who have underwent or are considering such proposals. However, I do support sustainable “green” growth for new development especially in light of BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure).
5) Who do you hope is elected mayor and why?
I have not decided yet whom I will vote for as mayor. However, for all races, this is not a popularity contest. It is not about who has the most signs or who has lived in Aberdeen the longest. It is about being a visible, objective and effective individual who is about the progressive business of Aberdeen and not about business as usual. Hence, my theme is “Grandma Gone Wild!”
More information on Todd (provided by Todd):
My name is Zenobia Todd
My age is 65 B/D is November 20th, 1943
The reason I am running for city council is to offer a new and fresh vision for city government and management of constituent concerns. My goal is to: 1) educate constituents on issues about Aberdeen services; and 2) promote environmentally friendly investment and development such as energy efficient homes and businesses for a safer, healthier and cost-effective place to live. My “Grandma Gone Wild!” theme engenders a stimulating and motivating approach to resolve concerns legislatively and empower the community. As a city council member, I will inform constituents truthfully about issues that affect them so that they will be better decision makers as voters and productive citizens.
Ms. Zenobia Todd is a 65 year-old native of Cleveland, OH. She grew up as the eldest child in a household with reverence for the military and education; with her brother serving as a paratrooper for the U.S. Army, a nephew retired from the U.S. Navy and several aunts who were educators. Her educational background is unique and diverse. She began her career as a court reporter and worked as a Programmer before computers ever became popular. Highly talented in the field of technology she also became a technical consultant for make-up lines, Fashion Fair, Shiseido, and Revlon. She is the proud mom of three adult children: a union member Certified Electrician, a daughter who is a Finance Budget Analyst for the State of California and another daughter, Marla Posey-Moss, a world language teacher and 2006 Candidate for State Delegate.
Ms. Todd has been an entrepreneur since 1989. Moreover, she is an experienced educator and professor. Her life experience, education, and travels have inspired and enhanced her career as an advocate for “high-risk” children. Having lived in countries like Haiti, Jamaica, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and extensive travel in Europe, her travels have allowed her to interact with families from other countries and to experience their cultures. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Studies with a concentration in Political Science and Management from Hiram College, in Hiram, Ohio and she has a Masters degree in Education with a concentration in Adult Education and Distance Learning, from the University of Phoenix. Additionally, she possesses Faculty Certification for Axia College in online training.
Her experience in public service is vast, beginning with serving as a radio talk show host of two years. In this capacity she made youth aware of various vocational opportunities. Her other charitable deeds involve:
Helping unemployed women re-create themselves with new resumes when AT&T dismantled.
Securing a VISA for an immigrant to come to the U.S. for business purposes.
Writing a grant for Canaan Baptist Church for tobacco cessation.
Her commitment to public service and helping others in the community is evidenced via her proven accomplishments in the following policy areas:
Crime – Mentored gang members at a probation facility in Sacramento, California.
Development – Served as a realtor from 1990 to 1996 and provided seminars to first time homebuyers while garnering extensive familiarity with appraisals and zoning policies.
Elder Care – Secured the care of an elderly person into a care facility and successfully obtained the delivery of a bed to her home.
Environment – Lobbied, along with actor, Ed Asner, behalf of a community to protect their beachfront property from erosion that Lake Erie caused. She has also worked for Greenpeace.
Housing – Negotiated with an attorney and an apt. complex a significant decrease in rental charges of a tenant of whom was being taken advantaged.
Investment – Obtained thousands of dollars from SMUD, a utility company, and AVANTI Homes Development to sponsor radio show.
After living twenty-five years in Sacramento, California, she returned to Cleveland, OH in 1996. Because of Ms. Todd’s strong advocacy for teaching youth using non-traditional strategies, it is no wonder that she was selected to work in Norfolk Public School System after an aggressive recruitment effort. While there she secured an adjunct faculty position at ITT Technical Institute and then in 2007 transferred to the ITT Technical Institute in Owings Mills under a promotion to faculty member and moved to Aberdeen, MD.
Her service in education is varied and includes:
Substituting within Cleveland Public Schools and Tutoring within Tri C Community College.
Teaching in the 21st Century Programs within Harford County Public Schools, namely George D. Lisby at Hillsdale and Hall’s Crossroads Elementary Schools.
Teaching high school students in a GEAR-UP summer bridge program at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Zenobia Todd highly supports “green” growth and new methods to invest in a community. She is currently seeking office as Councilmember for the City of Aberdeen. Her theme as, “Grandma Gone Wild” is used to capture attention and express the new and fresh vision of a newcomer whose interest is to progress Aberdeen to a highly desired placed to live, visit and have fun. Ms. Todd offers a wealth of experience and expertise that is rarely witnessed in pubic office. She is a mover and a shaker and she has a fresh new voice that the City of Aberdeen needs. She has worked on several political campaigns including Congress member Robert Matsui (CA).
As expected from a person who was constantly teased while in grade school for reading too much at the library, Ms. Todd’s accomplishments are squarely in tune with her knack of reading for details and finding opportunities where people rarely venture. A few of her hobbies are playing board games, such as Scrabble and Taboo. She enjoys swimming, horse back riding and dancing. Her volunteer service includes working for the Ohio Board of Elections.