Interview with Bel Air Town Commissioner Candidate Dave Mitchell:
As part of The Dagger’s coverage of the Town of Bel Air’s municipal election on Nov. 3, the following questions were presented to each candidate for town commissioner.
The five questions (bolded and boxed) were chosen to generate discussion on specific topics. The candidates’ answers have been included as received by email or reported following an interview.
1. In short, who are you and why are you running for Bel Air Town Commissioner?
My name is Dave Mitchell, I’ve owned my own business for 23 years, and I’ll watch the taxpayers’ money like it was my own. I’m a working man. [Incumbent Town Commissioner Robert] Preston was given everything by his father, his father gave him the business, his house, he works for his father. I’m a working man.
2. The town budget has more than doubled this decade. How do you feel this has benefitted the town, and how would you handle the budget as commissioner?
The town budget has doubled because they have [Bel Air Downtown Alliance Executive Director] Elizabeth Cook, they have [town employee] Jim Welch , they have Jane [Pessagano, Rockfield Manor director] doing Rockfield, they have all these loose cannons.
I’m in this to get rid of Preston, get rid of Elizabeth Cook, get rid of Jim Welch, Jane out there in Rockfield. There’s plenty of people out there who’d do the job cheaper than they would.
3. The commissioners recently voted to table plans to renovate the town hall. Do you support renovations, and how can the town manage costs and facility shortcomings?
Number one, I’d buy BB&T and save $1 million, and use that [for town offices], and have everything on Main Street.
I’d just watch the money, you gotta tighten up. If you don’t need a new pair of shoes, you don’t buy them, you wait until they’re worn out. We need to wait until things are worn out.
4. The town recently completed a renovation of Main Street. Do you feel this has benefitted the community, and how should the town handle its logistical problems and improve the town economy in the future?
Just look at the vacancies on Main Street, there’s still vacant places, because the rents are too high. I’d rather see them rented cheap, all the people who own those buildings are millionaires.
5. Why do you think you are a better choice for town commissioner than either of the incumbents?
I’m no better choice than any of them, no one knows what they’re doing, no one can predict the future. Even Obama couldn’t predict the future. This country has gone haywire with spending money, that’s the problem.