The following letter was distributed by Stephen Wright. A copy was provided to The Dagger upon request. It has been edited only to remove contact information:
Harford Co citizens need strong, common sense leadership to face the challenges the future is bringing to us. We are fortunate that Harford County is in high demand. BRAC will bring prosperity in the form of more jobs, both skilled and unskilled, a situation unparalleled in our history. The possibilities are almost mind-boggling! As a result, Harford County needs strong, common sense leadership if we are to fully realize this potential. I will provide that kind of leadership – that is why I am running for Harford County Executive, and I am asking you to support my candidacy.
I believe the present administration is truly befuddled. Either by direct action or indecisiveness the present administration has impeded the private business sector from doing what it does best – finding ways to satisfy the needs of a boom economy and provide the jobs that will increase our economic prosperity. The government has blocked practical solutions to problems in its efforts to control what should be free. This must be stopped. As a professional, I know how to run things in a way that allows growth, and managing government in the best interest of our citizens.
Responsible government (when confined to its proper functions) is capable of solving certain problems. But bad government as presently exists in Harford County, has become the problem. Increase taxes, increased regulations, increased and irresponsible spending and OBSTRUCTIVE BUREAUCRACY is harmful to the economy of Harford County and reduces liberty to its citizens.
Able leaders realize that we do not have a revenue problem – we have a management problem. We must reduce taxes, as we’ve been Taxed Enough Already! Government must cut wasteful spending and more efficiently use present levels of the revenue it collects. Growth must be managed in a way so as not to stifle growth, which results in lost jobs, lost income, lost homes, and family troubles.
GOVERNMENT must get out of the way of private investment so that the local economy is stimulated, jobs are created, and prosperity is allowed to flourish. It’s not a revenue problem; it’s a management problem. Strong leadership is needed to properly manage this county. I can provide that leadership.
It should be noted, Harford County government has refused to foster Charter Schools. Since the Charter School legislation was passed under Gov. Bob Ehrlich, Harford County has blocked Charter School applications that precluded private investment partnerships to construct schools without public money. The failure of Harford County to allow Charter Schools to be built has cost the county millions of dollars in new school construction and would have been a funding mechanism to allow government to reduce taxes, such as the impact fee on new homes.
Harford County has refused to eliminate the unfair and discriminatory impact fees, (which is really a tax). Make no mistake about it, the impact fee is assessed against many of our own citizens who have lived here for years. Not only is it burdensome to pay such a fee (up to $ 8,269 per home) at the time our citizens pull the permit to build on their land, in many cases these citizens do not cause any additional financial impacts to our county. Therefore the impact fee is discriminatory and possibly illegal. If it is not illegal, it should be. This impact tax fee must be eliminated!
I support our teachers in the classroom. With a bulging education budget of over $ 400 Million Dollars per year, our class room teachers should be provided the books and supplies they need to properly do their job. There should be no dilapidated desks that have been said to cause harm to our children. Classroom roofs should not leak. All harmful asbestos should be removed from all of our schools. Our classroom teachers, who are responsible for molding the next generation of our citizenry, deserve our thanks and support. Notwithstanding, the waste in the educational system must be eliminated.
Spending our way out of poverty doesn’t work and is wrong!
Refusing to accept Charter Schools in Harford County is wrong!
Refusing to cut government, taxes, and regulation, especially when businesses are suffering, downsizing, and failing altogether, is also wrong!
So I am asking for your help and support for my candidacy for Harford County Executive in 2010. You can do this in, at least, two ways.
First, allow me to meet with you to discuss your concerns about Harford County government’s policies that have handcuffed your efforts to grow your business and dampened your dreams for a better Harford County;
Second, contribute and financially support my campaign.
I look forward to meeting with you soon, and I truly appreciate your financial support.
Very truly yours,
Stephen M. Wright, CPA, CFE
Wright for Harford County Executive
Authority: Friends of Stephen Wright, Krista D. Wright, Treasurer
What is this world coming to? Stephen Wright as Harford County Executive, Pat McDonough as Maryland Governor and Barrack Obama as United States President. God help us all!
While I agree with Mr. Wright’s general ideas on reducing government, taxes and regulation, I’d like some specifics.
Which departments are overstaffed and by how much? How many employees can be let go without impacting vital services? Does the County Executive have the authority to make significant staffing cuts on his own authority? If so, how many dollars can be saved each year?
Regarding taxes and regulations, I thought that the County Council was in charge of those areas, but I may be wrong. Are there any taxes or regulations which exist at the sole discretion of the Executive? Even if the Council has the authority, a strong Executive can work with them to develop legislation to improve the situation.
Of course, no matter what programs you try to cut you’ll generate opposition from those who are employed by or favor such programs.
I’d like some specifics too, where is the waste and how do you trim it? I’d also like to know where Wright stands on a Harford County hotel tax, Aberdeen and Havre De Grace municipalities will greatly benefit and the county will in the unincorporated parts of Joppa, Edgewood, Riverside, Belcamp. This county, the only county without a hotel tax, taxes the heck out of the residents, how about the non-residents that stay here in the hotels and use our services and infrastructure.
Senator Jacobs is one person, you can’t tell me that one person can keep an entire county government and two municipal governments at bay because of some old back room back slapping, handshake political deal made 20 odd years ago.
What our teachers really need is less upper management and more teachers. Is there really anything the County Executive can do about that?
So he wants to cut the tax burden, great, so how do you keep / increase the services that Harford County will need like Parks and Rec ; Transit; Highways without shortchanging someone, or will he just cut the pay of the county workers(citizens) to do it? And he’s so worried about growth, like he did with Fred and the Wetlands or trying to re-zone the Aldino Airpark for more houses after he got Aberdeen to annex all the way to it???
Al J Thong says
JD- a couple things. Where did you read that Mr Wright was against growth? His intention to support Charter schools to ease the burden on both the scools and the tax payers is not anti growth.
Second, the airfield is called Harford County Airpark and is zoned general industrial and there is no record of anyone attempting to rezone that parcel in over 20 years.
I say give CPA Wright a chance to explain the specifics of his platform and where he would reduce the size of the government and cut our taxes.
SELF INFLICTED says
Charter Schools have nothing to do with growth. Even if we get one or two successful schools operating, it will not even make a dent in the school capacity issue, which I will agree does affect growth. Much of the school capacity/growth issue will be taken care of by recent school construction projects and the pending primary school redistricting.
As for Mr. Wright’s growth policies, all anyone has to do is ask some of the good citizens of Aberdeen what then Mayor Fred Simmons tried to shove down our throats. While you are at it, you might as well ask about the No-bid $100,000 “consulting” contract he landed with Aberdeen as well.
Aberdeen High was out grown before it was even built last I heard. Don’t worry our great state, counties, and towns will just raise taxes to cover everything. Also don’t worry there is gonna be 8,000 plus jobs available to all of us, AS LONG AS YOU HAVE A DEGREE!! But they always need cleanup people. The only thing BRAC is gonna mean to the average american living in Harford or its surrounding areas is MORE TAXES, COMMUTE TROUBLES, ETC. Pretty much a big pain in the WAZU!!
Mike, assuming if we accept the absurdity that every single job created by BRAC will only be filled by degreed professionals;
They will buy homes here built by construction companies,
They will eat in establishments owned by local proprietors,
They will buy cars here,
They will fix those cars here,
They will seek out services here,
They will pay taxes here, including an impact fee,
Those taxes will help reduce YOUR burden
They will buy clothes, shop at our malls, grocery stores and specialty shops, office supply stores and Home Depots.
So you’re telling me that you have nothing to gain from this? Are you unemployed then, or are you just employed somewhere that those 8000 people will never come into contact with?
Stop complaining and go get a degree if that’s your problem, you make that choice to stay where you are and “be the cleanup man.” That degree you could choose to obtain would go a long way for you.
two cents says
Rob Wagner has filed to run for County Executive – looks like a three way republican primary if Craig files.