Because incumbent Harford County Councilman Joe Wood faces no opposition in either the Primary or General Elections for his District B seat (Abingdon/Fallston) and is assured re-election, the next installment of The Dagger’s Q & A with candidates in the 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election features the Republican candidates running for the Harford County Council District C seat, representing the Bel Air area.
Incumbent county councilman James McMahan faces Eric Daxon and former Bel Air Town Commissioner candidate David Mitchell in the Republican Primary Election to determine who will advance to face Democrat Gina Kazimir, who is unopposed, in the race to represent Distrct C on the county council. Their answers to The Dagger’s three questions appear below. (Note: Mitchell did not respond to any of multiple attempts to reach him.)
Dagger: County council members often make decisions in areas where they may not have expertise, such approving tax increment financing proposals, expanding the development envelope, or approving multi-million dollar capital projects. Briefly describe the experience/skills you would bring to the county council and how you make decisions in areas outside your expertise.
Daxon: Eric Daxon graduated from Towson University in 1997. Eric Daxon has been married for 14 years to his college sweetheart, Nancy. He has two children, a 5 year old daughter and 1 year old son. Eric Daxon is a lifelong Republican, political activist and community organizer. Eric Daxon took Verizon’s buyout in December of 2013. He is currently a partner in Technos Compliance, Inc. Eric Daxon and his team are creating a software program to help healthcare providers deal with HIPAA regulations.
In his free time Eric Daxon, like everyone, reads other countries Constitutions, the US Constitution and the Federalist Papers. America may be one of the youngest countries in the world but holds title to the oldest working constitution. Eric Daxon studies history; his favorite subjects are the Jamestown Colony, President George Washington, President Abraham Lincoln and President Ronald Reagan. In his business partnership Eric Daxon reads and rewrites government laws.
Eric Daxon has always felt strongly about the need for lawsuit abuse reform and protection of property rights. In 2009, Eric Daxon supported and assisted the Prigel Family Farm to raise money for their legal defense. The Prigel Farm was fighting an endless battle with a few wealthy neighbors for the right to build their creamery. Prigel Farm Fest raised $35,000.00 and 1200 people supported and attended the community cookout. As a county councilman, Eric Daxon will work hard to protect your property and push for legal system reform in Harford County.
Eric Daxon will take seriously his oath to uphold the Constitution. Eric Daxon will work with experts in their field to deal with issues outside of his expertise. Eric Daxon will always put people first before politics and special interest.
McMahan: First my formal Education. BA from Western Md. College – Attended University of Baltimore Law School – University of Maryland “Fellow” from the Academy of Excellence school of Public Policy. Graduate studies from U of MD AE School of Public Policy in Budgets. To my knowledge no public official was EVER elected due to their expertise. Politicians are supposed to be managers by gathering information from staff, applicants and the public hearing process to make decisions. That is why the elected body is supposedly made of everyday citizens from the electorate.
Mitchell: No response.
Dagger: Please cite a previous decision by the Harford County Council with which you either strongly agree or disagree, and why.
Daxon: Eric Daxon strongly disagrees with the rain tax. When David Craig asked for it’s repeal, Eric Daxon would have taken action.
Harford County Executive and Gubernatorial Candidate David Craig gave the Harford County Council the opportunity to repeal the rain tax. Rather than repeal the rain tax, my opponent questioned David Craig’s political motives for the request.
Eric Daxon would never question someone’s motive for giving tax relief to Harford County residents. The rain tax was ruled unconstitutional in a federal court and yet was passed by Maryland tax and spend politicians. Common sense democrats and republicans in Pennsylvania and Virginia did not pass the tax.
Harford County government, citizens, developers and taxpayers have done their part to protect the bay. We have enacted new building codes, restrictions and requirements to protect the bay from run off. For example, every new development has a water runoff pond.
There are people who will never think we spend enough money nor do enough to protect the bay. Common sense people at some point have to say enough is enough. The Maryland Department of the Environment’s own research shows that around 50% of the bays pollution problem comes from the sediment behind the Conowingo Dam. The rain tax does nothing to address a major source of the bay’s problem.
Eric Daxon will aide in the process of requesting federal government funds to dredge the Conowingo Dam. While working to fix the real problem affecting the bay, he will work to repeal the rain tax.
McMahan: I strongly support incubator activities for new businesses in Harford County that create jobs. As much as I do not like the county being in the banking business I would much rather see the Economic Development Commission administer low interest loans to companies to expand or build but I am STRONGLY AGAINST grants of tax payer money that we never get back. Loans are repayable so the money can be used again and again to help other businesses. THAT MAKES BUSINES SENSE. My voting record supports my statement.
Mitchell: No response.
Dagger: The Harford County Council is charged with certain responsibilities. Among them are: Enacting legislation, adopting the budget, overseeing the redistricting process, and serving as the Zoning Board of Appeals. Looking ahead, what issues within the council’s purview are of specific interest or concern to you and why? Please cite two issues.
Daxon: There are a number of bad bills on the council’s agenda. They are asking for new energetic and passionate leadership.
Bill No. 14-021 Council Abdicates Zoning Process Bill
Eric Daxon’s opponent Mr. McMahan is sponsoring legislation Bill 14-021 to remove the council from the zoning process. By removing the council from the process, zoning issues would skip the council and go to the circuit court.
he council basically is saying they do not like dealing with hard issues with constituents taking an active role in the political process. This bill represents the council basically abdicating a 40 year responsibility in Harford County’s zoning process.
The people of Harford County need to contact their council representatives and tell them not to support this bill. The voice of the people can’t be silenced just because zoning is hard work.
Bill 12-19 Taxpayer Funded Giveaways
Crony capitalism or government picking winners and losers in business using taxpayer funds has to end in Harford County. Taxpayers and voters need to be concerned when the county’s finest teachers and deputies have not had raises in years, while the county council gives out free money to individual businesses.
While my opponent questioned the necessity of these free loans, he still voted for the bill, and later voted to give $650,000 in Maryland state (our tax money)and county money (our tax money) to Smiths Detection, a large international corporation. To this date, the Harford County Council continues to be very generous with taxpayer money (your money) going to a few companies.
Eric Daxon would never vote to give away taxpayer money in the form of a give away to an individual or business. Government should help businesses in Harford County by lowering taxes and cutting red tape. Harford County should not be giving money away, when teachers and deputies have not had promised modest wage increases.
Eric Daxon will always work hard to research and resolve problems. Eric Daxon looks forward to serving Harford County residents. If you have a problem or concern, feel free to contact Eric Daxon.
McMahan: Legislation will be before the voters to abolish the County Council sitting as the Zoning Board of Appeals. In this day and time with the complexities of legal issues the council made up of laymen lack the knowledge of the law to sit as this specialized appeal board. It is my hope that the voters ratify the charter amendment to remove this process from the County Council.
On the budget, the council should have LINE ITEM VETO BUT THEY DO NOT. The public is unaware of the STATE laws that govern the budget process, especially when it comes to the role the council plays in the adoption of the Bd of Education Budget. The Bd of Education is a State of MD agency not a Harford County Agency, and yet Harford County has to provide generally half or more of this funding.
And one final note on the RAIN TAX. Even though the County Council approved a minimum charge of $12.50, we are currently being informed that Federal and State mandates are NOT being met by Harford County Government. This lack of compliance could expose county taxpayers to huge fines and penalties.
Mitchell: No response.