George Johnson Is Official Challenger For Joanna Conti

| January 31, 2014 | 0 Comments

george johnsonGeorge F.  Johnson IV, Superintendent of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and former Anne Arundel County Sheriff, will file his candidacy for Anne Arundel County Executive on Friday, January 31 with the State Board of Elections.  George is running as a Democrat in the June 24th Primary.

On Saturday, February 1, at 11:00AM, Johnson will welcome his supporters and formally announce his candidacy for Anne Arundel County Executive.  The Saturday, 11:00am, event will be held at the Anne Arundel County Professional Firefighters hall on the 4th floor of the Firemark Building, 8684 Veterans Hwy in Millersville.

“I’ve been all over this County in my work over the last seven years and I have become increasing frustrated by the lack of leadership and lack of vision we see from our County Executive.  Anne Arundel County has faced and will face many critical changes that offer challenges and opportunities.  For eight years we’ve sidestepped challenges and wasted opportunities.  That has to end.”

Johnson, a 55-year resident of Anne Arundel County, brings fiscal and management experience to the job.  He served the County for 23 years as a County police officer and was elected to three terms as County Sheriff.  Now, after seven years as head of the Department of Natural Resources Police, one of the largest law enforcement divisions in the State, Johnson wants to continue this lifetime of service by serving as County Executive.  “I’ve managed government budgets—the DNR budget alone is $40 million.  I’ve worked with our State Legislature, our County Council…partners vital to effectively leading and managing our County government.  In over three decades of service to Anne Arundel County, I’ve made the hard choices about how government spends tax dollars. I’ve made the cuts and I’ve increased service with less resources.”

Johnson sees Education as priority one.  Topping his list of concerns are teachers’ salaries, maintenance of effort and school construction.  “Our teacher’s salaries run $10,000 a year behind our neighboring counties.  We are losing teachers, good teachers.  Addressing this problem with our Superintendent is critical.”  Johnson also recognizes that County schools are aging out and the dollars to maintain them are not sufficient.  “Maintenance of effort is the due diligence our school system is required to do and that effort needs to be addressed head on.”   As for school construction dollars, “those funds come from the State with priorities established by the Anne Arundel Superintendent of Schools.  We need to fight for every dollar.”

Security in our homes and in our public places is a vital quality of life issue for County residents.   Keeping that quality of life, according to Johnson, means that every effort must be made to keep up and improve the service of our police, fire, emergency management and homeland security forces.   “Security is where the rubber meets the road in public safety: do our businesses and our residents feel confident that they can go about their business without fear?”

Perhaps the most difficult challenge faced by the County today is providing a stable and predictable tax structure.  Johnson argues that stability is a key element in Anne Arundel County residents and businesses in the ongoing recovery from the nation’s economic crisis.  Johnson sees that the biggest responsibility our County Executive has is balancing the budget.  Dealing with unfunded mandates from the State and Federal Governments, like the stormwater tax, ranks high among budget issues.   “The stormwater tax is a an unfunded mandate from the Federal government to the State and passed on to the ten counties with the greatest population.  Anne Arundel County will be funding $22.5 million dollar a year by 2015 toward our obligation…this is a tough decision that cannot be wished away or ignored.  However, we must apportion those costs fairly and with a strict eye to what our citizens can afford and what we must do to meet our obligation to protect the Bay.”

Getting long delayed stormwater runoff projects in the implementation pipeline is just one environmental issue that the County must deal with.  Johnson’s work with the DNR and other agencies with responsibility for clean water, wildlife management and reclamation efforts has been a daily reminder of the challenges the County faces.  “We have over 533 miles of shoreline along one of the most vital economic, environmental and quality of life bodies of water in the nation.  Our Bay is at the heart of this County, culturally.  Most important, it is our children’s and grandchildren’s future.”

George F, Johnson IV served as sheriff of Anne Arundel County from 1994 to 2006. He served from 1972 to 1994 in the Anne Arundel County Police Department rising through the ranks from cadet to commander. He is a 1971 graduate of Cardinal Gibbons High School. He earned an Associate Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from Anne Arundel Community College. Johnson is also a 1996 graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute and a 1999 graduate of the FBI National Academy. Johnson is the only law enforcement official in the State to have served as president of both the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association and the Maryland Sheriffs Association.

Source: Johnson Campaign

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Category: POLITICAL NEWS

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.