Mayor hopefuls lay out their thoughts for leadership in forum

| June 30, 2017
Rams Head

The four candidates for Mayor on the City of Annapolis laid out their thoughts on leading the city for the next four years.

The forum, held at Rams Head On Stage and presented by Eye On Annapolis and The Maryland Crabs Podcast was a chance to get a broad perspective of the candidates and their thoughts on some of the key issues facing the city and residents.

Each candidate had 3 minuted to open and close the evening and then 3 minutes each to answer 4 questions.

  1. The first question is on development within the city. There have been several high-profile projects proposed or currently under construction in Annapolis, including the village at providence point (formerly known as crystal spring), Eastport landing, the former Fawcett’s property on compromise street, and the former recreation center on St. Mary’s Street. Proponents and supporters of these projects contend that they are fulfilling a need within the city, expanding the tax base, and providing badly needed jobs. Opponents argue that these developments are unneeded, and negatively impact traffic, schools, the environment, infrastructure, and our general quality of life. As mayor, how would you mitigate the delicate balance between the rights of property owners and the concerns of the citizens?

  2. The second question is about city crime. Following the national trend, Annapolis has experienced a general decrease in violent crime over the past few years. However, the issue of crime consistently tops the list of concerns of Annapolis residents who live in all wards and within all socio-economic groups. What’s more, the national opiate crisis has hit Anne Arundel County and Annapolis particularly hard and is worsening. How would you, as mayor, address the concerns of residents who do not feel safe in the city, particularly those who reside in public housing?

  3. The third question is about the business climate in Annapolis. Owning a business in Annapolis can be a complex affair, especially for those located downtown. Business owners have long complained about what they regard as overly-complex procedures and an inordinate amount of red tape in order to open or maintain a business within the city. In the past decade, the city has instituted several programs with the goal of stimulating economic growth…the office of economic development, the Annapolis economic development corporation, and, most recently, the current downtown Annapolis partnership, which has lost two executive directors within a year. What do you think the role of the city should be in regards to cultivating an environment conducive to business development and, as mayor, how would you address the bureaucratic challenges that impede business owners?

  4. The final question has to do with futurology. What is your long-term vision for Annapolis after your four-year mayoral term? What concrete changes would you like to see and how would you make that happen with the tools currently available? What specific benchmarks would you use to measure your success at the end of your term?

 

 

Prior to leaving, we asked the audience to cast their ballots based on what they had heard that night. Regardless of party, and in a purely unscientific polling, here is how the audience (well, 178 of the 315 in attendance) voted.

178 cards left (some with amusing notes and comments)

The forum was live streamed on our All Annapolis Facebook page and also re-broadcast (with better audio) on The Maryland Crabs Podcast (above).

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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.