Steve Schuh (R) |
Anne Arundel County Executive
Unopposed in Primary
Why are you qualified to represent the people in your jurisdiction?
I am a lifelong Maryland resident and have lived, worked or operated a business in almost every part of Anne Arundel County. I have a deep understanding of every part of the County and have an immense appreciation for what a special place our County is. I raised my family here and understand the challenges that young families face in this community. I have also started and grown businesses here and understand how local government can make it easier or harder to create economic opportunity and jobs. I have now served for 11 years in elected office representing the citizens of Anne Arundel County and have always done my best to put people before politics.
What are three goals you want to accomplish in the next four years to advance the rights of women and minorities in Maryland?
Our Administration has made unprecedented efforts to reach out to minority communities and to address issues of concern to our minority citizens. Our Anne Arundel United initiative is a model for the rest of the State and has proven an extremely effective means of outreach to and communication with members of minority communities. I am committed this initiative and will provide financial and human resources to help it grow.
I will continue to support the efforts of the County's first-ever Minority Outreach Officer, whose initial focus has on improving minority recruiting in our police and fire departments. The police department will also continue to maintain regular community interaction through our Community Relations Councils and citizen police academies.
Our Administration also established the County's first-ever Office of Hispanic and Immigrant Affairs, and this office has proven to be very effective in reaching out to immigrant communities and offering critical support services, including the annual Hispanic Health Fair and Hispanic Business Conferences.
We have launched and will continue our efforts to provide -- for the first time ever -- mandatory and universal diversity training and anti-sexual harassment training to every one of Anne Arundel County's 4,000 employees.
Our new Compliance Officer, who is also the first such officer in Anne Arundel County history, will continue to assure that Anne Arundel County abides by all anti-harassment and civil rights statutes.
And finally, my second term cabinet will be as representative of the community as is our current cabinet, board and commission appointments, which are the most diverse in County history, consisting of 16% African Americans and 22% minorities. I believe strongly that local government should reflect the citizens it represents.
What are the three most important issues on which you want to effect change? What will be your strategy for achieving these changes?
The three most important issues facing Anne Arundel County are managing our lands and waterways, uplifting people with challenges, and keeping people safe.
Managing our lands is one of County Government’s most important duties. I am committed to citizen input and engagement, re-establishing small area planning and employing smart growth strategies that guide development to areas with adequate infrastructure and to protecting our rural lands. I support the current mix of 51% rural/protected and 49% developed/developable land.
With respect to helping people with challenges, we will redouble our efforts to provide a helping hand to those suffering from societal pathologies, such as homelessness, food insecurity and most of all, addiction.
And finally, with respect to public safety, we intend to expand the human and capital resources aimed at protecting our citizens from heroin dealers and gangs.
What have you learned about yourself or the political process since you became a candidate or have been an elected official?
I have found myself rather impatient at the pace of implementation of programs and policies in government. Whoever says we should run government like a business has never run a business!
I have also learned how gratifying it is to effect positive change to a jurisdiction. It has been a true blessing to see our five-point plan and vision for Anne Arundel County come to fruition.
I have learned that being County Executive means you can't always make everyone happy with the decisions that you make, but that if you want to be a good leader you have to make the hard decisions that will benefit Anne Arundel County now and in the future.
Specifically, how will you keep your constituents informed about the issues facing the county and the state?
Our Administration works hard and will continue to work hard to make sure constituents are informed about issues facing our jurisdiction. We have a very vigorous effort of outreach through Facebook and social media on both the County and campaign sides, including our well-regarded campaign newsletter.
The same is true of our websites, which we update regularly to keep people informed of both County and campaign-related issues.
I am personally committed to being engaged with the citizenry by organizing community listening sessions like our “Coffee with the County Executive,” attending ribbon cuttings and other events that enable me to hear what's on people's minds.
And finally, our administration implemented and abides by a policy of 100% follow up to every citizen inquiry.