What do you consider the greatest accomplishments and failings of the Kamenetz administration?
Yaffe: The most significant accomplishment may very well be the recent additions to school safety. However, on a broader scale I would say it is maintaining and, in some cases, increasing services without raising property taxes or income taxes. Working in the neighborhoods as I campaign, I think we can do a better job with code enforcement to help maintain the quality of our neighborhoods and providing additional resources to help local businesses grow, leads to job creation.
Does Baltimore County have adequate resources to meet its needs, particularly to renovate or replace aging schools? Do you support increasing the property tax or local income tax?
Yaffe: Baltimore County has made replacing and renovating schools its top priority in recent years. I am hopeful that the recent change in the state legislature will make certain that we get our fair share of state funds to continue the progress. Prior to raising taxes we should exhaust all of the options.
Do you support Baltimore County's federal housing consent decree? In particular, do you support a prohibition on rental discrimination against those who use federal housing vouchers?
Yaffe: I support the Baltimore County Federal Housing consent decree. We must take meaningful steps to make sure homes are geographically dispersed throughout Baltimore County allowing those in poor county neighborhoods with high minority populations to move to more prosperous communities.
Does the county government exercise adequate oversight over the school system?
Yaffe: Apparently not. I believe the auditors office, a part of the legislative part of government, is underutilized and should play a more prominent role in reviewing the school system and other county agencies.
What role can the county play in assisting in the preservation or revitalization of aging communities?
Yaffe: A more significant role through code enforcement and the Department of Economic Development, Baltimore County must invest in these aging communities to improve the quality of life for all. We need to set up more formal communications with our community associations to gather the meaningful input that they can provide.
How would you characterize the relationship between the Baltimore County police and the communities they serve? Are any reforms necessary?
Yaffe: Baltimore County Police have a much better relationship with the communities than most jurisdictions, however there is always room for improvement. In this area we need to reach out to our community associations, our houses of worship and the business community. I am a firm believer that a higher degree of community policy is needed
Baltimore County was a pioneer in rural land preservation. Do its zoning policies and the Urban-Rural Demarcation Line continue to serve the county's needs?
Yaffe: Yes, while URDL has served the county well it is clear that other issues (Planned Unit Development process) need to be monitored. A well-established, thought out master plan should be revisited for Baltimore County.
Is Baltimore County's support for cultural institutions in Baltimore City too little, too much or just right?
Yaffe: I believe Baltimore County needs to do more culturally within the county and with Baltimore City. However, Baltimore County supports regional efforts other than cultural institutions. That support helps enhance the quality of life for the citizens of our county. For example Baltimore County has helped support the world class Shock Trauma system. As with all non-profit assistance it should be based on need and outcome.
Is Baltimore County adequately served by mass transit?
Yaffe: Inter-county transit is severely needed. It is important to make sure that seniors have adequate and timely access to transportation. In addition to seniors we need to make sure that individuals that work and live in Baltimore County have adequate transportation also, Which in turn will hopefully reduce traffic congestion and help in improving air quality.