Ryan Nawrocki

Ryan Nawrocki
  • Republican
  • Age: 34
  • Residence: Middle River

About Ryan Nawrocki

Education

I attended Loyola High School in Towson. I earned an undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in southern Maryland where I graduated with honors. As an undergrad, I was the first person in the college’s history to graduate with four majors, which were political science, public policy, economics, and sociology. I recently completed my master’s degree in public management from Johns Hopkins University and completed the Leadership Baltimore County program.

Background

I was the youngest gubernatorial appointee in the administration of former Governor Bob Ehrlich having served as a spokesperson for the Maryland Aviation Administration which includes BWI Airport and Martin State Airport in Middle River. After the Ehrlich Administration, I was able to continue to serve the public by working as a spokesperson for several Members of Congress including Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland in Washington, D.C. Recently, I served as an appointee of Governor Larry Hogan at the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) as the senior director of communications and marketing for the agency. In this role, I managed a team of nearly 30 people and oversaw a multi-million dollar marketing and communications budget for the agency that delivers transit options to the residents of Maryland. For my efforts in this role I was recognized by the Maryland Daily Record newspaper as one of their VIP List, which is 40 people under 40 who are leaders in the Baltimore area. I also received a similar 40 under 40 distinction from the national industry publication Mass Transit Magazine for my work transforming the MTA’s communications efforts. My success at the MTA allowed me to form my own communications consulting firm. As a small business owner, I now provide strategic communications and marketing advice for state agencies and other organizations throughout Maryland.

Questionnaire

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1
Kamenetz record
What do you consider the greatest accomplishments and failings of the Kamenetz administration?
Nawrocki: The Kamenetz Administration greatest accomplishment was keeping property tax rates level. The Kamenetz Administration has undertaken record borrowing and out-of-control spending that has resulted in the independent credit rating corporation, Moody’s, downgrading the County to a negative credit outlook. This is the first step towards a credit rating downgrade. A downgrade would cost the County significantly more borrow funds and could have a serious impact on the County’s finances. If we continue down this path, we will be forced to make drastic cuts or increase taxes. We need to live within our means as a county. Another significant failing of the Kamenetz Administration has been its unwillingness to work in a cooperative way with its partners at the state level in the Hogan Administration. An inability to work with the Governor in a bipartisan manner does not serve the citizens of Baltimore County.
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2
Resources/Taxes
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?
Nawrocki: The County has many unmet needs, but increasing taxes is not the solution. I oppose any increase in fees or taxes. Until we can definitively show that all of our tax dollars are being spent in the most effective and efficient way, residents of the county will continue to have concerns about the management of the county’s funds. The county would be best served by focusing on growing its tax base through smart economic development, eliminating government waste, and exercising better oversight of BCPS finances. This approach increase revenue without burdening taxpayers who already pay higher taxes than many other area counties.
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3
Housing
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?
Nawrocki: No, Baltimore County’s federal housing consent decree was negotiated without any feedback from the county council. This is a major mistake. Just as in Washington, when Congress votes on major trade deals or treaties, the county council should have had a say in the negotiation process. To deprive the county’s legislative body of any say in the process does not help to increase public support or frankly provide the appearance of transparency in these negotiations. No, I do not support forcing rental property owners to be forced to accept any particular type of payment. While affordable housing is a reasonable goal, requiring housing vouchers does not get to the core issues of affordable housing in the county such as the amount of housing stock.
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4
School system
Does the county government exercise adequate oversight over the school system?
Nawrocki: Absolutely not! The county should conduct a non-partisan, independent audit of the entire BCPS budget to ensure that all our hard-working citizens’ tax dollars are being spent as effectively and efficiently as possible. The current proposed audit of technology contracts simply does not go far enough. This is critically important after the recent corruption charges against former Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance and former BCPS employee Bob Barrett. Many feel that there is a lack of accountability and control in our system. We simply must have an audit to restore faith in the system. When test scores are lackluster and apparent corruption is rampant, it is well-past time for the council to exercise fiscal oversight of the agency that spends most of Baltimore County’s tax revenue.
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5
Revitalization
What role can the county play in assisting in the preservation or revitalization of aging communities?
Nawrocki: Baltimore County has many aging neighborhoods that are in need of revitalization. Improving our schools and reducing crime will go a long way in helping to accomplish this goal. The county government should incentive revitalization through targeted tax credits. This targeted tax credit was enabled by our delegation in Annapolis but has had no action by the council. The county should also consider proximity to aging neighborhoods when zoning and approving large new home projects. By saturating the housing market with new construction, you disincentive revitalization in aging communities.
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6
Police
How would you characterize the relationship between the Baltimore County police and the communities they serve? Are any reforms necessary?
Nawrocki: I think Baltimore County Police do an excellent job and have made significant progress in improving relationships with the community despite a lack of funding and attention from the current administration. However, we still need an increased focus on community outreach. Many in the community, particularly young people, seem to feel a strong disconnect with law enforcement. Providing positive interactions with law enforcement such as through recreating Police Athletic League (PAL) centers would help in this process. County Officers do not have access to needed-resources and many positions regularly remain unfunded. With a violent crime increase of 32% last year in eastern Baltimore County, there are fundamental concerns that need to be addressed. For instance, having only one K-9 unit location in Dundalk is problematic for a county as large as Baltimore County. Systemic issues such as these place a strain on a force that is already dealing with increased crime, particularly violent crime. A greater emphasis on regional police cooperation is also necessary given the significant challenges Baltimore City is facing and a growing Opioid epidemic that knows no jurisdictional boundaries.
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7
Zoning
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?
Nawrocki: Yes, the Urban-Rural Demarcation Line (URDL) continues to serve the county’s needs. With many schools already overcrowded and many failing intersections in eastern Baltimore County, removing the URDL would only hasten overcrowding issues in many areas. The URDL has been a largely successful policy because the county has adhered relatively closely to the original plan. The county would be wise to do the same thing when considering other development projects, such as the development that has occurred along the Rt. 43 corridor. Initially, this corridor was supposed to be a jobs center without residential housing, however, the county has bent to development pressures and decided to place large amounts of housing in this area that were not in the original plan. This has further increased overcrowding concerns in area schools and on area roads. This plan demonstrates that taking a consistent approach like the URDL creates certainty in the county that should be adhered to in all areas of development.
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8
Baltimore City
Is Baltimore County's support for cultural institutions in Baltimore City too little, too much or just right?
Nawrocki: Baltimore County spends too much on Baltimore City’s cultural institutions. The nearly $30 million we spend to subsidize Baltimore City could be better spent in our classrooms, in our police department, or on improving the number of failing intersections in the county. Until we can handle the basic needs of the county, we should not subsidize arts and entertainment in other jurisdictions.
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9
Transit
Is Baltimore County adequately served by mass transit?
Nawrocki: Baltimore County has seen an increase in Mass Transit Service under the Hogan Administration. There are many opportunities to embrace new and cutting-edge transit concepts (such as deviated route demand-response, ride sharing, and bicycle facilities that will connect our residents to jobs). I will use my experience to find and implement these new solutions to connect our residents to the many opportunities available in our region. We can increase service and control cost by utilizing these new technologies.
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