What role can the county play in assisting in the preservation or revitalization of aging communities?
Olszewski: The success of our county will be dependent, in part, on our ability to revitalize our aging communities. As we run out of new spaces to develop, finding ways to creatively redevelop parts of the county will be essential. This includes creative ways to revitalize our historic main streets. The county plays a critical role in this work, though it can not preserve and revitalize our aging communities alone. Where we can act, we should. This begins with having a comprehensive and customized plan for every neighborhood in Baltimore County. All of these plans should emphasize innovation, entrepreneurship and creating a strong community culture. In certain areas of the county, such as Catonsville, Pikesville, Towson and Dundalk, we should create Arts and Entertainment districts to encourage success. In fact, I am pleased that the County Council has chosen to act on my campaign calls to finally create the first A&E district in southwest Baltimore County. We also need to work with our anchor institutions such as our universities, hospitals, and federal agencies. Both Towson University and UMBC have strong business incubator programs, but we aren’t fostering an environment for their start-up businesses to anchor in the neighboring communities. Another shortfall is the gap in service on the east side, where no such incubator exists. As executive, capitalizing on these opportunities will be a priority. Finally, quality schools and safe neighborhoods are the best tools we have to support and sustain all of our communities, whether brand new or aging.