Should county government incentivize growth in the county through zoning and, if so, what types of growth (residential, commercial, high density, etc.) should the county focus on and why? What steps should the county take to comply with state-mandated planning requirements?
Grossnickle: We should focus on commercial and high density residential growth, while continuing with the Ag Preservation Program. The rural, farming aspect of Carroll County is why people want to live here and one of the reasons why we must protect our farmland. We have excellent ground that requires little to no irrigation to raise crops, thus reducing the drain on our streams and aquifers, which leaves more water for other uses. We need to take a closer look at why we want to grow and how and where we want it to happen. Growth is responsible for many of our problems such as water, wastewater and storm water issues as well as emergency services and safety to name a few. I would like to slow down and take a serious look at where we want to be in the years to come. Planning for long periods of time is difficult because we can’t know what the world will be like in 50 or 100 years, but we should still do our best.
What is your vision/strategy for economic development in the county. What incentives do you think are appropriate to lure businesses/employers to Carroll?
Grossnickle: We should do our best to attract business to Carroll County, but not at the expense of our residents, our current businesses or the environment. Incentives like tax breaks or public funded infrastructure upgrades should make sense and benefit both parties, not just the company moving in.
Approximately 47 percent of the county’s proposed fiscal 2019 budget goes toward Carroll County Public Schools. Do you believe this number is appropriate, too low or too high? Should there be a set percentage of the budget dedicated to public education each year?
Grossnickle: Education spending should always be what is needed, no more, no less. Our children are our future and we should give them the best education possible. I would always listen to the council of the School Board, while keeping in mind that funding is finite.
Do you believe existing revenue sources are sufficient to effectively cover necessary expenditures in Carroll County? Currently a supermajority (4-1 vote) is required to raise taxes. Do you think that is appropriate or should only a simple majority (3-2 vote) be required?
Grossnickle: I like the supermajority vote. Raising taxes should always be the absolute last option. I would need time to learn the way money is allocated and where or if cuts and adjustments can be made.
Do you support or oppose a move from the commissioner form of government to charter government?
Grossnickle: We should stay as we are for now.
Enabling legislation in the Maryland General Assembly gives county government authority over fire and emergency services. What do you see as the best path forward for emergency services in Carroll County?
Grossnickle: I see paid emergency services as inevitable in Carroll County, we just have to figure out how to make it work.
What do you believe county government’s role should be in combating the opioid epidemic?
Grossnickle: We need to support those with more knowledge and experience in the battle with drug addiction. I do believe that stronger penalties for dealing opioids needs to be considered and that everyone should be able to surrender their drugs at any police station and ask for help without fear of prosecution.