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?
Bouchat: County needs a balanced mix of all the above to expand its revenue base and satisfy the shortage of housing.
What is your vision/strategy for economic development in the county. What incentives do you think are appropriate to lure businesses/employers to Carroll?
Bouchat: In order to attract business development, the county needs to be run like a business by a businessman or woman. Expand the Career & Technology Center to supply a modern workforce that includes transitioning students into the Community College. Tradesman with an A.A. Degrees are going to be our future business development and managers.
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?
Bouchat: The percentage is completely irrelevant, what is relative is what percentage of the population are students in the public school system. How much we spend per child is important and private school should be encouraged through tax credits. Competition makes better public schools.
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?
Bouchat: If you want new and more revenue sources, you need new citizens paying property and income taxes, not raise taxes on existing citizens. 4-1 is wise, end of discussion.
Do you support or oppose a move from the commissioner form of government to charter government?
Bouchat: I am a strong advocate of Carroll County declaring its independence from the Democrat controlled General Assembly and writing its our local constitution. True conservatives support our independence, which make us a stronger county.
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?
Bouchat: Carroll County needs to stay out of any General Assembly control over our emergency services.
What do you believe county government’s role should be in combating the opioid epidemic?
Bouchat: I lost my daughter last year to opioids and will make it my priority to fight the epidemic locally. All epidemics must be identified, isolated and treated. The ACA, doctors and pharmaceutical industries have caused this mess and must be held accountable in court to finance the cost of resolving the epidemic, since they have profited from it. Big tobacco was successfully sued and it can be done to opiate manufacturers.