Suzanne Oshinsky

Suzanne Oshinsky
  • Democrat
  • Residence: Bel Air

About Suzanne Oshinsky

Education

I received my B.A. from Columbia University in Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, with a minor in Environmental Science, and was chosen to be a Centenniel Scholar. I completed my M.A. in Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley.

Background

I have worked as an educator, as well as being a writer and editor for several in print and online publications. I am also a mom to two kids with special needs, one of whom I homeschool, who have been my chief occupation.

    Questionnaire

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    1
    Glassman record
    What do you consider the greatest accomplishments and failings of the Glassman administration?
    Oshinsky: I appreciate that Glassman’s administration has begun to bring more awareness to mental health issues. However, local mental health resources are still inadequate. We also need to be concerned that Glassman was very quickly able to find $1.5 million in the budget for SRO officers to be placed in our schools, but has underfunded teacher’s salaries in Harford County year after year.
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    2
    Taxes
    Does Harford County have adequate resources to meet its needs, particularly in the funding of public schools and law enforcement?
    Oshinsky: Harford County has consistently declined to fully fund public education, which has led to stagnant salaries, causing some of our best and most experienced teachers to leave for other counties. I know from my own experience that children with special needs are falling through cracks. Meanwhile, all children would benefit from smaller classroom sizes, experienced, well-trained and respected teachers, and programs to meet a variety of needs.
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    3
    Land use
    Have the county’s land use policies adequately balanced growth and the preservation of existing communities and agricultural land?
    Oshinsky: I am concerned that development and zoning changes have occured haphazardly, without input from the people in the communities and farm families affected by growth. Current land use policy has already created traffic issues and has done little to spread resources equitably throughout all parts of Harford County.
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    4
    Opioids
    How do you rate the county’s efforts to fight opioid addiction overdoses? What else, if anything, should the county be doing to combat the epidemic?
    Oshinsky: The county has been very active in fighting the opiod epidemic from a law enforcement perspective. However, we are severely lacking in mental health care resources, as well as support for families struggling with mental health and other related issues, such as disability. In particular, there is a dearth of pediatric psychiatrists and therapists, and the few practices available locally often do not take health insurance, causing families to have a difficult time obtaining regular, consistent care.
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    5
    Sherrif's office
    How would you characterize the relationship between the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the communities it serves? Are any reforms necessary?
    Oshinsky: I believe there is generally a positive relationship between the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the communities it serves. I do feel that the Sheriff’s office would do well to adopt a community policing strategy, allowing police officers to be part of and familiar with the local community they serve. I would also like to see more opportunities for members of the community with special needs to develop positive, constructive relationships with law enforcement.
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    6
    Fire/EMS
    The Glassman administration is trying to lead Harford County’s formerly all-volunteer fire and emergency medical services to more a professional organization with more paid personnel. How do you rate the county’s effort and what should have or could have done differently in this controversial transformation?
    Oshinsky: I appreciate Glassman’s efforts to ensure that our fire and emergency medical needs are adequately met.
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