Public Policy

4840_1157586174410_1907826_nThrough a combination of monitoring and advocacy, Envision Frederick County is committed to promoting ethics, maximum openness and transparency, and accountability in county and municipal government.

Land Use, Planning and Development

Envision Frederick County is dedicated to enhancing the social, economic and environmental vitality of our community. Perhaps no other set of issues affects each of those things, and others, more than the choices we make about land use. Where and when and how we develop our community directly and substantially affects the cost and quality of infrastructure and public services; it affects the range and affordability of housing, and the attractiveness and long term viability of our communities; it shapes matters of public health and public safety; it determines challenges related to transportation, traffic and public transit; the choices we make have a dramatic impact on the environment, including open space, parks and recreation, air and water quality, and the overall biological integrity and sustainability of our “green infrastructure; and much more.

And, because local government in Maryland is the primary regulator of land use, and because there is a great deal of money associated with zoning and development, wealthy and motivated, and narrowly-focused development interests invest a great deal of money and time and effort to influence this critical decision-making process that so heavily shapes our community and its future. We believe having any meaningful and significant balance in that process requires a well-informed and more engaged citizenry. Using this website and other communication tools effectively is vital to being able to make a difference on this important set of issues. Stay tuned.

Waste-To-Energy (Incinerator)

For a number of years, and a number of reasons, Frederick County has been embroiled in an ongoing controversy about the funding and construction of a regional 1,500 tons per day, mass burn incinerator, to be located on the banks of the Monocacy River, overlooking the Monocacy National Battlefield, only three miles from the heart of downtown Frederick. Although the extremely controversial project was approved by the previous Board of County Commissioners, and has continued to receive unwavering support from the current board, it remains an unsettled and uncertain issue. Because if its importance, it is one of the first public policy areas that we will be addressing here.

Tracking the 2010-2014 Board of County Commissioners

Under the current form of county government (which will be ending with the term of the current board), the five member Board of County Commissioners serves as both the executive and legislative branches of county government. Although many county residents are probably more aware of what is happening in Washington or Annapolis than Winchester Hall, through their role as managers and legislators, our county commissioners have a profound affect on many aspects of life in Frederick County, at this time and well into the future. Because of that, Envision Frederick County will be developing a page here to track and analyze the record of the current Board of County Commissioners.

Elections

Envision Frederick County does not endorse candidates in elections. As it says in our mission statement, however, we were “founded on the principle that informed public discourse and active engagement of individuals and groups in our civic life is essential to our well-being and prosperity,” and that absolutely includes being and informed participant in the selection of elected officials, at all levels. In that light, we are committed to being an excellent source of information about the candidates and elections in our community. The first election for which we will be developing a section to provide an array of information and links will be the 2013 election in the City of Frederick for Mayor and all five members of the Board of Alderman

Other Public Policy pages to come

We will be establishing other pages/sections in the Public Policy area of this site. There are certainly many issues that warrant the attention, and we’ll do out best to gather and generate and present relevant information about them here. But we will be catching up, so to speak, for a little while. Having said that, if you have a particular interest in one of the issues above, and you would like to help with that section of the site, please let me know: kai.hagen@envisionfrederickcounty.org.


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