No-Incinerator Alliance survey: Where do the candidates stand?

The No Incinerator Alliance has surveyed the candidates running for County Executive and County Council in Frederick County this year, to determine their basic position on the controversial 1,500 tons per day, regional incinerator.

Below you can find both the No Incinerator Alliance press release and a table showing the survey results for each candidate.

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There are forty-two candidates who will be listed on the ballot for executive and council. (Five of the candidates on the list have ended their campaigns, for various reasons, but their names will still be on the ballot for the June 24th primary.) Thirty-two of the forty-two candidates responded to the survey.

Twenty-four of the candidates expressed their outright opposition to the project.

Only four candidates, including current commissioner president, Blaine Young, were willing to respond to the survey AND express their support for the incinerator.

The No Incinerator Alliance did not attempt to characterize the view or define position of those who did not respond, of course. But a number of those candidates are on the record in various ways as supporting the project, most notably current commissioners David Gray, Billy Shreve and Kirby Delauter, who have strongly supported it over the course of their term.

Certainly, the remaining candidates who chose not to respond to the survey will be asked again, and again, to share their position. They are Grace Pileggi Hallenbeck (R) and Michael Hill (R) in District 1, Christopher James Mason (R) and Dwaine Earl Robbins (D) in District 3, and Jennifer Charlton (R), who is running at-large.

Of course, the issue is complicated, and even those who responded that they support or oppose the project have a range of views and policy preferences on the broader questions of how the county should address waste and resource management issues. Voters are encouraged to learn more…and ask more…about the candidates’ position.


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Press Release from No Incinerator Alliance

For Immediate Release
April 30, 2014

For More Information
Patrice Gallagher (301) xxx-xxxx
Ellis Burruss (301) xxx-xxxx

Strong Majority of Candidates for Frederick County Council and Executive Oppose Proposed Trash Incinerator

Frederick, MD- Of the 42 candidates for County Council and Executive, 32 (76 percent) have responded to a poll distributed by the local No Incinerator Alliance (NIA) asking candidates their positions on the proposed Frederick regional trash, tire and sewage sludge incinerator. A strong majority (24) of the candidates who responded indicated their opposition to the project. Only 4 support the project, though with reservations. As of today, 10 candidates haven’t yet responded. “This incinerator may be the most expensive public project in Frederick County’s history, and it would be financed with massive public debt,” said Patrice Gallagher, president of the grassroots No Incinerator Alliance. “If the Board of Commissioners proceeds with the incinerator, it will put county residents, businesses and tax payers on the hook for billions of dollars of
construction, operating and maintenance costs.

“With Carroll County pulling out as Frederick County’s only partner in this wasteful project, and with no replacement partner in sight, this incinerator poses an even greater risk than before. This is a huge issue. County voters and taxpayers have a right to know where candidates for county office stand, and the candidates have a responsibility to state clearly where they stand and why.” The incinerator has been in planning since 2007 and has been stalled, in large part, by popular opposition and shaky finances. The new Frederick County Council and Executive to be elected in November will quite possibly have the final word on the controversial incinerator. The project continues to face significant hurdles as environmentalists challenge a major permit issued in late February and as Carroll County exits as Frederick County’s only partner.

“We’re glad to see that such a large majority of the candidates for county council and county executive oppose this polluting boondoggle,” said Ellis Burruss, vice-president of the No Incinerator Alliance. “The Carroll County Board of Commissioner listened to its constituents, reviewed the costs and the alternatives, and wisely pulled out of the project. Frederick County should, too.

“With all of the evidence mounting against the incinerator, it’s hard to understand why any candidates support it. And with all of the public debate surrounding this project over the past seven years, it’s almost as hard to understand how any candidate would have no stated position on whether to proceed.”

“This incinerator would cost far too much, it would burn enormous amounts of valuable recyclable resources, and the toxic air pollution it would dump into our air would pose a threat to our health and our children’s health,” said Gallagher. “Viable, less polluting, less expensive alternatives are available that emphasize waste reduction, recycling and composting, and that could generate more local jobs and revenues than an incinerator. Frederick County should pursue them.”

(Mr. Burruss is a member of the Brunswick City Council. However, the opinions expressed in this
release are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the City of Brunswick or its
government.)


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Click the table above to open a somewhat larger version.


Frederick News Post coverage of the survey
Incinerator project has few friends among county candidates
Friday, May 2, 2014