Mayoral candidate Q&A - Dick Trump

May 08, 2005

Dick Trump

Age: 59
Address: Lindsay Lane
Occupation: Publisher

1. Why should voters select you as a mayor?

I bring to the office leadership experience, business success and a home-grown affection for the City of Hagerstown. I have a plan (in part expressed in the following answers and in other columns I have written for The Herald-Mail), have assembled a team and have the will to implement that plan to lead Hagerstown forward to become the best city in Maryland. The last two city administrations have settled for mediocrity; I will settle for nothing less then superiority.

2. What is the single most important issue facing this city, and how do you propose to lead government on that issue?

Affordable housing priced in the $70-125 thousand range. In targeted areas, using bonding authority, in coordination with local builders and banks, the city may be able to purchase distressed properties and upgrade the properties for resale into affordable housing units. There are several precedents for this type of effort and I will create a public/private partnership to do this. In new development areas, I will work with developers to have a percentage of new units reserved for affordable housing - there is also precedent for this.

3. If Washington County Hospital meets all requirements to build a new hospital, what should the city's role be in aiding the move?

The elected city government must not be the obstruction. The city has a responsibility to ensure that every resident has quality health care available. We must work with the hospital to provide adequate infrastructure (that the hospital has always agreed to pay a fair share) study and if cost-effective and efficient, annex the new facility into the city. The city government needs to be the driving force to get this project completed.

4. Do you believe that commercial and residential growth is healthy for the City, and if so, what is the biggest obstacle in promoting growth in those areas?

Managed commercial and residential growth is healthy. Growth adds to the tax base and provides new economic opportunities for our regional work force. Developers, visionaries and builders are not evil. The biggest obstacle has been and continues to be a lack of political vision for "what can be" as opposed to "what can't be." The current administration continually tells you, the citizens of Hagerstown, what can't be; in my answers to these questions and in other columns I have written, I have outlined what can be.

5. How do you propose balancing the need for services with maintaining a reasonable tax base?

I believe this question should read tax rate, not tax base. The team and I intend to grow the tax base through balanced annexation and targeted development/redevelopment. We pledge to hold the line on the property tax rate and to adjust fees so that service users pay for service provided. At the same time, we will review all service providers to ensure their processes and outcomes are cost-effective and efficient. These three actions - growing the base, adjusting the fees and streamlining processes - will provide revenue for needed services.

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