Planning Commission Member Running for BOCC

Bob White

Local resident Bob White, a 14-year veteran of the Frederick County Planning Commission and its current vice chairman, has announced he is running for Frederick county commissioner.

The Republican, who has made his home on Reels Mill Road for the past 30 years, has also spent three years on the Board of Zoning Appeals and has been appointed by Gov. Martin O’Malley to his Expert Panel on I-270.

“This experience has given me an insight into the details of the issues and problems facing Frederick County,” White, 67, wrote in an e-mail to The Town Courier.

As some experts predict a budget shortfall this year that could exceed $50 million, White is counting on his expertise to help move the county forward “while maintaining the quality of life that the residents of this county enjoy and treasure.”   

He wants to see cuts made in some programs. “We will have to make judgments as to which programs are critical and which can be pared,” he said.

White is firmly against any tax increases and said he will fight to maintain those services crucial to public safety, security and education.

“Quality schools and police, fire and ambulance services, as well as road maintenance, are not optional — they must be preserved, but not gold-plated. Non-critical services and programs must be weighed in light of available resources.”

He has praised the new Comprehensive Plan passed by the current Frederick Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) but believes it has not always been fully understood by residents. If elected, one of White’s primary efforts would be to help educate the public about the plan and move forward implementing its specific details as quickly as possible, within the budget.

“Maintaining the current limits of growth of the Urbana Community is an important part of this plan, so that Urbana can remain a discrete, livable community,” he wrote.

White said he will fight to preserve Frederick farmland, ease traffic congestion and increase economic development.

The problem of congested roads has grown beyond capacity to deal with it at the county level. White claims it will take some $3.5 billion to bring area roads up to a minimal capacity standard.

He believes building dedicated commuter bus and toll lanes on I-270 and U.S. 15 should be further examined. “Urbana has a large number of commuters for which this issue is a major concern.”

Businesses that locate in Frederick County create new jobs locally, keeping people off clogged commuter arteries.

“Urbana, with its large area set aside for business development, is a key location for this important economic growth,” he said.

White retired in 2008 after a 38-year career as national executive director of government affairs for the National Electrical Contractors’ Association. He and wife, Karen, have one son.

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