2019 State of the County
Westminster, MD, Tuesday, January 8, 2019 – Today, at the annual State of the County event, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners delivered their individual assessments on the state of Carroll County. This is the first year of the current 61st Board of Carroll County Commissioners.
The commissioners from each of the 5 districts addressed the audience to highlight important successes from the past year and challenges facing the county.
Commissioner Richard Weaver, District 2, (second term) focused his comments on how agriculture, the number one industry in Carroll County, affects economic development in the county. He discussed many facts and statistics for the nation and Carroll County which emphasize the importance of agriculture as an economic development driver ($112M of ag products sold in Carroll County each year as of 2010 census), as an employer and as the provider of food for our tables. Carroll County has more than 1,000 farms and 132,000 acres of farmland. The county preserved 72,858 of those acres which make us the leader in the state and one of the top counties in the country.
Commissioner Dennis Frazier, District 3, (second term) highlighted two primary themes during his speech: the progress the county made in solar energy and the recommendation to pursue a county charter. He gave examples including the electricity currently produced by the new solar fields, the SolSmart Silver designation award to the county for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar, and the goal of installing new solar fields on an additional 21 acres in the future. Commissioner Frazier is encouraging the board to pursue the possibility of charter government and discussed some of the possible benefits as well as some misconceptions.
Commissioner Eric Bouchat, District 4, (first term) spoke of several themes looking forward for Carroll County. His comments stressed his commitment regarding the importance and need for a county CEO in the form of charter government, the vision and challenges presented by the
a county CEO in the form of charter government, the vision and challenges presented by the Carroll County Long Term Advisory Council (LTAC), especially regarding the need for technology, and how the community needs to be prepared to meet the challenges. He also discussed the effects of the opioid epidemic on our communities and possible future opportunities to pursue assistance from state and federal litigation.
Commissioner Ed Rothstein, District 5, (first term) began with reflections from his campaign and two months in office to emphasize Carroll County’s current strong position with his desire to build on this base to strive for even greater excellence. His speech highlighted the need to stay committed to quality of life and community values and included three specific pillars: public schools; fire, police and EMS, and economic growth. He also identified District 5 issues including development of the Warfield Complex and Main Street, continued improvements to routes MD 32 and MD 26 and maintaining momentum on the Freedom Plan. In addition, the commissioner summarized some of his insights from attending the recent Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Winter Conference.
Commissioner Steve Wantz, District 1, (second term) started by stating his pride at the last four years in office and attributed much of Carroll County’s success to collaboration, community connections and the smart use of resources. The commissioner continued his four year emphasis on the three E’s: Economics, Education and Emergency Services and specifically discussed important and positive momentum by providing examples in these areas. His comments concluded with his thoughts that Carroll County is on the radar for the rest of the state causing other counties and representatives to respect the county and take note of the county’s top rankings and success stories. He concludes, “We are what others want to be.”
The State of the County is a Carroll County Chamber of Commerce event held at the Carroll Arts Center.