2024 State of the County
Westminster, MD, Thursday, January 11, 2024 – On Tuesday, January 9th, 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 second year of the current 62nd Board of Carroll County Commissioners.
The Commissioners from each of the five districts addressed the audience at the Carroll Arts Center to highlight successes from the past year, challenges facing the county, and important opportunities and priorities moving forward. Below is a summary of some of the remarks, please watch the entire 2024 Carroll County State of the County.
Commissioner Joseph Vigliotti, District 1, started by stating that the county is strong but as we move forward, challenges are far more significant than last year. The commissioner pointed to fiscal obstacles including the continued Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services (DFEMS), increased costs due to the economy, and the financial demands of Blueprint. The county is committed to tackling these challenges while holding on to faith and being guided by our American values. Renewing and strengthening relationships is very important as communities rely on relationships to thrive. That includes listening and being responsive to residents as well as meeting with and supporting partners such as the Board of Education, our Senators and Delegates, State’s Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, and the county’s municipalities. He listed some examples of county government reform and continuous improvement. The commissioner notes that although the coming year will depend on strong cooperation, making stands and finding common ground, having hard conversations, and making very difficult decisions, the best days are still ahead with God's help.
Commissioner Kenny Kiler, District 2, started by noting his enjoyment working with his fellow commissioners over the last 13 months and how although they do not always agree, they work together well. He also encouraged anyone to reach out to him via cell phone or email. The commissioner then focused on an overview of the Carroll County Department of Public Works, one of the largest departments in the county, providing many services to the citizens. The comments covered Enterprise Funds, such as the Bureaus of Solid Waste, Utilities, and Airport Operations. Enterprise Fund areas are not part of the county’s general fund, rather each one generates income intended to cover expenses. Next, the remarks highlighted general fund areas including Bureaus of Engineering, Fleet Management and Warehouse Operations, Building Construction, Facilities, Permits and Inspections and Roads Operation. Public Works also manages the Carroll Transit System. The commissioner’s comments concluded with his desire to serve the taxpayers and to fund the budget to serve taxpayers as best we can without raising taxes. Citizens should let them know when they do it right and when they don’t.
Commissioner Tom Gordon III, District 3, focused his remarks on economic development, including what it is and its importance to the county. He went on to highlight details of several recent local successes including business expansions and new business development. The commissioner spent some time discussing the recently completed Economic Development Land Use Study, which was approved in preparation for the 2025 update to the Carroll County Master Plan. He outlined the county’s land use percentages (64% Agriculture, 21% Conservation, 12% Residential, 2% Industrial, 1% Commercial and 1% Other) as well as other details regarding development and markets. He encourages everyone to view the study to learn more about the county’s existing conditions as the county moves forward. He notes the county is at a crossroads and decisions will need to be made regarding the quality of life for current residents and future generations.
Commissioner Mike Guerin, District 4, started by providing some truths about the state and Carroll County that are worth mentioning and can be built upon in 2024. Regardless of what happens elsewhere, he is focused on this county and will support what he feels is good for taxpayers and oppose anything he feels is wrong for the county. The commissioner highlighted things to be grateful for, including one of the best school systems in the state, low crime rates, progress for the DFEMS, and the Agricultural Preservation program. He attributes the good things as a tribute to hardworking citizens with family and rural values and as a direct result of the multi-generational families across all career categories, that built Carroll County. Commissioner Guerin believes we are at a pivotal time in the county’s history, time for a serious conversation about the future, to prioritize and make changes. The commissioner suggests we define what economic growth means for the county and how to achieve it, while remembering people are judged by results, and a desire for solutions should never replace the duty of responsibility.
Commissioner Ed Rothstein, District 5, began by highlighting his commitment to family, faith, himself, country, state and to Carroll County and its residents, dedicated to serving others and working together to make the county stronger and better. Property rights, a strong economy, safe environment, a free society, strong partnerships, and a transparent government are all important. He emphasized an overall message that Carroll County remains strong and secure but that there is work to be done to hand down to future generations. Finances are good and the outlook for the county is stable helping us maintain our high triple AAA bond rating. The commissioner gave a sample of budget priorities including DFEMS, education, and governmental partners. He highlighted a few community strengths including the public school system, the public library, business and employment projects, and the Agricultural Land Preservation Program. The year ahead will hold discussions and decisions regarding priorities, especially with budgeting and revenues. He concluded by seeking input and collaboration from the community to keep Carroll County as a desirable place to live, work, and do business.
Commissioners emphasized the importance of serving the community and encouraged communication and feedback from residents. All are encouraged to reach out to all or one of the commissioners with input and ideas:
Board of Commissioners: firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Vigliotti (District 1): email@example.com
Commissioner Kiler (District 2): firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Gordon (District 3): email@example.com
Commissioner Guerin (District 4): firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Rothstein (District 5): email@example.com