Church Road, in Bowie, has always been a hazardous street to navigate, with its winding
S-curves, blind spots, and only two lanes. Why is it that the lanes going toward 450 are widened and expanded, but those going toward 214 remain narrow? The people in District 4 should not have to settle for unsafe and inefficient roads.
I will fight to widen Church Road toward 214 and make it safer. Portions of the land along Church Road are protected, but I will work with the necessary county and other entities to devise a solution that will balance environmental protection with the safety of our citizens.
Grading for the Southlake Development has begun and ground breaking and additional construction will soon follow. Southlake will comprise 1,360 dwelling units—from single family houses to apartments—with many amenities. Hotels, a sports complex, and a variety of retail, restaurants, and entertainment will be included, as well as two lakes and green space, all of which will attract more residents to Bowie.
We need the infrastructure to support all of the residents who will live in Southlake. A new elementary school must be constructed in/near Southlake to avoid overcrowding of our schools, and the surrounding roads must be assessed and amended to ensure that they can accommodate the additional traffic. I will ensure that infrastructure for Southlake is a priority, not an afterthought.
Development is not a bad thing. It is a necessary thing for a community to grow and thrive, and not stagnate. Bowie must encourage Thoughtful Development for the city, welcoming the benefits it can provide, while carefully considering any potential negative consequences it might have.We should not have development without the necessary infrastructure to support it. The two go hand in hand. New development must integrate into the sense of community that we have in Bowie, and not disrupt the shared values and safe atmosphere that continue to make Bowie an ideal place to raise a family and build a life.
The economic health and development of a city is vital to attracting and retaining residents and visitors. Economic development has stalled in Bowie in recent years, and some businesses are leaving the city. The Bowie Town Center has become a glaring example of slowed economic development. Bowie residents should not have to travel to Crofton or Annapolis to shop and eat.
We need to be more proactive and business-minded in order to attract and retain high-end restaurants and thriving retail. I will work with the Office of Economic Development, the City Manager, and Council colleagues to spur economic development and to make Bowie a magnet for attracting and retaining a diverse selection of large and small, and minority- and women-owned businesses.
KEEP PROPERTY TAXES LOW
Property taxes have recently remained at a relatively steady rate, without increasing, and we want to keep it that way. We do not want progress and necessary, beneficial development to have an adverse ripple effect that causes property tax increases throughout the city. We have many needs in Bowie and we cannot and should not have to rely only on ourselves to address them. We should not be further taxing our citizens, but, rather, should avail ourselves of State and Federal assistance.
It is our duty as elected officials to procure state and federal dollars by way of grants and appropriations in order to benefit our constituencies. From my first day in office, I will use my experience as a Federal lobbyist, and my established network of contacts, to aggressively pursue such revenue streams.
District 4 residents are experiencing cell phone signal loss in their homes and when driving around Routes 301 and 214. This is unacceptable. We need cell phone carriers to build more cell towers so that residents have consistent, reliable Wi-Fi to meet all of their technological needs.
I will work tirelessly to ensure that the carrier companies are responsive to our needs and responsible and accountable in their actions.
The City Council decided not to build additional basketball courts in the new Ice Arena. As a former basketball coach, I remember practicing in the overcrowded Bowie City Gymnasium. The discussion to build an additional gym has lasted for more than a decade, yet we still have no resolution. The city bureaucracy is too slow and cumbersome.
I will leverage my 16 years of experience as a coach and teacher in the Bowie community to advocate for immediate action to secure a central location for additional gym space. Expanding and revitalizing recreation venues in Bowie will help to increase the vitality of Bowie citizens of all ages.
ANNUAL COLLEGE FAIR, ENCOURAGE HIGHER EDUCATION
I come across so many young people in Bowie and throughout Maryland who have no direction, no guidance, and see only their limitations, not their boundless opportunities. I want to change that. Every high school student in Bowie should be given the opportunity to attend a four-year college or university.
I will initiate the first annual City of Bowie College Fair, to be held in District 4. The intent of this College Fair will be to expose our high school-aged students in Bowie to colleges throughout the region and the country. The College Fair will include Seminars to assist students and families with navigating the complex and seemingly daunting process of applying to and choosing colleges. The Seminars can include topics like researching colleges; choosing a major; filling out the Common App; preparing for and taking the SAT/ACT; writing a college essay; and financing a college education.
ENSURE AFFORDABLE, ACCESSIBLE SENIOR HOUSING
Last year, my Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The challenge was to find her an affordable and accessible place to live, because she could no longer live on her own in her independent living senior apartment. I looked at nursing homes and several assisted living facilities in Bowie; some cost as much as $5,000-$10,000 per month. Many seniors cannot afford these high-priced, corporate-run living facilities.
I will make it my mission to fight for affordable and accessible housing for our seniors. We owe it to them.
PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING
I am a prostate cancer survivor. I am still alive because prostate cancer screening detected my cancer while it was still treatable and curable. Even so, it was touch and go for a while. My experience not only saved my life, it renewed my life. It energized me and made me determined to do whatever I can to help ensure that other men know about the dangers and possible signs of prostate cancer, and that they get prostate exams.
I will work with medical professionals and relevant government and non-profit entities to get the word out about prostate cancer and the necessity for regular screenings, and to provide opportunities for all men—no matter their financial or insurance circumstances—to get prostate cancer exams.