As a service to our readers, The Business Monthly asked Anne Arundel County candidates running in the 2022 Primary Election to provide responses to a short questionnaire. Their unedited responses follow. This Voters’ Guide includes only the candidates running in the primary election. For candidates who did not respond, their campaign website identified on their candidacy application is listed instead.
Question 1: Provide a brief bio and explain what skills and abilities you would bring to this office.
Question 2: What issues do you consider priorities for this office to focus on, and how would you approach them?
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Fernando Berra III (R):
Question 1: I consider myself to be driven and innovative; a critical thinker preferring to use an “outside of the box” approach when searching for solutions to complex problems – whether technical or programmatic. In my field, problems are opportunities waiting for the right solution. I have a bachelor’s degree in engineering (BEEE), and a master’s degree in systems engineering (MSESE). Systems engineering is the management of complex engineering projects – from cradle to grave – that includes the management of personnel, operations and budget. I have worked for the last 27 years with many United States government agencies – including the Department of Defense – on matters of national security and military weapons systems. In that time, I have expanded my management and mitigation skills to address complex issues; I have many proven successes in managing complex projects and delivering quality products within the constraints of schedule, technical complexity, and more importantly, within budget.
Question 2: First of all, I will be working on short term solutions to address those problems immediately – focus with a long–term vision to implement real, long–lasting solutions to these issues without wasting money and resources. My platform revolves around “We the People”; ergo, I will be addressing what the Anne Arundel citizens consider to be the most pressing issues: crime, drugs and the economy.
For crime, and drug interdiction, I will re–allocate some of the funding from our county budget to hire more police officers and increase police presence in our communities. I will ensure that our schools are secured, and have police presence in every single school. Lastly, l will make sure that all the law enforcement agencies have all the tools necessary to perform the job that they have been entrusted to do.
For the economy, I will explore the ability to provide zero–interest loans to small businesses as well as zero–interest loans to Anne Arundel students for them to complete their degree. An investment in our local small business and students is an investment in our community.
Parallel to addressing those I will be working on removing all laws, statues, and codes that violate our constitutional Rights; our Anne Arundel Codes and Regulations need to be revised as they are old and antiquated. I will apply engineering skill sets to re–configure our county government to make it more efficient, and more cost effective; thereby minimizing the cost associated with a large county government – freeing budgetary money to address other county issues – such as hiring more teachers, firefighters, and EMS personnel.
John Grasso (R): Please see www.electjohngrasso.com for campaign details.
Jessica Haire (R): Please see www.jessicahaire.com for campaign details.
Chris Jahn (R):
Question 1: I am an average, middle–class husband and father. You are likely to run into me having dinner and a beer at any restaurant in the county. Always having an interest in politics, I have grown frustrated by politicians on both sides, who claim to work for the middle-class, but are unable to work together and leave nothing but empty promises. As this is my first time running for any political office, I am not a politician. But a member of the middle-class, knowing firsthand the tough decisions that citizens make daily. Living and working in Glen Burnie, I decided to run for office in early 2021, seeing how the COVID policies of Anne Arundel County allowed more people into a casino than a restaurant or church. I see the County Executive office as a management position. With almost 30 years of management and leadership experience, I feel that I am uniquely qualified for this job, despite not being a politician. Working in retail multi-unit management has given me the needed experience to manage multiple departments and multiple department heads. I will be dedicated to improving the quality of customer service that people receive from the county. I will bring innovative ideas to the issues facing county residents. In a Jahn administration, there will be no future COVID mandates. I will also end to the tax increases that Anne Arundel County citizens have incurred over the past several years. The county needs a leader representing the middle-class, not another politician.
Question 2: There are quite a few priorities that my administration will have to address. More than we can discuss in this forum. I would invite you to visit my website, chrisjahn4aaco.com for more detailed positions. Below are my top four priorities.
A Healthy Business Community – A strong business community is vital for all of us. Helping businesses to start up, come back from closing and growing and expanding existing businesses is truly a win / win for everyone. How do we ensure our business community flourishes? County government needs to remove some of the barriers that make it hard for companies to start and compete. Also, we need to give incentives for businesses to expand. As our businesses grow and prosper, so do we as individuals.
The County Budget – Having spent thirty years in management and customer service, I am very bottom line oriented. In this case, our customers are the taxpayers, and the bottom line is our tax dollars. We need to get the most out of those dollars every single day. I believe that those in leadership positions, those with direct budgeting accountability, can do a better job making sure that tax dollars are not spent needlessly.
Fighting Crime – I will work with the Legislative Branch to ensure that we have laws that make sense, work for everyone, and have penalties that fit. I will work with the Judicial Branch to ensure that those that break the law are held accountable. Unlike what we see in other jurisdictions. I will work with the Chief of Police and the Sheriff to ensure that our law enforcement officers have the tools and resources that they need to enforce the law. While I absolutely believe that people make mistakes and deserve a second chance, I also believe that a person needs to be held accountable for their actions. I will also work to build a bridge between the police and those that do not trust them.
Transparency in Education – The school system needs more input from the parents. We must not accept anything less than 100% transparency and accountability from our school board. Parents must have a say as to what their children are being taught. We also need to ensure that we have taught our children life skills and financial literacy prior to graduating. Together, we must look toward the future, not the past.
Herb McMillan (R):
Question 1: As a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former Navy pilot, my military background helped develop my character and integrity that drove me to be a community activist and gave me a strong foundation for my government service. I developed advocacy and leadership skills as the President of a local PTA and as the President of the Maryland Taxpayers Association, which drove me to run for the Annapolis City Council. There, among a majority-Democrat council, I strengthened my mediation and persuasion skills, convincing them to join me in supporting conservative legislation such as property tax cuts and a Voter ID law.
I also worked across the aisle in the majority-Democrat House of Delegates, where I learned to collaborate with colleagues without compromising my values. I had more legislation passed than any Anne Arundel County Delegate because of my ability to work harmoniously, focus on what matters most to local residents, offer common sense legislation, and provide facts over rhetoric.
Today I work in the private sector as a pilot, and my regular travels to and from BWI Airport gives me great understanding to some of the needs and priorities of the local aviation industry and residents. And as County Executive, I would utilize my military background and networking to expand business growth and opportunities in Anne Arundel County. For example, having Ft. Meade and the U.S. Naval Academy offers tremendous opportunities to recruit more defense and military business, vendors, and suppliers.
Question 2: The economy is the top priority for me, with inflation creating a great uncertainty for the coming years for local residents and businesses. We have to have foresight to create jobs that will be secure, high paying, and appropriate for the local workforce not just for the immediacy but for the long-term. At the same time, we have to enable private citizens to be able to spend and purchase what they need, by keeping taxes low so they – not government – can make more of the financial decisions for their families. We must also ensure that the county government is spending responsibly, and eliminating waste while providing sufficient support for important programs and activities.
A second priority is safety. Keeping our communities safe will ensure that our families are comfortable residing here and also patronizing businesses in the county. We want to attract people from outside the county to shop and visit Anne Arundel County as well, and safety plays a key factor. To that end, we must strengthen our law enforcement and first responders with proper respect, funding, and equipment. We must work closely with the state and federal government officials to enforce laws that protect local citizens and take criminals off our streets.
We must also support the business community, providing assistance (such as tax breaks) to business owners, cutting red tape and excessive regulations, and strengthen public-private partnerships. Businesses must be able to grow and expand in a manner that is balanced with the community needs, incorporating strategic thinking and planning. This includes ensuring that the county government conducts proper planning and implementation of infrastructure, utilizes the latest technology to reduce traffic and congestion, supports the natural resources of the county but not at the expense of or harm to local business, and helping businesses recruit quality workers by developing communities, strengthening schools and education at all levels, and creating a strong pro-business climate for the county.
For all these priorities, my approach would be consistent with my record, based on my experience as a community advocate and my public service in government. I would be practical and pragmatic, collaborative, conservative, creative and independent in finding solutions that bring different parties together, and results-driven to support that which strengthens our economy and benefits the local residents and businesses.
Steuart Pittman (D) (Incumbent):
Question 1: Before serving as County Executive, I spent 35 years running organizations and businesses, balancing budgets, and making payroll. A decade of that work was promoting housing and commercial investment in low-income urban communities.
As County Executive I used those business skills to put county government in a more secure fiscal position than ever in its history, an accomplishment recognized by Moody’s with a 2022 upgrade of our bond rating to Triple-A for the first time in county history.
After three years of partisan budget votes on the County Council, I was able to bring the two political parties together in 2022 with a budget that kept our property and income taxes lower than any other central Maryland county, offered additional tax relief, and grew our revenue reserve fund to protect against future economic downturns.
After having built an outstanding team of public servants that guided the county through COVID with a death rate less than half that in many Maryland counties, we led one of the state’s most robust economic recoveries with record business startups.
All of this was done while adding services and infrastructure investments that had been neglected during a time of significant population growth. We increased our sworn police officer ranks from under 700 to nearly 800, added over 500 much-needed teaching positions, created a permanent public improvements fund that moved six of our transportation priorities into the state’s top ten priority rankings, and created expanded funding for our nonprofit sector, business assistance, parks, and health services.
Question 2: The institutions of county government must be defended, respected, and nurtured, like any business. Our schools, police department, fire department, public works, and all other departments can only deliver services if they hire and retain good people. We must offer our employees respect, a sense of purpose, enlightened management, and fair compensation. We will continue the progress we have made in these areas, and resist the temptation to turn public opinion against our institutions for political gain.
Our economy and our quality of life depend on the education we provide to our children. I and our incoming superintendent, Dr. Bedell, will continue the new initiatives that I started with Dr. Arlotto to address disparities in education outcomes and growing mental health challenges. We will cooperate fully with the state in the implementation of Maryland’s Blueprint for Education, and I will direct county health and human service agencies to implement proven strategies to increase the percentage of kids who enter kindergarten assessed as ready to learn.
Emergency Management plays an essential coordinating force in modern government. I will continue elevating this office by tasking it with oversight of a new joint 911 Call and Emergency Management Center. We will continue to provide our first responders with the tools and the staffing that they need to protect our residents and businesses.
Part of what makes our county The Best Place For All is its landscape and natural environment. We will continue to protect our waterways and our open space, while growing economically.
In my first term we engaged thousands of residents in creating Plan2040, the general development plan that won us the state’s Sustainability Award. That process helped educate our residents about the smart growth and environmental conservation opportunities offered by transit-oriented development, higher density town centers with mixed use development, multi-modal transportation, redevelopment, and the need for affordable housing development.
In my second term we will confront the burdensome permitting processes that interfere with implementation of our development goals, and we will do it with the same kind of community and business engagement that has been a hallmark of our first term.
Anyone in business today knows that we have a labor shortage. Every department of county government in my administration is now and will remain focussed on creating the healthy, educated, career-ready workforce that makes us a great place to live and do business.
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY COUNCIL
Jeremy M. Shifflett (R): Please see www.jeremyforaaco.com for campaign details.
Pete Smith (D): Please see www.votepetesmith.com for campaign details.
Noel J. Smith (R): Please see www.noelsmith.org for campaign details.
Allison Pickard (D) (Incumbent): Please see www.allisonpickard.com for campaign details.
Nathan Volke (R) (Incumbent): Please see www.votevolke.com for campaign details.
Cheryl Renshaw (R): No response, no campaign website listed.
Thomas Dale Wieland (R): No response, no campaign website listed.
John C. Dove Jr. (D):
Question 1: I will bring a diversity of thought, experience, and background to the County Council. I grew up in the Military as a child of a 20 plus-year retired Army veteran. I understand the experiences, sacrifices, and importance of the military community in Anne Arundel County. I graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. in Economics and served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Logistics Officer. I received an MBA from Loyola University of Maryland and have experience as a private business owner as well as corporate business leader in the medical field for over 28 years. I have served faithfully at my Church in the areas of Finance, Treasurer, and other areas as called. In totality, I will bring my experiences as a veteran, leader, business manager, as well as a passion to serve and uplift our community to the office.
Question 2: Priorities for me will be to ensure that meaningful progress is made in the area of education. Hugely appropriate investments are being made for the school system that will provide much needed resources to take care of current urgent needs as well as lay the foundation for meeting the goals of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. My focus will be on ensuring that the public schools have the tools they need to succeed during my tenure. My other top priority will be working to ensure that our county economy works for all of its citizens. Those efforts touch in many areas:
• A focus on public safety that ensures we continue hiring police, EMT/firefighters, and other First Responders. We must continue to provide them the necessary resources and tools to serve the community.
• Working in collaboration with the County Executive, County Council, State and Federal Delegation to address traffic, transportation, infrastructure, affordable housing and service needs that coincide with the growth in West County. Ft. Meade is the largest employer in the state, and we must have a partnership with them that supports the infrastructure needs of West County and the County as a whole.
• Working to preserve as much land as possible by supporting redevelopment of properties and areas within the District.
• Continue to work with County Veterans Affairs Commission to look for ways to support our local Veterans and encourage them to make Anne Arundel County their home.
As your Councilman, I will be present in all communities with a focus on constituent service. By being present I hope to help not only our constituents, but our small businesses access the tools and resources they may need to succeed.
James R. Estepp (D): Please see www.JamesEstepp.com for campaign details.
Julie Hummer (D): Please see www.juliehummer.com for campaign details.
Ash Khan (D): Please see www.ashkhan.org for campaign details.
Amanda Fiedler (R) (Incumbent): Please see www.voteforfiedler.com for campaign details.
Carl James Neimeyer (D): Please see www.carlneimeyer.com for campaign details.
Mike Pantelides (R): Please see www.mikeforcountycouncil.com for campaign details.
Lisa Brannigan Rodvien (D) (Incumbent): Please see www.lisarodvien.com for campaign details.
Shannon Leadbetter (R):
Question 1: A graduate of South River High School and Bucknell University (BA, cum laude), I am the Mother of 2 boys, Veteran Marine Corp Spouse, sole proprietor small business owner and a homegrown native of District 7. During my husband’s 20 years Marine Corps service, I was a leader of Family Readiness Programs and a Command Team Advisor, advocating for and addressing the needs of Marines and families within tight budgetary and legal constraints. I have been a sole proprietor salesperson for the past 9 years, having risen to the top 1% in my industry in my first 3 years in business. Upon my husband’s retirement, we settled in Crofton, MD to be close to my parents who reside in Harwood, and Nana in Edgewater. In January 2021 when our public school system sank into prolonged virtual learning, I organized the parent collation that successfully fought to reopen school buildings so that parents could choose to return their kids to the classroom for their in person education. I believe in putting people first and that leadership starts first with listening. In all my endeavors have demonstrated a unique ability to work with diverse viewpoints and backgrounds to find common sense solutions and build a sense of community. As my own boss, I have the ability to devote my time and energy solely to the people of Anne Arundel County and will be answerable to no one but the people, no special interests groups.
Question 2: I have invested thousands of hours talking to the citizens of District 7. The issue I hear about the most is the rising cost of living in our county. Cutting both local income and property taxes is a top priority for me once elected, to put citizens hard earn money back in their pockets. Citizens are also worried about the rising crime rates in our surrounding areas and the challenges facing our police officers as their numbers continue to decline. As Councilwoman I will support our police, work to ensure fair minded individuals who understand the intricacies and dangers of police work are appointed to the Police Accountability Board, support working with ICE to have illegal aliens who commit crimes removed from our county and support expanded school safety programs to include ensuring all AACPS schools have School Resource Officers.
Our community, from businesses to schools to families to our seniors, is is still struggling in the aftermath of forced closures and mandates. It is not the governments job to dictate what we think, how we run our businesses, what we believe or our individual health decisions. I stand firmly against future mandates that strip citizens of their individual rights. The era of government insiders and self proclaimed experts needs to end.
Cailey Locklair (R):
Question 1: Cailey Locklair is the President of the Maryland Retailers Association, Maryland Chain Drug Store Association, Maryland Food Industry Council, and Tri State Jewelers Association and has worked and advocated in Maryland State and local politics for the past sixteen years.
She attended the University of Delaware where she received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and Towson University where she received her Master of Science degree in integrated homeland security management with a focus on security policy. She also holds a Certificate of Security Assessment and Management from Towson University. Previously, she worked at the Baltimore Jewish Council as their Deputy Executive Director and for the Maryland House of Delegates.
Over the course of her professional life, she has worked closely with elected leaders to advocate for political issues and legislation important to employees and employers and fight new taxes, fees, mandates and regulations. No other candidate understands the breadth of these issues and has testified and advocated on a daily basis at the State and local level like Cailey.
Cailey is a lifetime NRA member, member of the State’s Unemployment Insurance Legislative Oversight Committee, is the immediate past Chair of the national Council of State Retailer Associations, sits on the board of Goodwill of the Chesapeake and sits on the Executive Directors Council to the Maryland Tourism Development Board.
Her in depth knowledge of the political process, relationships with State and local legislators, ability to write, amend, coalition build and testify on legislation sets her apart from other candidates.
Question 2: The most pressing issues align with the fallout from the unscientific and arbitrary decisions by the current administration. We need to let parents participate in their child’s education, we need to help formerly shuttered businesses succeed and we need to refund to the taxpayer the almost $500 million dollars in spending increases that were not spent as promised.
I played a key role during the pandemic and served on Governor Hogan’s advisory retail re-opening task force. My organization also distributed over 30,000 PPE items to employers and employees and provided daily information to thousands of businesses so they could remain open. At the same time, the only way to “successfully emerge” and approach these problems is to have a frank discussion on how we got here. Businesses will be slow to re-invest if they know local government can arbitrarily force them out of business. Parents will not utilize public schools if they know their kids are being used as experiments. And our citizens desperately need tax relief. To move forward, local government must come clean and re-earn the trust of the public.
I support our public school teachers. But I do not support the union’s attempt to force teachers to socially indoctrinate our children, nor do I support the removal of parents from the process. Forcing gender fluidity for elementary children and labeling elementary students racist is flat out wrong. It must be stopped and I believe transparency and the ability to remove children from this curriculum is essential.
Public safety is another area that must be addressed. I value our public safety employees. They put their life and career on the line every single day. I will never vote to defund the police and, in fact, I believe we need to increase staffing and resources for both fire and police. I also support transparency and accountability as well as body cameras. The current administration’s lack of law enforcement support has resulted in sky high crime rates – again, this is unacceptable. I will reverse Steuart Pittman’s war on law enforcement.
Finally, development is a major concern district-wide. Residents are fed up with more and more development and the lack of infrastructure. Our roads and drains sit untouched, many areas are impacted by flooding and traffic is on the rise. Many residents like myself feel they pay taxes such as the stormwater management fee and get nothing for it. We must fix our crumbling infrastructure before the added stress of more residents collapses our communities.
Dawn Pulliam (R): No response, no campaign website listed.
Shawn Livingston (D):
Question 1: I grew up with my wife Rachel locally. We were married right out of college and have lived in the Annapolis area for 13 years. We reside in Edgewater with our two children who are 4 and 6. I am a Systems Administrator at a local school and a part time youth pastor. Rachel is a nurse at Anne Arundel Medical Center. I was raised by my mother to show up, ask how I could help, then roll up my sleeves and get to work. This is how I strive to conduct my life daily. I am a community activist and organizer who strives to make the world a better place through my work professionally and by volunteering in and around the community. Over the years I have inspired and led hundreds of volunteers to bring about change. The local government makes decisions that impact constituents’ everyday lives and I want to bring this experience to the County Council. I see my role as someone who listens to neighbors at the local level, then brings those concerns to the table where decisions are being made. If we want our County to be the best place for all, then we need leaders that will commit to showing up, listening, and getting to work. I commit to being that person for District 7 once elected.
Question 2: As I’ve been in and around the community listening, a few issues have come up over and over again. The health of our environment matters. This is an issue important to almost everyone I have talked to, regardless of their political stripe. Our families, watermen and farmers want to make sure we have clean water in our creeks, rivers and Bay. The environment is important to our health and to our industry. It is where we raise our families and support our communities. I commit to making sure I am advocating for more conservation projects in District 7 and in our county. Anne Arundel County and partnering organizations have been doing amazing work over the last several years to protect our forests and improve our watersheds. This work must continue. Our infrastructure needs attention. But it needs to be done in a smart way by prioritizing the people living in our communities so we can ensure sensible infrastructure and development are happening in the right ways and in the right places. Over the last 30 years our County has gone through rapid development and it’s had a large impact on our roads and other infrastructure. Every year the County Executive holds budget town halls in each District so we can voice what is important. Then he listens and acts. I want to make sure that the District has the votes to get these important requests completed and a voice to amplify these requests on the Council. Our schools need our support. Everywhere I go, our communities are concerned about our schools. They want to make sure students have individualized time, that their school buildings and technology are up to date and that the teachers are paid a fair wage. I am the son of two teachers. I work at a school. I have a 6 year old and a 4 year old and my wife is a nurse educator. Education is of central importance to me and my family. I will actively work to make sure that education is given the weight it deserves. Our schools are training up the next generation to make Anne Arundel County the best place for all. Without our school system our future would crumble. I will always stand with the educators so that schools can continue to thrive.
Anne Colt Leitess (D) (Incumbent): Please see www.AnneArundelAnne.com for campaign details.
CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT
Terry R. Gilleland Jr. (R):
Question 1: My public and private sector experiences provide me an understanding of state and local government with the innovation and ingenuity necessary for business success. In addition to serving as a state delegate and school board member, I spent nearly 5 years serving in the Hogan Administration as the State Director of Adult Education and transformed that office to better serve constituents. Those roles help me to understand and navigate the channels of government while my private sector experiences, notably as a small business owner who built multiple businesses, both during the Great Recession and the more recent COVID-19 pandemic, provide me with an entrepreneurial mindset of hard work, commitment, and tenacity that will help me to serve all the stakeholders and constituencies of the Office of the Clerk of the Court.
Question 2: Now more than ever, the citizens of Anne Arundel County expect and demand more from their government. As Clerk, I will improve both constituent service and employee satisfaction while safeguarding fiscal resources for the taxpayers. I will continue to modernize and transform the office to improve access to services while protecting the privacy of constituents and ensuring full compliance with the law. Improved use of technology and innovative leadership will not only allow ease of access to multiple stakeholders to improve customer service, it will provide workload relief to the dedicated employees of the Clerk’s office which will improve both employee satisfaction and employee retention that will ultimately lead to improved service for all constituencies.
Scott Poyer (D) (Incumbent):
Question 1: I was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County in 2018, bringing over 30 years of experience to the position. I manage one of the busiest clerk’s offices in the state of Maryland. I oversee 128 staff that collect over $50 million in fees for the State of Maryland and process over a quarter million documents a year. These include legal documents, deeds, business licenses, marriage licenses, and other official records of Anne Arundel County.
In addition to running the clerk’s office for the county, I also help set policy state-wide as a member of Judiciary committees including the Domestic Law Committee and two technology subcommittees. At the county level, I serve on the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, and the Anne Arundel County Immigrant Affairs Commission. I graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy and earned Master’s Degrees from George Mason University and American College. In addition to 20 years of military service with the Coast Guard in a variety of leadership positions, I also served in several senior roles in the Federal Government including as an Associate Administrator with the U.S. Department of Transportation. My wife and I have lived in Annapolis for over 25 years. Our two children attended Anne Arundel County Public Schools and graduated from Annapolis High School.
Question 2: My three primary priorities for the office are improving Efficiency, Customer Service, and Access to Justice. To improve efficiency, we need to ensure court documents are processed quickly and accurately by implementing new technology and other operational improvements. My achievements in the last four years have included: saving over $350,000 a year in operating costs; increasing the speed of processing legal filings over 80%; and cleaning up a backlog of 8,500 boxes of unarchived legal documents. Over the next four years, I will work to further streamline our organization and business processes for additional efficiencies and cost savings. To improve customer Service, we will renew our commitment to delivering outstanding customer service as the first and highest duty of public service. My achievements in the last four years have included: speeding the delivery of legal documents from several days to a few seconds by implementing e-delivery; keeping the office functioning during COVID, completing more hearings than any jurisdiction in the state; and conducting over 500 remote weddings during COVID, including for couples who were hospitalized, in danger of losing medical insurance, and military members being deployed. Over the next four years we will implement customer service initiatives such as an electronic payment option to improve convenience and decrease wait times.
Register of Wills
Lauren M. Parker (R) (Incumbent):
Question 1: As a life long resident and local attorney, I drafted Wills and trusts for 25 years. I needed no on the job training and have 16 years experience as Register. Under my guidance, this office has achieved 4 perfect State Legislative Audits. The staff and I work together to exceed public expectations. I have implemented credit card acceptance, a public website for case information, and a 24/7/365 online ordering system for documents and publications. This year we lobbied the Legislature to eliminate Small Estate Probate Fees, (law becoming effective Oct.1, 2022). We also provide you with fast, live, personal service in answering the phone and greeting you at the front desk-all from a dedicated staff. I also created outreach programs to inform clubs, churches and civic groups regarding estates.
Question 2: My biggest priority is maintenance of the well trained, knowledgeable, compassionate, computer savvy staff guaranteeing you efficiency and virtually no waiting time. I am completing the final transition to a paperless office to save the public supply and storage costs. I am working cooperatively with other agencies on the legislation drafts and Maryland Rules changes to create the final processes and rules for electronic filings. I am completing the final computer adjustments and project plan for e-filing of estate paperwork in the near future. I am also relocating the ROW office to a new convenient location which offers free public parking and disability parking to the public. The office is on a ground level floor with easy access for all citizens. My main priority is always continued excellence through caring public service. The motto of myself and the staff is that “Kindness and efficiency never go out of style”.
Erica Griswold (D): No response, no campaign website listed.
Judge of the Orphans’ Court
Tom Angelis (R): No response, no campaign website listed.
Maureen Carr-York (R) (Incumbent):
Question 1: Maureen Carr-York is a nurse, an attorney, and, for the past six years, a Judge of the Orphans’ Court. That latter item came about because several people at the Circuit Courthouse, seeing an opening on the court due to retirement, quickly thought of Maureen to join the Court and “hit the ground running.” Governor Hogan agreed, and appointed her to serve out the term. In 2018, the voters agreed, electing her to a full term.
Maureen saw a natural fit where she could use her experience as a nurse, helping individuals and families coping with a death in the family, and her decades as an attorney, to serve the residents of the county.
Maureen is a 1981 graduate of Georgetown Law, and before that of Catholic University School of Nursing. She first came to Anne Arundel County when her husband, Dr. Jim York, was assigned to Fort Meade as an Orthopedic Surgeon. The young couple decided to remain in the county when Jim left the service, in 1988, and raised their two daughters here. Daughter Kerry and her husband are continuing the tradition, raising their young son in Millersville.
Maureen believes that an Orphans’ Court Judge must serve the public, meeting the needs of county families without reservation.
Maureen and colleague Judge Nancy Phelps continued working throughout the pandemic, coming into the courthouse to manage estates even when the courthouse was otherwise closed to the public. She asks your support to continue doing the work of the Orphans’ Court.
Question 2: The Orphans’ Court of Anne Arundel County has an excellent tradition of service and caring relationships with the residents of Anne Arundel County. We often hear from those appearing before the Court that they appreciate our sensitivity to their needs and our patience in hearing from those who have never been in court and do not have attorneys representing them. We do take extra time and allow everyone who wishes to be heard time to present their case. It is a priority of mine to continue to do so, despite steadily increasing caseloads.
We can accomplish this by working to improve the time between filing of pleadings and date of hearing or other action. Like all Maryland’s courts, we are still catching up with delays created by mandatory suspension of in-person hearings during Covid-19 restrictions. There are many measures currently being taken to accomplish these improvements.
We also are continuing to develop creative ways to meet the needs of our county’s families during difficult times. For instance, Judge Phelps and I dealt with the Covid 19 restrictions imposed statewide and countywide by continuing to come into the courthouse to manage those matters that could be handled without a hearing even when most state and county employees were not in their offices due to Covid. By doing so, we minimized the delays which would otherwise have occurred in getting the needed documents into the hands of those managing their loved ones’ estates.
As with all of our courts, we face challenges related to increased use of the courts and a need to streamline the process while still being fully responsive in meeting the needs of everyone from citizens handling small estates on their own to attorneys challenging each other over multimillion dollar estates.
The main thing that enables me to address the needs of our citizens thoroughly and well is my experience as an attorney with over 40 years as a member of the Maryland Bar. No other candidate in either primary has this experience. Also, I was appointed, and reappointed, by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, to the Conference of Orphans’ Court Judges where I have served the past two years as Chair.
Tony McConkey (R): No response, no campaign website listed.
Nancy Phelps (R) (Incumbent): No response, no campaign website listed.
Vickie Gispon (D) (Incumbent): No response, no campaign website listed.
Marc Knapp (D):
Question 1: I’m a licensed attorney. Although I may not be an expert when it comes to the laws of property, trusts and estates, I know how to do the research to find the answers. Again, although I’m an attorney, before retiring I didn’t earn my living practicing law. My practical experience was 40 years in finance. There are few, if any, matters relating to money and finance that may come before the Court that I’d be unable to understand.
Question 2: I suspect that access is an issue. By “access” I mean physical access. To counter this I’d push for holding sessions via Zoom or in the evenings so that people who can’t leave their jobs or are otherwise unable to attend court in person will have the ability to appear. By “access” I also mean access to legal representation. I’d bend over backwards to ensure that people who appear without counsel aren’t steamrolled by those who are.
Joe Delimater (R): No response, no campaign website listed.
Jim Fredericks (R) (Incumbent): Please see www.JimFredericksforSheriff.com for campaign details.
James H. McNeill (R):
Question 1: Please go to our website www.mcneill4sheriff.com.
Question 2: Please go to our website www.mcneill4sheriff.com about page.
Warren Darlington Porter Jr. (R): Please see www.porterforsheriff.com for campaign details.
Everett Sesker (D):
Question 1: Everett Sesker was raised in Edgewater, surrounded by a large extended family who values community, and making the world a better place for all. Like most kids growing up in south county, Everett spent his summers riding his bicycle from Edgewater to Mill Swamp and Sands Road to play basketball with friends and family. His Friday nights were spent in Annapolis visiting his grandmother and longtime Annapolitan, Teresa Hicks on West Washington Street. A stand-out scholar athlete and graduate of the South River High School Class of 1985, Everett received a scholarship to Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, double majoring in Communications and Political Science. As a first-generation college graduate, this was a defining moment in his life – one that laid the foundation for his 30 plus years of stellar leadership throughout the great state of Maryland. In 1990, Everett joined the Prince George’s County Police Department and served for 22 years. As a decorated law enforcement officer with the Prince George’s County Police Department, he served as the Commander of the Training and Education Division, Narcotic Enforcement Division, Community Services Division, and as a District Station Commander. He commanded three hundred plus personnel, managed $300K budgets, and collaborated closely with the Maryland State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Drug Enforcement Administration to solve community problems. After serving the citizens of Prince George’s County and retiring as a Major in 2012, Everett has been a trailblazer on issues that matter most to citizens: accountability and integrity in law enforcement. He was appointed as the Executive Director of the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission in 2017. Everett o Anne Arundel County, ready to make a difference in the community that has nurtured and protected him since 1967. He lives in Tracys Landing with his wife Jessie, two daughters Tyler and Ryan. Everett feels that his experience, leadership, knowledge, and ability to develop meaningful working relationships, combined with his compassion for the community he grew up in will only serve to benefit him as the Sheriff of Anne Arundel County.
Question 2: A. Warrants – We need to get a grasp on the outstanding warrants. If a judge, law enforcement officer or citizen takes the time to file paperwork asking for the arrest of an individual, it is the responsibility of the Sheriff’s Office to follow through on it. I will conduct an audit to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the Sheriff’s Office current operations. If necessary, we will move to modernize the way we operate and our technology.
B. Domestic Violence – Under my leadership, the Office of the Sheriff will monitor domestic violence cases throughout the court process to ensure the victim’s safety. No victim should ever feel abandoned once a domestic violence order is served.
C. Establishing Working Partnerships – Creating working partnerships with the other law enforcement entities in Anne Arundel County is critical to the operation of the Office of the Sheriff and to the safety of our community. We will be proactive and work closely with our partners to achieve success.
1. State’s Attorney’s Office
2. Anne Arundel County Police Department
3. Anne Arundel County Department of Detention Facilities
3. City of Annapolis Police Department
4. Crofton Police Department
5. Maryland State Police
6. Maryland Natural Resources Police