Today, the Board of Carroll County Commissioners unveiled their Ten Governing Principles for their administration. Board President Doug Howard said, “It is important for us to set a direction and we have worked collectively on this.” The philosophies are as follows:

1. Smaller, Constitutional Government: As a matter of principle, this Board of County Commissioners believes our citizens want smaller, less intrusive government; will restructure it accordingly; and encourage private sector solutions and/or partnerships to fulfill community needs whenever possible.

2. Mandates: This Board of County Commissioners will work with our State Delegation and the local cities and towns to resist unfunded mandates; excessive regulation; and the passing on of additional expenses from the federal or state government.

3. Term Limits: This Board of County Commissioners believes it is in the public interest to have fresh governance from time to time, and will petition the MD Delegation to limit County Commissioners, and appointed board and commission members to a maximum of two consecutive terms. Additionally, it is our intention to elect Board of Commissioner officers on an annual basis.

4. Property Taxes: This Board of County Commissioners believes property taxes are too high, and will make every effort to lower taxes by reducing spending, and making government operate in a more restrained and efficient manner.

5. Economic development: This Board of County Commissioners will support small business development consistent with the rural and suburban fabric of our communities. This Board will streamline approval processes; eliminate unnecessary regulation; and promote a business friendly climate for small and locally owned businesses.

6. Affirmation of Our Values: This Board of County Commissioners will open its meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a prayer.

7. Protection of Individual Property Rights: This Board believes our citizens have an unalienable right to be secure in their homes, farms and businesses; and will oppose rezoning of privately owned property against the wishes of its owner(s). Protection of property rights will be a goal of this Board in County planning and lawmaking.

8. Capital Expenditures: This Board will require industrial strength financial reviews on all future capital expenditures, including close scrutiny of all assumptions; rigorous life cycle cost projections; and early evaluation of feasible alternatives.

9. Straight Talk & Citizen Participation: This Board of County Commissioners will avoid the use of acronyms, and will converse with our constituents in plain English. Additionally, this Board will promote better communication with citizens by scheduling key hearings on evenings or weekends, and provide increased opportunity for two-way dialogue at our public hearings.

10. Servant Leadership: This Board of County Commissioners will lead by example, and discontinue the practice of accepting per diem payments; cars; and other such perks. We will restructure the Commissioners office appropriately as well.

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