Towson Communities Alliance sent a questionnaire to the candidates for County Council in District 6 that includes most of Towson.

Tony Campbell (R)

Briefly describe your background, and why your experiences make you well suited to represent the greater Towson area on the Baltimore County Council

Dr. Tony Campbell – Faculty, Towson University (2004-present). Vice Chair, Baltimore County School Board Nomination Commission. Member, Baltimore County Charter Review Commission (2017). Member, P-20 Leadership Council on Education. Former Army Chaplain.

What steps would you take to improve public safety for the residents of Towson?

Advocate for a regional approach to reduce violent crime. Violent crime in the 6th Councilmanic District (including Towson) is impacted by the lack of enforcement of crime in Baltimore City. I will address it in four ways – publicly advocating for the removal of the City of Baltimore’s State Attorney, making sure County Government helps to share a positive image of our County Police to boost morale of our officers, to recruit new members to the Department and work on programs to strengthen officer retention, and to look ways to bridge the communication gaps between the Police Department and the communities they serve.

What are your priorities regarding development in Towson?

Managing future development and maximizing green space in older communities of the County is a major part of local government taking the lead on addressing climate change.

For example, the lack of green space in the Towson area is concerning, county government should make every effort to expand green space in areas such as Historic East Towson to make sure all of our County residents have access to an environmentally healthy and peaceful recreational space that improves the lived experience of people of all backgrounds while bridging communities.

What policies do you support in regards to transit and transportation in the greater Towson area?

As a former MDOT employee, and the former state coordinator for bicycle and pedestrian efforts for MDOT-SHA, considerations for transit and transportation projects must be weighed against environmental outcomes as well as quality of life measures which includes having adequate green space to make sure our communities are livable and enjoyable.

Making Towson more walk able is a reachable goal. Having increased schedule coordination between TU commuter buses, and the Towson Loop and other providers, can help to reduce traffic congestion in the greater Towson area and provide a necessary transportation infrastructure for local residents.

What steps would you take to ensure greater transparency in Baltimore County government?

Give the Inspector General broader investigatory powers including independent audit authority of the actions of County Government.

Allow for more transparency into the development / zoning process including any potential conflicts of interest between developer projects and political benefactor.

What issue will be your principal focus during your first term as Councilperson for the 6th District?

Demanding accountability from BCPS Central Bureaucracy on Charles Street. If elected, I will push for the County Council just like other legislative bodies, to have robust oversight authority on how, why, where and when BCPS allocates and spend the money given to it by the taxpayers of Baltimore County.

Mike Ertel (D)

Briefly describe your background, and why your experiences make you well suited to represent the greater Towson area on the Baltimore County Council

I have served the Towson area for 21 years – first as a West Towson Board Member and since 2005 in community leadership with Towson Communities Alliance. I have also chaired the Loch Raven 4th of July Fireworks. In 2011, I was appointed by the County Executive and served 8 years as a Board of Trustee member for CCBC. I’m a 15 Year Loch Raven Optimist Club member. Served on Master Plan 2020 Committee. Co-chair and founder of the Towson University’s University Relations Committee. Chair of Urban Design Principles Committee of Tomorrow’s Towson.

What steps would you take to improve public safety for the residents of Towson?

I think it is time for county leadership to address crime prevention as not the sole responsibility of the police department, in that public safety is a quality of life issue.

I would advocate for:

  • Adding more foot and bike patrols. Improving lighting and surveillance – all can help reduce opportunities for crime.
  • Possibility of bringing back the Police Auxiliary to free career officers of some non-crime fighting responsibilities.
  • Strengthening county programs that deal with root causes of crime – drug abuse, family crisis, mental health services, etc.
  • More community based solutions like PAL centers, youth sports networks, camps and even community gardens to help at risk neighborhoods provide needed programs for youth and adults.
  • Long Term – tying educational outcomes and skills training to reducing crime.

What are your priorities regarding development in Towson?

  • Large developments should provide or help finance new greenspace and outdoor / community amenities for residents.
  • Increased community engagement in the development process
  • Adequate Public Facilities legislation
  • Increase Tree Canopy for Towson and add a linear park like bike / walk trails
  • Redevelopment of underutilized commercial properties
  • Realistic planning for dealing with increased traffic
  • Creative opportunities for sustainable energy generation

What policies do you support in regards to transit and transportation in the greater Towson area?

Making Towson more walkable and bike friendly. Implementing some of the guidelines from the UDAT. Supporting increased use of the Towson Loop. Coordinating with the MTA to insure that we have enough transit to accommodate the increased volume of people.

What steps would you take to ensure greater transparency in Baltimore County government?

I’d like to see County Council Work Sessions at night. Proper notification of development projects to neighboring communities. Support the Inspector General’s role in government oversight.

What issue will be your principal focus during your first term as Councilperson for the 6th District?

Addressing public safety and education issues. Addressing decreased proficiency rates in Baltimore County schools and specifically in Towson insuring that the Towson High replacement (while maintaining the historic portion) is completed as soon as possible.