FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — On Thursday, County Executive Jan Gardner announced her five-pronged strategic plan for her second term of office: education, jobs, seniors, community needs and growth.
To reduce over-crowding within schools, Gardner said it’s vital to continue school construction projects and to put a greater fight into obtaining funding from the state and from developers creating housing.
“We really focused on education and making sure we deliver outstanding public schools. We want to continue having a safe community. Our economy is thriving here and we want to make sure we seize our opportunities,” Gardner explained.
“We’re really trying to do out best to make sure we have revenue from impact fees and school mitigation fees from the development community so development pays its fair share, [and] that we get our fair share of state money- which we don’t think we always have,” Gardner said.
Within the next year, the county predicts the population of seniors above the age of 60 will outnumber school-age children. Gardner shared the idea of expanding the Urbana Senior Center after hearing a suggestion from a resident.
Seniors in the area also expressed the need for para-transit. Gardner said she’ll look to increase public transit not only seniors but the working populations. For longtime resident Melanie Cox, it’s a good start but more can be done.
“Definitely more resources from the standpoint of availability of meals on wheels, availability of transportation that’s door-to-door, not curb-to-curb that helps me get into the doctor’s office if I have some problem,” Cox said.
Also on the agenda is a focus on growth by setting aside land for affordable housing, but also continuing to preserve historic locations and agricultural lands. Some locals voice that infrastructure can be improved.
“There are things I wish we could do more of specifically when it comes to thinks like the sidewalks. But the fact that it’s a beautiful place to live I think attracts a lot of people…to Frederick,” said resident Brian Bartoldus.