Tome wants to serve all county citizens
— Lifelong Port Deposit resident Wayne Tome Sr. is ready to serve all of Cecil County if he’s elected county executive in the Nov. 8 General Election.
Tome, a Democrat who is now in his third term as mayor of Port Deposit, is well-known in the firefighting community because his volunteer service at Water Witch Fire Company extends beyond 35 years and his professional career at Baltimore County Fire Department is in its 33rd year.
But, Tome insists he’s not a one-issue candidate.
“I don’t want to leave anyone behind,” he said this week, noting his philosophy of governing is “to do no harm and to do the most good for the most people.”
Tome was recently promoted from battalion chief in Baltimore County to division chief effective Oct. 29, but he’s ready to retire after serving only a month in his new position if voters elect him to Cecil County’s top job.
“Robust economic development is the answer to creating new revenue for the county that would enable us to improve the quality of life for all citizens,” he said. “I’m a pragmatic candidate who takes a grassroots approach to issues.”
Tome hopes the county
can become more diversified in its job offerings and consequently entice the next generation to live and work in Cecil County.
“If jobs are local, then families have more time to spend together and pride in the community grows,” he said.
He also supports strong education in the public school system and wants to address the large amount of deferred maintenance projects in school facilities.
“That’s a real big deal,” he said, noting if left unaddressed, it could cost a lot more money in the long run.
However, Tome believes that his top budget priority would be all of public safety.
“I’m a fiscal conservative, blue dog Democrat kind of candidate,” he said.
Tome said he learned to be conservative while serving the fire companies and the town of Port Deposit always looking for ways to pinch pennies.
Tome said it’s imperative that the community feels safe in today’s climate of increasing crimes stemming from drug abuse and domestic issues.
“They are all intertwined,” he said. “Crime has a social and economic impact on communities, creating more accidents, demand on services and health issues.”
The Cecil County Sheriff’s Office is the largest county law enforcement agency to not deploy any body cameras to sworn officers, an issue Tome would support.
“However, I think it’s a policy decision for the sheriff to make,” he noted.
As county executive, Tome would be running the day-to-day operations of the county.
“I’d want my staff to be very responsive to citizens and thoroughly investigate even minor complaints,” he said.
Tome says leadership positions he has held at his job, in elected positions and volunteer organizations over the last 30 years has provided him with skills to fill the job of county executive.
Tome was elected as Cecil County Commissioner in 2006 and served a four-year term, but later lost bids in 2010 for re-election as commissioner and again in 2014 in a bid for county council.
Tome is disappointed this year that there was no candidate forum for the general election.
“I find it hard to get my message out,” Tome said, saying he’s been out-funded by his Republican opponent Alan McCarthy by nearly 101. “He’s had five fundraisers and I’ve only had one.”
“I’m in an uphill battle for votes,” he said, noting the growing shift from Democratic registered voters to Republican registered voters in recent years.
Wayne Tome, the Democratic candidate for Cecil County Executive, said the county needs to become more competitive in retaining its top employees.