Republican Ginder announces run for council seat
ELKTON — Gordon Ed Ginder, an Elkton Republican with experience working in local government, has announced his candidacy for the Cecil County Council’s second councilmanic district, which represents the Elkton area.
The announcement makes Ginder the second candidate in the race to replace Council President Joyce Bowlsbey, who has said she will not seek re-election. Cody Kirk, a 24-year-old Democrat, declared his candidacy several months ago. Neither candidate currently faces a challenger in the primary election.
Currently, Ginder serves as vice chair of Elkton’s Planning Commission, an appointed body that helps guide the town’s future growth and development. Prior to that position, he held several positions in government, including as town administrator for Chesapeake City.
From 1988 to 1990, Ginder served as a town commissioner in Elkton.
In 2016, he served as treasurer for Councilman Bob Meffley’s campaign.
Ginder has also served as vice president of the board for the YMCA of Cecil County and president of the board for Haven House, an outpatient substance abuse center in Elkton.
“I think it’s given me a lot of experience that I can carry forward to the job of a county councilperson,” Ginder said. “I have an idea of what is needed, what has to be done, and what’s already in place that needs to be enforced.”
Overall, Ginder said he likes the direction that Cecil County is going under County Executive Alan McCarthy, but he said he’ll keep voters’ opinions in mind as he makes decisions, should he be elected.
“I’m going to listen to people and listen to their concerns and what they want,” Ginder said. “I’m a good listener, and I think the voters need to be involved.”
He said he couldn’t promise to stop a tax increase, but he said he’d look for cuts when faced with a tough budget.
“The old saying is, ‘ You don’t saddle up a horse unless you plan on riding it,’” Ginder said. “I’m not going to make promises.”
Ginder said, if pressed to find cuts, he would look at the workforce needs of each department to find where cuts could be made.
“Nobody likes to lose a job, but it’s part of the business aspect,” he said.
On the local economy, Ginder said he likes the county’s progress with growing the blue collar job base, but he wants to see more professional jobs in the county for young, college-educated residents.
“We’re moving forward as far as getting jobs with corporates,” Ginder said. “We need to attract the corporate side that offers a higher paying wage so that we can retain the young adults who are born and raised here that go on to college and get a degree. We need to retain them and keep them here.”
On the issue of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), Ginder said he wanted to find middle ground, but noted he is a supporter of property rights.
“There has to be a happy medium,” Ginder said, noting that farming is one of the county’s leading industries. “Farming is a matter of right. I was born and raised in Lancaster County, Pa., and all my uncles owned farms, so I know what farming is about. I worked on my uncles’ farms and I know what they have to put up with. You should have the right to use your property the way you want to in farming.”
As far as McCarthy’s sewer mandate, Ginder said “it’s good that we’re looking at that,” and that there should be more sewer extensions near waterways, to prevent pollution of waterways. However, he said the cost of the mandate needs to be considered more closely.
“When it was first introduced, I don’t think they were looking at the back end,” Ginder said. “It’s gonna cost to have it hooked up from the main lateral into the house. Who’s going to pay for that? That’s not cheap.”
Like other politicians, Ginder emphasized the need to address the opioid epidemic. His goal, he said, is to focus on following up with those in recovery to continue to offer counseling and resources.
“After so many days, 30 days, they’re released and there’s no follow up,” Ginder said. “You’re talking an extended amount of time they need to be in rehab, and 30 days doesn’t do a whole lot.”
Ginder proposed to have a “czar” of sorts to coordinate services, including housing and treatment, for those in recovery.
Citing his resume, he said he thought his experiences would make him a good choice for voters.
“I’ve always been involved, with the town and also with the county,” Ginder said, noting that he’s served on boards and with civic organizations, in addition to his government experience. “I think I have a lot to offer the county, and that’s why I’m running. I have a passion for Cecil County, and I love Cecil County.”
“I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” Ginder said, “but that needs to be decided by the voters.”
In the 2014 election, Bowlsbey, a Republican, was elected with 69 percent of the vote. Republicans outnumber Democrats in Cecil County 27,500 to 22,400, giving Ginder an advantage.
However, he said he’s learned not to underestimate opponents.
“I welcome lenge,” he said.
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Republican Ed Ginder, of Elkton, is running for the Cecil County Council’s second district seat.