In­fras­truc­ture, growth top fo­rum dis­cus­sion

Record Observer - - FRONT PAGE - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — More than 30 cit­i­zens turned out for the Centreville Town Coun­cil fo­rum, spon­sored by Queen Anne’s County League of Women Vot­ers, Tues­day, March 21 in the meet­ing room at the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion. They asked how each can­di­date would bring tourists to the town, what they would do to at­tract busi­nesses and young folks, ex­pressed in­fras­truc­ture con­cerns and shared bud­get pri­or­i­ties.

In­cum­bent Coun­cil­man Ge­orge “Smokey” Sigler

and chal­lenger Jeff Mor­gan an­swered au­di­ence ques­tions and had the op­por­tu­nity to talk about their plat­forms.

The fo­rum be­gan with each can­di­date an­swer pre­pared ques­tions from the League of Women Vot­ers that brushed what is­sues were im­por­tant to each, how to grow the commercial vi­a­bil­ity of the town, ex­pla­na­tions on whether tax dif­fer­en­tials were im­por­tant and the over­all town vi­sion down the road.

League of Women Vot­ers Pres­i­dent Bar­bara Sharkey mod­er­ated the event.

De­cided by a coin toss, Mor­gan in­tro­duced him­self first and said he en­tered the race to give vot­ers an­other op­tion and a chance for change as pre­vi­ous elec­tions were can­celed due to only one can­di­date run­ning.

Sigler be­gan by speak­ing about sewer prob­lems in the North Brook community and sug­gested a work group is needed to study how to solve the prob­lem. He talked about pub­lic is­suance of debt through the town or a state en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vice to re­place the fail­ing sewer sys­tem.

Both can­di­dates agreed in­fras­truc­ture is im­por­tant to the town’s cur­rent and fu­ture growth. Mor­gan said projects that take longer than con­tracted should be fined and in­cen­tives should be put in place for early project com­ple­tions.

Re­gard­ing Centreville tourism, Sigler spoke about the var­i­ous Main Street Pro­grams that have been cre­ated over the years that draw large crowds, such as the an­nual Christ­mas Pa­rade and a Farm to Din­ner event. Mor­gan sug­gested push­ing the his­toric as­pect of the town.

To bring young people back to the area, Mor­gan said look­ing at building prices and draw­ing more busi­nesses to the town would pro­vide more work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. Sigler said with the county’s push to bring a fiber op­tic net­work to the area, ex­pand­ing WiFi ca­pa­bil­i­ties, the tech­nol­ogy gen­er­a­tion might be more in­clined to stay or move to town.

Both Mor­gan and Sigler high­lighted the im­por­tance of at­tract­ing new busi­nesses. Sigler de­scribed his ef­forts in bring­ing in prospec­tive busi­nesses and how through the Centreville Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Author­ity, cre­ated while he was on the coun­cil, a plan is in place for smart growth.

Mor­gan said bring­ing in more din­ing op­tions as well as pos­si­bly cre­at­ing a shop­ping dis­trict with bou­tique shops, ref­er­enc­ing down­town An­napo­lis, more people might be at­tracted to the area. He said grow­ing the tax base was im­por­tant and that the town buy­ing prop­er­ties within its lim­its takes away from that base.

The Centreville coun­cil elec­tion will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Mon­day, April 3, at the Good­will Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Centreville res­i­dents lis­ten to in­cum­bent Coun­cil­man Ge­orge “Smokey” Sigler and chal­lenger Jeff Mor­gan speak about is­sues dur­ing a fo­rum on Tues­day, March 21, hosted by the League of Women Vot­ers of Queen Anne’s County.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.