Focus On the Counties | WYPR

Focus On the Counties

1822 Map of Maryland by H.C. Carey -The Rumsey Collection
Credit Creative Commons© 2000 by Cartography Associates

In this occasional series of conversations with the region's county executives, we spotlight the diverse and complex realities facing Marylanders living outside Baltimore and across the state.  Whether it's an issue of transportation or taxation, the environment or public health, community policing or criminal justice, we'll explore the concerns of Maryland residents and ask their county executives how those concerns are being addressed.

In the sixth and final installment of the Focus on the Counties series, Tom speaks with Kent County Administrator, Shelley Herman Heller. Kent County is one of nine counties in the state that do not have a county executive, instead administrators are appointed by a board of elected commissioners. Heller was appointed County Administrator in July 2015. She is a Kent County native, and was town administrator of her hometown, Betterton, MD, from 2011 -2014, and then the finance officer for the town before taking on the top job in the county. 

Also joining the conversation is Chris Cerino. He’s the mayor of Chestertown, the largest town in Kent County. As a part-time mayor, Cerino makes an annual salary of $7,500 a year. In his other day job, he is Vice President of the Sultana Education Foundation, a local nonprofit that focuses on the history and ecology of the Chesapeake Bay.

With just 20,000 residents, Kent is Maryland’s smallest county and the population is still declining. Heller and Cerino join to discuss the challenges of serving an aging and shrinking population. 

The Chestertown Riverfest takes place from Sept. 23-24 on the shore of the Chester River. The festival features food, crafts, water sports and other family activities. The festival is presented by Chestertown RiverArts, Washington College Center for Environment and Society and SANDBOX. 

Photo courtesy Frederick County Government

In another installment in our Focus on the Counties series, Tom is joined by Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. Ms. Gardner is 59 years old and a native of Northwestern Pennsylvania. She moved to Frederick County in the early 90s, where her husband’s family has resided for six generations. A mother of three adult children, she and her husband now live in the city of Frederick.

Ms. Gardner is a Democrat and Frederick County’s first County Executive.  She holds an M.B.A. from Xavier University. She served as Frederick County Commissioner and the President of Frederick County Commissioners before being elected County Executive in 2014.

According to census data released last year, Frederick County is the fifth fastest-growing county in the state of Maryland.  County Executive Jan Gardner explains how that growth has been affecting life - and governance - in Frederick County.

photo courtesy Harford County Government

We begin today with another installment in our Focus on the Counties series.  Over the past few weeks, Tom Hall has been joined in Studio A by the county executives of Baltimore, Howard, and Anne Arundel Counties. This morning Tom welcomes Harford County Executive Barry Glassman to the studio. Mr. Glassman is 54 years old and a native of Havre de Grace, Maryland.  He is a Republican, elected in 2014.

Glassman is a graduate of Washington College, in Chestertown.  Before entering politics, he worked as an insurance investigator and held positions with Baltimore Gas and Electric. He was a member of the Harford County Council in the 1990s, a State Delegate from 1999 to 2008 and a State Senator from 2008 to 2014.

Among the topics Tom takes up with the Harford County Executive are how he's been handling water quality issues, managing the Susquehanna watershed and Harford County's Chesapeake Bay shoreline, his efforts to foster both rural interests and suburban development, and Mr. Glassman's passion for fiscal balance and efficiency in government.

In our occasional series Focus on the Countieswe've been talking with Maryland county executives about how they're addressing the needs and concerns of the region's residents.  In today's program, Tom is joined in the studio by Anne Arundel County Executive Steven R. Schuh.

Schuh  was  sworn  in as Anne Arundel's 9th County Executive on December 1, 2014, after defeating incumbent Laura Neuman in the Republican primary and defeating former three-term Sheriff George Johnson in the General Election.

The 55-year-old Baltimore native and long-time Anne Arundel County resident holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from Dartmouth College. Schuh holds two Master's degrees – a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Education from Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University, respectively.  He is the father of two college-age children.

Before his election as County Executive, Schuh served two terms in the Maryland General Assembly as the Republican representative of District 31, which includes Pasadena, and parts of Glen Burnie and Brooklyn Park.

In another installment of Focus on the Counties, Tom speaks with Howard County executive Allan Kittleman

Kittleman was elected in 2014, before that he represented the 9th District in the Maryland Senate for 10 years. 

Over the last 15 years, Howard County’s population has grown by 26 percent. Kittleman discusses how the county is addressing transit and education concerns brought on by the influx of people. He also talks about new business and affordable housing initiatives being rolled out in Columbia. 

Kittleman, who is a Republican,  weighs in on the future of the Republican party, why he won't attend the Convention this time around, and his decision  not to endorse Donald Trump. 

Baltimore County Government

Kevin Kamenetz is the Baltimore County Executive. He joins Tom in the studio for the first installment of our new series, Focus on the Counties, in which we talk with county executives about the issues impacting the region's residents.

In today's program, Kamenetz, a member of the Democratic Party, talks about the Baltimore County budget, as well as development updates for Tradepoint Atlantic, the former Sparrow's Point. 

Baltimore County is about to usher in a new era of police transparency with body cameras. Kamenetz discusses that decision and Baltimore County's support of the city following the uprising.