Letter to the Editor: Counties need thoughtful leadership
Seventeen years ago, I moved to Shenandoah County hoping it would be a great place to live. My decision was a good one, but I have learned that counties need thoughtful leadership to meet changing needs. Steve Baker has a record of proven leadership and decision making that works here.
I met Steve when we were both engaged as volunteers to help revise the Shenandoah County Comprehensive Plan. Approved in 2005, that plan presented a vision of our county carefully managing its growth while remaining primarily rural and agricultural. Steve went on to be elected supervisor of District 2 and, fortunately for Shenandoah County, is running for reelection. Key developments during Steve’s tenure in office include:
• Careful management of tax revenue (a lower property tax rate than all of our neighbors except Frederick County, which is only one penny less).
• Wise capital investment including: partnership in a regional jail, two-for-one success in constructing a new courthouse and renovating the old one, profitably rehabilitating the old Edinburg school to meet special education needs, careful examination of all school expenditures. Even with these needed projects, Shenandoah County has the lowest debt per capita among the surrounding jurisdictions.
• Updating zoning and subdivision rules to preserve agriculture while providing property owners’ flexibility in the disposition of their land.
Steve Baker makes his living in agriculture and knows that healthy agriculture preserves the character of our county and sustains tourism. Steve is energetic and approachable and willing to listen to everyone’s concerns. He has made multiple on-site visits to county schools and supports prudent expenditures for public schools because he knows how important our education system is to economic success.
Claims that our citizens are overtaxed and that our current leadership does not listen have been made. But the facts prove otherwise. Go to any Board of Supervisors meeting and meet with Steve, or simply call him. Learn about the issues facing our county. Ask the candidates about their positions. Consider the successes in our county during the last 10 years. Learn about the issues and vote.
John Adamson, Strasburg