Standing Up and Standing Out at Political Forum

Standing Up and Standing Out at Political Forum

With MikeThe recent Columbia Democratic Club forum highlighted my unique experience and expertise as a business owner and consulting helping to improve government agency performance. I gave a few examples on how, as a Council member, I will work on achieving a strategic balance between the critical elements that make Howard County great – education, public safety, business, and development & infrastructure (which includes transportation).

The Howard County Times’ Amanda Yeager reported the following (in italics) in an article in the March 14, online edition. My comments are interspersed in bold.

Weinstein said his experience as a consultant set him apart when dealing with issues like the minimum wage and transportation. “I have worked with organizations, government in particular, on strategic issues of this nature, where interrelationships are critical,” he said. Weinstein suggested raising the minimum wage could create savings in government spending that could be used to invest in small business.

One example I provided about the relevant experience I bring is that my firm, Line of Sight assisted the Howard County government in assessing and developing a recommendation for creating a new Office of Transportation, as mandated by the Council.

“It’s really just a simple matter of math: right now people don’t make enough money to live in the county,” he said. “There’s a threshold where if people make more money, they can come off certain parts of public assistance… With the savings, we can incent small businesses to hire more people at that wage. There is a cycle that can be done.”

Here’s a graphic to back up my assertion. You can click on the graphic to see the entire presentation from the Howard County Association of Community Services.

Weinstein said working on affordable housing should accompany a higher minimum wage, so that county teachers, police and firefighters could live in the community where they work. He added that “there’s a lot of opportunity” for new development in the county to focus on creating communities “that reinforce areas where people can live and work in that vicinity.”

During my campaign I have knocked on many doors and talked with a variety of community organizations. A newly commissioned firefighter explained to me that it would be several years, if ever, that her salary would enable her to move to Howard County. We need to change that equation because I believe it isn’t acceptable that the people who serve us with their lives on the line and educate our children are not able to afford to live in our community. I will pursue programs that improve these public servants’ ability to live in the county through loans and grants; a program like this exists in neighboring Montgomery County. Consider the additional benefit of having our teachers, firefighters and rescue personnel, police and sheriffs of being more connected to the community they serve by being our neighbors as well.

I look forward to your support to help me bring my expertise and strategic perspective to the Howard County Council to serve District 1 and the County as a whole.

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