Frederick News Post
By Kelsi Loos
Kai Hagen is aiming to return to county government with a holistic approach to planning and policy.
Hagen, a Democrat who was elected elected to the Board of County Commissioners in 2006 but lost a 2010 campaign for reelection, formally kicked off his campaign Monday for an at-large seat on the County Council.
Hagen said he would approach issues systemically, adding that it is important not to think about policies in isolation. Good schools and parks, he said, are interconnected with issues like infrastructure and traffic.
“These things have to be woven together effectively,” he said.
Hagen was involved with the creation of Livable Frederick, a document that outlines the longterm development goals and vision for the county. Hagen, who was on the environmental workgroup that provided input for the plan, said he would like to see the vision described in Livable Frederick become policy in planning and land use maps.
“We have to tie that to the comprehensive plan as developed through the Livable Frederick process,” he said. “How we grow as we grow affects everything in our community.”
One reason he was running, he said, was to make sure that the at-large seat went to someone who supported growth initiatives like Livable Frederick. He noted that he worked on a lot of the same planning issues as the director of Envision Frederick County, a nonprofit advocacy and public policy group.
Hagen has long been involved with environmental causes and chaired a local Sierra Club chapter. He also plans to focus on affordable housing and other issues, he said.
He has lived in Frederick County since 1995.
When asked why he was running for an at-large seat instead of within his district, Hagen said that he had come to know the whole county well from running two county-wide campaigns and from serving as a commissioner.
The County Council consists of seven members, five elected based on geographic districts and two at-large. They serve four-year terms and currently earn $22,500 annually.
The 2018 primary election is on June 26, and the general election follows on Nov. 6.
The article was originally published here.