Today was the deadline for submitting candidate responses to the Frederick News Post questionnaire.
Am sharing the questions and my responses.
I don’t know, but assume they will be published in the Frederick News Post and online.
Like the League of Women Voters questionnaire earlier, the questionnaire is notable for the fact that any and all candidate responses are strictly limited and short. In this instance, limited to 100 words.
You can’t say much about a significant or complicated issue in just 100 words. You do the best you can to capture the most basic information that manages to convey your general perspective and/or perhaps a key point or two.
Below please find: 1) The email message from the Frederick News Post, and 2) The five questions and my short responses to them.
This information is not online yet, so you will have to wait for that to read the responses from other candidates (unless any of them also publish/share them individually).
Hello Mr. Hagen,
The paper is putting questionnaires to all of the candidates. Could you please take the time to fill out the following. Also, please let me know when a photographer could meet you to take a photo. My deadline for receiving your response would be May 11.
Thank you so much,
Kai John Hagen
60 years old.
Director of Envision Frederick County
Yes. Thirty-eight years, this August 18th, to Kirsten Waller, M.D.,M.P.H.
Two: Tor (26 years old) and Leif (21 years old)
How long have you lived in Frederick County?
List any relevant experience serving the community:
County Commissioner (2006-2010)
Planning Commission (2006-2010)
Affordable Housing Council (2006-2010)
Tourism Council (2006-2010)
Agricultural Business Council (2006-2010)
Solid Waste Advisory Council (2006-2010)
(and a number of other boards and commissioner to which I was the BOCC liaison)
Parks and Recreation Commission (2002-2010)
Citizens Zoning Review Committee (2002-2003)
Livable Frederick, Energy and Environment Working Group (2016-2018)
Solid Waste (“What’s Next”) Steering Committee (2015-2017)
Columnist (writing primarily about local issues): Frederick News-Post and Gazette (2003-2005)
Host of “Eye on our Community” (local talk radio about show discussing issues, events and more with community leaders) at WTHU 1450AM (2014-2017)
Director of Envision Frederick County (2011-present)
Co-founder: Smarter Growth Alliance for Frederick County
More about me: https://kaihagen.com/about/
[home phone deleted]
Candidate questions (approx. 100 words per question)
1. Why are you running for office?
To work for Frederick County’s Future: Vibrant. Affordable. Sustainable! As a lifelong fully-engaged citizen, community leader and county commissioner, I’ve been dedicated to the principle that informed public discourse and the active engagement in our civic life is essential to our well-being and prosperity. Local government is us, working together, in a highly ethical, fully transparent, well-managed, efficient and effective manner that reflects the concerns of everyone in our community. I am committed to excellent public education, genuine Smart Growth principles, affordable housing, forward-looking economic development, environmental protection and preserving our agricultural landscape and rural communities.
2. What’s the biggest issue facing Frederick County? How would you address it?
Frederick County is a wonderful place to live. We have much to celebrate…and significant problems and real threats to address. Growth and development affect everything. Rapidly growing communities face serious challenges, which can easily exacerbate many existing problems (school overcrowding, traffic congestion, sprawl, inadequate and too-expensive infrastructure, public health and safety issues). But if planned and managed properly, utilizing Smart Growth principles, we can convert these challenges into genuine opportunities, and maintain a thriving and resilient economy, protect our environment and rural communities, and enrich our quality of life. But that doesn’t and won’t happen by accident!
3. What changes, if any, would you propose if elected?
The world is changing…quickly. If we’re going to be and remain a thriving, healthy and equitable community, while facing rapid technological and economic changes, a growing, aging and more diverse population, local and global environmental threats, etc., we must anticipate and understand these challenges. Local government has to prepare and plan for them. We have to be informed, nimble and innovative. With limited time and resources, we can’t continue to act as if each problem exists in isolation. We must take a more integrated and systemic approach to problem-solving and planning. Our future prosperity depends on it.
4. What is one thing you would do differently from other challengers?
I hope a majority of the council have enough in common to agree about proper process, work well together and get things done for our community. I’d bring a lot of knowledge about Frederick County, county government and the issues we face to the council. But that knowledge and experience would be infused with enthusiasm and creativity, combined with a systemic approach to problem solving that gets at the root of recurring problems that have eluded effective solutions. Too often, our easy or quick “solutions” to individual issues create new problems. The council needs someone with that perspective and approach.
5. How do you plan on working with people with views different from your own?
As a council member, you’re one of seven, where it takes at least four finding agreement to get anything done. As a commissioner, I was one of only two Democrats, and yet I was on the winning side of most significant policy and budget votes. That happened because we didn’t treat local issues as partisan issues, and were committed to a responsible, thorough, information-based process to examine problems and solutions. We’ll have different perspectives, and disagreements about policies, but if most of the council members put the community and good process first, we’ll work together and get things done.