It’s her first try at elected office.
Frederick, Md (KM) A former Frederick County Budget Director is running for office. Regina Williams has decided to enter the race for County Executive in 2018, campaigning as a Republican. “You look at your life and your experiences, and I believe God has prepared me my entire life for this role,” Williams said during an interview with WFMD News.
Williams is the first candidate to announce for County Executive. Democrat Jan Gardner was elected to the position in 2014, the first to hold this job since Frederick County switched from a commissioners to a charter form of government.
Williams says she’s not a politician, and that’s an advantage. “I think I bring a sense of humility that you don’t see in the political arena. I think I bring that relatability to the taxpayers and the citizens of the county,” she said.
She addressed a couple of issues that will facing the next administration after the 2018 elections. One is funding for schools. During the final four years of county commissioner government, the board funded the school system at the maintenance of effort level, which is enough to maintain the current level of spending as the year before, but there’s no additional money for inflation or adding new programs.. Since Gardner was elected County Executive, she has funded the Board of Education more than maintenance of effort. Williams agrees with that. “Did it need to increase and did they need funding above maintenance of effort? Absolutely. I do believe that there were many years where it was funded at maintenance of effort, and that doesn’t keep up with the level of inflation,” she says.
But she thinks the county retaining ownership of the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation and Montevue Assisted Living Centers was a mistake. “I believe it’s a private sector function. The sad thing is that the $50-million that’s been lost in that over the years: you could have put all those indigent people in probably the nicest nursing home in the state for all the money that’s gone in there,” says Williams
In 2014, the former County Commissioners approved the sale of the two facilities to Aurora Holdings. After being elected County Executive, Jan Gardner worked to retain those two centers. An agreement was reached where the county would continue owning the two centers, but Aurora would operate them. Gardner has maintained that it would cost the county more money to sell those two facilities rather than retain them.
If she’s elected, Williams says her first task will be meeting with all division heads. “So much has changed under Charter,” she said. “And it’s getting an understanding of what has changed and where we are. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes and I want to understand.”
“My goal isn’t to come in and undo everything that this county executive has done. I think there are some good things being put in place. But is it the most efficient way of doling without taking a different approach?”
Williams will hold a kick-off to her campaign on Thursday, May 11th at the J Bar W Ranch at 10530 Green Valley Road in Union Bridge beginning at 3:00 PM.
By Kevin McManus