2022 Candidate Questionnaire: Tony Campbell For Baltimore County Council District 6
TOWSON- The Towson Patch spoke to Tony Campbell about his history, why he is running for office, and his positions on local issues.
Campbell is running against Michael "Mike" P. Ertel for Baltimore County Council District 6.
Below are Campbell's answers to our candidate questionnaire.
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
"In 2017, I was on a charter review commission for the Baltimore County Charter. I was sitting in that room with nine lawyers, and I was the only non-lawyer on that commission. I heard all the stories about who did what and who got what contract. Seeing the inner workings of the folks who really run Baltimore County made me realize that most residents don't have any idea the level of deals that are made."
"People talk about the national government, and maybe even state government being pay to play. Baltimore County is the same way. [I am] Trying to shine a light on some of that stuff, to look at the different parts of the local government and get transparency and accountability on what we do and the services we provide to people. That's why I'm running, to recover or re-establish what the proper role of local government is supposed to be."
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
"Accountability and transparency at BCPS is my single most important priority because I'm an educator. I have a fourth-grader in BCPS, she has eight more years in the system, and, you know, every year, I see the outcomes of Baltimore county public schools, and it's not good."
"There is a disconnect between what the county government says it does and what the schools say that they do. That disconnect comes because of elected officials not holding the school bureaucracy accountable. The ransomware attack that happened years ago, we still don't have a straight answer on how much money that cost us."
"When discussing discipline, bullying, curriculum, or any of the things parents are concerned about, people need a straight answer [from BCPS]. You know, 51% of our property tax dollars go over there. So, I think it's incumbent on us as county leaders to demand fiscal responsibility in the part of local services we spend the most money on. I want to hold them accountable and have more transparency, holding quarterly meetings between the bureaucracy and parents.
"Sometimes the school board only knows what's going on once the bureaucracy puts out a press release to everybody. What kind of governance can you do when even the elected school board members are not told what's going on?"
What sets you apart from your opponent?
"I think my opponent is a decent guy. I've met him several times, but what sets us apart is our willingness to take a stand on issues. To actually be vocal about what I agree with and don't agree with; I don't see that from my opponent.
"There are times that we need to stand our ground and call something like it is. There are some things in Towson right now that, you know, I've spoken up about, and, quite frankly, he hasn't. The possible rail lines on the road? The MTA is considering putting light rail on Loch Raven Boulevard and Goucher Boulevard. I don't think there need to be rail lines there."
Where do you work, and what is your job title?
"I've been a faculty member at Towson University in the Department of Political Science for 18 years."
Age and birthplace? Other family information you'd like to share?
"I am 56, I was born in Rochester, Pennsylvania, and I have two kids."
Please list the schools and colleges you attended, the degrees you attained, and when.
"I received my bachelor's from The University of Pittsburgh in 2003, my master's from Towson University in social science in 2007, a master's degree in divinity from Liberty University in 2010, and a doctorate of ministry from Liberty University in 2016."
Approximately how much money do you expect to spend on your campaign?
"Probably somewhere in the 60-80 thousand dollar range."
How long have you lived in Baltimore County District 6?
What's your favorite thing about Baltimore County District 6?
"The different communities, there's Towson and its challenges, for Towson, that's maybe overdevelopment, lack of green space. We could do a better job planning and dealing with all the different needs of that kind of urban-suburban area."
"Then you have kind of Parkville, Roseville, Overlea area that are older beltway communities. There's a lot of promise there, especially Harford Road and Bel Air road, there are many things that can be done, and there's a lot of potential there; If we deal with infrastructure and repurpose some of the Main Street corridor stuff."
"Folks have been in their houses for 30 or 40 years, so there's a lot of stability there. We could maybe do a better job repurposing some of that infrastructure."
What is the biggest problem in Baltimore County District 6?
"The biggest concern is crime. We're talking about home invasions and carjackings; those kinds of crimes have skyrocketed. People don't feel as safe as they used to. It's not so much of a policing issue; I think it's more that people don't feel as safe as they want in their communities."
"I think the second thing is if we're talking about parents of children: education, and public schools."
Patch has reached out to Campbell's opponent Mike Ertel, and hopes to post his interview later this week.