Cumberland citizens must answer the question, "will we move forward with a progressive vision to create more economic opportunity and transform our city, or will we falter at the hands of fear and loathing of change?"  This Administration has remained consistent that we are optimistic, we believe in the potential for Cumberland, and we will support investment in growth opportunities.

A message from the Mayor...

#BeBOLD

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The decision about whether to seek a third term has been on my mind for the past year and has been a personal and difficult one to make. While the rigors of the position are stressful and ceaseless, the results of decisions made at City Hall have lasting impacts on the City of Cumberland. My time in office has been marked by working to solve problems instead of kicking challenges down the road.

During my tenure, we have restored the city’s bottom line from years of deficits to consistent growth. The City has remained “in the black,” having ended the temptations of tax anticipation notes. I believe that the improvements made in the city budget must be sustained and tax rates be reduced as soon as possible, in coordination with tax base growth.

Economic Development has been a theme, with focus placed on job creation, business investment and tax base growth. Without tax base growth, residents will continue to be faced with higher tax rates or decreased services. Increasing the tax base is essential, given that Cumberland is a city of half its former population, but is still supporting double the infrastructure that we need. I believe that tax base growth through efforts like the Maryland Avenue Redevelopment project are necessary!

Focus has been placed on blight removal and neighborhood reinvestment with creation of programs such as Neighborhoods Matter. Eyesores have been removed by demolition or repurposing, such as the former East Side School and the city’s own former Parks and Recreation Warehouse.

The City paved more streets in my first term than in the previous decade. We continue paving around the city; from White Avenue and Oldtown Road to Washington Street, Piedmont Avenue and Henderson Avenue, we have reinvested with limited resources, without dramatically increasing city debt.

Public safety remains a concern as some have called for tax rate cuts and that would require service reductions. With a high volume of calls annually, I do not believe we are able to shoulder the demand of these services with further personnel reductions. Our best solution will be greater collaboration with Allegany County to get a better bang for the tax dollar of Cumberland citizens; we pay County taxes too!

Soon, I will encourage adjustment to the wages of the Mayor and City Council of Cumberland, to encourage candidates to seek the offices and more fairly compensate officials for their time. I will ask that the current wages, set in 1978 (before I was born), be amended to minimum wage. This change would not take effect until after the election and swearing-in of officials in 2019.

My family instilled in me a commitment to community. I consider serving in elected office as civic service, but I don’t believe that these positions of responsibility are to be taken lightly nor are incumbents entitled to retain them. I have worked tirelessly to fulfill my responsibilities and remain proud of what has been accomplished in Cumberland in these past few years.

Despite the challenges of the position and the need for more engagement from the silent majority, my love of Cumberland wins out; I will run for the position of Mayor in 2018 and conduct a campaign based upon accomplishments during my tenure. I will not make promises that I cannot keep. Expect the truth from my campaign, no matter how blunt it may be. I will continue to “Be Bold” in efforts to move the city forward. Get involved today by clicking the "Be Bold" tab at the top of the page.