Candidate Survey: David Marks for Baltimore County Council, District 5
TheDuckpin.com Candidate Survey
Office Sought *
District, if applicable *
Political Party *
Perry Hall High School, 1991; University of Maryland, College Park, 1995; The Johns Hopkins University, 1997.
Special educator and adjunct college instructor
Political Experience *
I've been a volunteer on political campaigns for three decades, serving on the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee from 1994 to 2002 and from 2006 to 2010.
Social Media Accounts *
Why are you running for office? *
Since 2010, I have been an effective, independent-minded member of the Baltimore County Council. I've been able to build coalitions to represent communities from Towson to Kingsville, securing funding for three new schools, eleven parks, and infrastructure projects across Baltimore County. At the same time, I've opposed bad development, voted to cut more spending than any other Councilmember in Baltimore County history, and passed reforms that have made government more open and accountable to the public. Moving forward, it's extremely important to have a proven, independent-minded leader on the County Council who will fight for more police, put public safety first, and oppose tax increases and extremist policies that undermine our communities.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why? *
Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan - the President of my youth - provided exceptional leadership to our nation and world. Locally, I became politically-active thanks to the tireless energy of Congressman Helen Delich Bentley, who excelled at constituent service and was never afraid to fight for her beliefs.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why? *
"Team of Rivals" shows Lincoln's genius at building consensus during challenging times.
What will be your top priority in office? *
Public safety is my top priority. I'm proud to be one of the top supporters on the Baltimore County Council of our police, firefighters and paramedics, and other safety professionals.
What is the biggest issue facing your area? *
Crime. Baltimore County's homicide rate has doubled over the past three years, and our vacancy rate among police officers now exceeds 150 positions. Despite a $10,000 signing bonus and other incentives, we are not attracting new employees to our police force, and we are having difficulty retaining established officers. I am also extremely concerned about the possible election of a new State's Attorney who seemingly wants to mimic the failed policies of other jurisdictions.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland? *
Crime is a regional problem. I'm also concerned about taxes and spending after Governor Hogan leaves office.
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide) *
I am pro-life and oppose assisted suicide, although neither issue will likely come before the County Council.
What is your position on taxes and spending? *
I've never voted for an income or property tax increase, and with the two other Republican Councilmembers, voted repeatedly over the past five years to reduce the property tax rate. I've supported more spending cuts than any other Baltimore County Councilmember. During prosperous times when there are surpluses, money should be directed toward one-time capital expenditures that do not balloon our payroll.
What is your position on gun rights? *
I support the Second Amendment.
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana? *
I oppose the legalization of marijuana.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol? *
My only comment is that I have generally opposed allowing big-box retailers to sell alcohol, a proposal that would likely hurt smaller businesses in Baltimore County.
What is your position on land use, growth, and development? *
I've been a strong supporter of blocking bad development, preferring to focus on renovating our older neighborhoods and downtown commercial districts. Downtown Towson is a real success story; where there were large vacant blocks and derelict stores in 2010, our policies have encouraged new housing, restaurants, and other businesses to move into the county seat. When we allow for unlimited growth, the increase in residents and businesses harms our quality of life, creates traffic and school overcrowding, and ultimately increases pressure for local government to raise taxes. I'm especially proud of my work to create 11 new parks in the Fifth District, to advance three new schools in the northeast, and to preserve the rural charm of communities such as Kingsville near the Harford County line, where I led the opposition to block a plan to dump wastewater into the Gunpowder River. Thanks to the "Neighborhood Commons" legislation I passed in 2012, there are more more than 4,000 acres of land zoned for open space in Baltimore County.
What is your position on crime and public safety? *
Public safety is my top priority. I'm a proud supporter of the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police and the union representing our firefighters and paramedics. Baltimore County's homicide rate has doubled over the past three years, and our vacancy rate among police officers now exceeds 150 positions. Despite a $10,000 signing bonus and other incentives, we are not attracting new employees to our police force, and we are having difficulty retaining established officers. I am also extremely concerned about the possible election of a new State's Attorney who seemingly wants to mimic the failed policies of other jurisdictions.
What is your position on county tax caps? *
I support the concept.
Was Joe Biden legitimately elected President of the United States in the November 2020 Election? *
Do you pledge to accept the results of your election? *