Candidate Survey: Pete Lesher for Talbot County Council
TheDuckpin.com Candidate Survey
M.A. History, Columbia University; Academy for Excellence in Local Government, U of MD/Maryland Municipal League. Md Assoc of Counties
Easton Town Council (3 terms); Talbot County Council (1 term)
Social Media Accounts*
Please provide a link to a photograph you wish to have associated with your survey. Files for download will not be accepted.*
Why are you running for office?*
I seek to make Talbot County a better place to live, work and play by shaping policy on growth management, infrastructure - especially broadband internet, and public safety.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?*
The late John F. Ford, Easton Town Council President, was a nonpartisan model public servant who sought to give every person an opportunity to express their views while offering respect for all and seeking a fair outcome.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?*
Wye Island by Boyd Gibbons, provides a key analysis of land use policy in the context of Eastern Shore culture and offers insights that remain valuable and applicable to today.
What will be your top priority in office?*
Rural broadband availability to every address in Talbot County must remain our top priority.
What is the biggest issue facing your area?*
The lack of universal broadband availability is Talbot County's most urgent near-term issue, and the longer term issue is sprawl growth that threatens to change the county's rural character.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland?*
Since I am running for county office, I'll frame this as the biggest issues for Talbot County. 1.) broadband availability; 2.) sprawl growth; 3.) recruiting and retaining a county workforce, especially in law enforcement and emergency services
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)*
County government has no authority to legislate on life issues, except for policy over emergency services and other lifesaving and life-supporting county services. I have consistently supported budgets and policies such as upgraded equipment and more appealing retirement packages to recruit and retain our first responders.
What is your position on taxes and spending?*
Talbot is a property tax capped county, and I have been a careful steward of county tax funds. I support maintaining Talbot County's low piggyback income tax and property tax rates below those of other Maryland jurisdictions. I worry about the impact of prolonged inflation on county services in a tax-capped environment.
What is your position on gun rights?*
Talbot County should have no role in regulating firearms.
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana?*
Talbot County government should have no role in regulating marijuana. Talbot County should continue to support drug prevention and interdiction programs through our partners in the Sheriff's office, the health department, the school system, and the nonprofit community.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol?*
The county should have no role in maintaining or changing the system for the sale and distribution of alcohol
What is your position on land use, growth, and development?*
The county must have clear and strong growth management policies, including its Comprehensive Plan, that maintain open spaces and that encourage growth in those areas of the county where infrastructure - water and sewer, roads, parks, schools - already exist and have capacity. In those areas where the infrastructure exists, but which lack the capacity for growth, developers must bear the full cost of the added capacity, and not socialize those costs across the current tax base.
What is your position on crime and public safety?*
We are fortunate to have relatively low crime rates in Talbot County, and part of the solution to keeping it that way is continued robust support for public safety. My record shows consistent budgetary support for public safety, and I will continue.
What is your position on county tax caps?*
I support the concept of a predictable cap to increases, but I worry that Talbot County's cap, which lacks an inflation index, could cause an unacceptable loss in county services, especially emergency services, in an environment of prolonged inflation.
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?*