Peter Franchot, the State Comptroller was the guest speaker at the Dundalk Police Community Relations Council. In addition to Mr. Franchot, Captain Butch Wilson of the Dundalk Precinct, introduced the new Eastern Patrol Commander, Major Al Jones and Lt. Mike Sanfosti.
Captain Wilson spoke briefly on some crime issues impacting the Dundalk district before turning over the podium to the PCRC (Police Community Relations Council) President Jim O’Toole who introduced Mr. Franchot. Mr. O’Toole set forth the ground rules that this was not to be a political venue but would address those issues that fell under the direction of the comptroller.
Other notables in attendance were former Councilman Joe Bartfenfelder, political candidate Eric Washington, Fred Theiss, aide to Senator Norman Stone, and Graceland Park Community Association President Babe Grabowski.
Mr. Franchot reiterated his support for air conditioning in Baltimore County Public Schools and disputed the estimated $440 million price tag. In addition he voiced his opposition to the proposed 6% sales tax on gasoline and called it a – shot in the gut to the middle class. If passed he said Maryland would rank the fourth highest in the nation regarding the cost of gasoline.
“I’m not an ideologue, I just want to do what works,” he said.
He offered a four point program to address the state’s budget woes.
- Declare a two year time out on taxes and fees while holding the line on spending.
- Bring the budget under control through strong leadership.
- Build a solid working relationship within the business community.
- Give our young people the educational tools to succeed in the financial world, in order they can comprehend terms like compound interest.
Mr. Franchot spoke about the high unemployment among the local trades and felt it was paramount to hire local labor on many of state funded projects. Jim O’Toole echoed this point by pointing out observing many out of state tags at one particular sight.
Former Councilman Joe Bartenfelder commented on budget issues related to Baltimore County by pointing out that fiscal constraint was part of his tenure.
In closing Franchot said that he stresses a common sense approach while keeping the state and the U.S.A. his number one concern.