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Reinvest 10 -> Increase Local Control

Neighborhoods in Gaithersburg and Rockville I've served on community association boards multiple times during my life, and I remember how hard it was to  get permission for road safety improvements in our community, not to mention a few thousand dollars in funding.  Our control was very limited, and dealing with state and county government was often frustrating.

Since then, I've talked to many other neighborhood association leaders, and it turns out my experience is not unique. When central governments try to control every aspect of our lives, they often fail to consider the needs of our many neighborhoods and communities, which often differ significantly. The result is a one-size-fits-all approach to governing when a tailored, community-based approach is better.

To improve this problem, we need to increase local control -- beyond our counties and into our towns and neighborhoods.  - where our community leaders better understand the needs of their neighborhood and can make the most of even the smallest budget.

Through Reinvest 10, my strategy for reinvesting 10% of Maryland's budget into our highest priorities, I'll propose legislation to reinvest 1% of Maryland's budget into:

  • Fund Community Benefits Districts, so existing neighborhood and community associations can make the investments they need most in their neighborhood —  like pothole repair, playground equipment, better lighting or sidewalk upgrades.
  • Form Community-Based Planning and Zoning Boards — elected community-based boards that make decisions about roads, construction and other development on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.
  • Break up massive, unresponsive school districts — like MCPS — and create small community-based school districts with no more than a dozen schools, so change can happen more quickly, school board members can be held accountable, and school programs can reflect the needs of the community.
Using this approach, we can shift power away from a far-off government and toward our communities, where both problems and opportunities for improvement are best understood, and money is most wisely spent.

Authority: Friends of Donald "DP" Patti | Joseph Jurgena, Treasurer
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