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BCC PAC

Baltimore County Community Political Action Committee


“TAKING BACK OUR COUNTY”
J. Carroll Holzer, Chairman
BCC PAC • 508 Fairmont Avenue • Towson, MD 21286
410-825-6961

TOWSON, July 29 – The Baltimore County Community Political Action Committee


(BCCPAC), which seeks a real voice for county citizens in development issues, announced its
endorsements of county council candidates in six districts.

The PAC was formed out of concern that developers have for too long had inordinate influence
over the drafting and adoption of zoning and development laws that shunt citizens aside when it
comes to county approval of developments.

“With incumbents failing to seek re-election in four of the seven districts, three incumbents and
33 aspirants are running,” said committee chairman J. Carroll Holzer, who has closely watched
the Baltimore County development scene for many years as an attorney for citizens and
community associations opposing developers. “Many are excellent candidates and we have had
the privilege of interviewing many of them. We believe we have selected candidates who agree
with us on major issues of importance to our members and to community associations throughout
the county. Should our endorsees be elected, we hope to work with them over the next four years
to bring balance to a development process long dominated by developers.”

The BCCPAC endorsed in all districts but the Seventh. In the First, Fifth and Sixth Districts, the
committee endorsed in both the Republican and the Democratic primaries. The BCCPAC plans
to make endorsements in the general election.

The PAC is focused largely but not exclusively on five major issues:
 Reforming the county development review process to give citizens a meaningful voice.
 Giving the People’s Counsel a role in the development process.
 Eliminating a major loophole that allows residential development where schools are
overcrowded.
 Updating the county’s method for deciding whether a traffic intersection is failing and
giving the responsibility to a professional traffic engineer.
 Promoting agricultural preservation and urban open space.

The following candidates won the endorsement of the BCCPAC:

FIRST DISTRICT

Rebecca P. Dongarra (Democrat) Ms. Dongarra is a new face on the political scene but not new
to the district and its issues. A former property manager for a real estate trust, the mother
of three children and, with her husband Paul, the owner of a catering firm for 17 years,
Ms. Dongarra has not been afraid to take on developers. She seeks fair play in the
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development process, responsible development where transit services are available and a
change in Baltimore county policies that permit residential development where schools
are overcrowded.

Steve Whisler (Republican) Mr. Whisler is the only Republican running for the district council
seat. He has paid his dues as a community association official and president of the
Coalition for the Preservation of Southwest Baltimore County, representing
neighborhoods and citizens in battles with developers. A former Navy linguist and
pension administrator, he has been active in trying to bring balance to the Planned Unit
Development process, which turned into a convenient vehicle for developers to
circumvent zoning and land use requirements. He advocates changing the county
Development Review process, which is used to approve major non-residential projects
without allowing community input and supports granting the people’s counsel expanded
authority.

SECOND DISTRICT

Alan P. Zukerberg (Democrat). Mr. Zukerberg has been a thorn in the side of county
officialdom for years, advocating for the citizens in land use and development projects
and seeking a balanced approval process that is not weighted toward developers. A
retired attorney, he has long criticized the county Development Review process, which
approves major commercial developments without allowing citizen input and would work
to give the citizens a voice in the process.

THIRD DISTRICT

George H. Harman (Republican) An environmental consultant and retired state official, Mr.
Harman has a long record of community activism including service as an officer and
president of the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Coordinating Council. He is an
advocate for giving communities stronger involvement in development issues. As a
council member, he would promote agricultural preservation, require that proposed
quadrennial zoning changes in the Third District have minimal impact on neighboring
properties, and require that adequate schools, roads, water and sewer service be in place
before approval of development projects.

FOURTH DISTRICT

Kenneth N. Oliver (Democrat) Completing his eighth year on the council, Mr. Oliver has been
an advocate for community associations in his district and for redevelopment of
distressed areas. He spearheaded a new community center on Liberty Road, construction
of Windsor Middle School to relieve overcrowding, opening the Senior Center in
Woodlawn, expansion of the Woodlawn Library and relocation of government offices to
an abandoned anchor building in a Liberty Road shopping center. Currently, he has the
lead role in an effort to pull together the Liberty Road Business Association, property
owners and county agencies to transform 50 acres of aged commercial and apartment
uses on Liberty Road into a Randallstown Town Center with new public spaces and
upscale restaurants and retail uses. A professional marketing firm is now studying the
market potential of the project.

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FIFTH DISTRICT

Mike Ertel (Democrat) Mr. Ertel is a Towson resident, a commercial insurance broker and past
president and officer of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations who
wants a say for county residents in the development process. He believes in working with
developers to “make good projects happen.” He wants to stabilize changing areas of the
district and attract new young residents with families – but is concerned that that cannot
happen until the county solves the school overcrowding problem.

David Marks (Republican) Mr. Marks is a former Maryland Department of Transportation


official who was elected president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association nine times.
He advocates protection of communities when developments might impact them
negatively and points to his efforts that helped block a condominium project near
Honeygo Park. He advocates a “balanced approach on zoning” and economic
development to revive vacant shopping centers.

SIXTH DISTRICT

Stephen L. Verch (Democrat) A long-time community activist, Mr. Verch is an attorney and
Baltimore County employee who once served as the county’s liaison to the General
Assembly. He has been active in the effort to clean up Back River. He advocates giving
citizens greater access to the development process by having development hearings at or
near the development site and providing county software to community associations so
they could track development issues on-line. He also wants to expand the role of people’s
counsel and is critical of the county’s Development Review process, which excludes
community members from a formal role, and the Planned Unit Development (PUD)
process which gives developers a way around zoning regulations.

Ryan Nawrocki (Republican) Mr. Nawrocki, a spokesman for LifeBridge Health and a former
information officer at BWI airport, graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in St.
Mary’s City in 2006 with four majors – political science, public policy, economics and
sociology. He is a member of the Perry Hall Improvement Association, the Maryland
Farm Bureau and Ravens Roost # 52. He supports protecting the district’s waterfront
from environmental degradation. He is an advocate for older communities and plans to
sponsor a resolution that would update the 20-year-old community plans for Eastern
Baltimore County.

For additional information, contact:


J. Carroll Holzer, Esq., chairman BCCPAC
410-825-6961

Allen Robertson, Secretary BCCPAC


410-335-2293.