(11/7) The lone Democrat County Commissioner, Marty Karsteter Qually, kicked off his campaign for re-election as Adams County Commissioner at the home of Kristin Rice and John Wolfe on November 7.
Qually, who grew up in Cumberland Township, spoke to a group of 50 family members and friends explaining that he is seeking another four-year term to " keep the county moving forward and follow through" on his previous commitments. "It has been a great pleasure to serve the citizens of Adams County for the last three years," said Qually. "Our goals have been to be a more
responsive, open, and fiscally responsible county government." As well, Qually has consistently reached out to the citizens of Adams County to listen to their concerns – "no two problems are the same, but each voice is equally important," he said.
After listening to input from public meetings throughout the county, Qually has focused on providing solutions that have been instrumental in promoting responsible development for better jobs; reorganizing county offices to better serve its citizens; keeping taxes under control; and sustaining the county’s strong credit rating. "I am not satisfied with doing the same thing
over and over again, said Qually. "The last three years have been successful, so we need to move the bar higher." He says that some people think county officials often dictate what municipalities do. "We certainly don’t," Qually said.
The three-member board of commissioners has merged the county planning department, which has improved relationships. "We’ve had great communication with the municipalities, and continuing those partnerships are crucial to the success of Adams County," said Qually.
When asked about being the lone democrat on the board, Qually said, "While I am a Democrat and John Martin and Randy Phiel are both Republicans, we always strive to find agreement, and when disagreeing, make sure it is polite and professional. We really do want what’s best for the citizens of Adams County."
His campaign will focus on three main areas, helping municipalities realize their economic development goals, being accessible to the public so that residents have a voice in County government, and continuing to improve the County’s financial position Qually currently serves on the Adams County Board of Economic Development Corporation and is the Commissioner liaison to
the County Planning Commission. "Being connected to both planning and economic development puts me in a unique position to see development issues from multiple perspectives," said Qually. "With County involvement, projects are starting to move again. While we have no "mandate" to create a stronger economy, this Board has decided not to sit idly by as opportunities pass Adams County."
Before he began his first term as County Commissioner in 2012, Qually served as a County Auditor in 2011. With his background as Auditor, a major part of his focus as a Commissioner has been to promote projects that are both sustainable and fiscally responsible. With much of the County’s success in improving its Bond Rating from A1 to aaa3, the result of previous boards of
commissioners, Qually believes that there is still room for improvement. Specifically, he helped to create a Financial Review Team of county staff dedicated to finding ways to reduce expenses. Qually believes dedicated employees working for county government hold many of the answers. "Sometimes leadership isn’t just dictating good ideas to staff, but instead is taking the time to learn from their
The Primary election will be held May 19. Voters will select two candidates from each party to move onto the general election held on November 3. With only two members from each party moving forward, neither party can win all three seats that are open, a state requirement designed to ensure minority representation on county commissioner boards.
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