Cumberland Times-News

Local News

June 16, 2014

Jim Raley seeks re-election as Garrett County commissioner

— FINZEL — In announcing his candidacy for re-election for Garrett County Commissioner in District 2, Jim Raley (R) stated, “Four years ago I asked for your support and pledged to make government more transparent and work to keep our budget working for you without tax increases and I remain steadfast in that commitment.“  

A 50-year resident of Garrett County, Raley is a retired educator with over 31 years of service and was an elected member of the Garrett County Board of Education for 14 years. He kept his pledge to the voters and retired shortly after being elected County Commissioner in 2010 to devote full-time energy to the position. He has served 37 years with the Eastern Garrett County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department and the Garrett County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the park located in Finzel. During the first term in office, Raley was appointed to the Governor’s Safe Drilling Initiative Commission studying the issues surrounding Marcellus Shale and potential for gas development in Maryland.  

For the past four years, Raley has focused on the economy of Garrett County and has demanded that government operate in a more transparent manner. The recent reorganization of the Office of Community Planning and Development was brought to the board by Raley as a means of saving money and better organizing the offices within the areas of planning, land and economic development. “It is my goal for this move to facilitate more efficient and convenient services to the citizens of the county as we embark on a growth plan for the future.”

Several businesses have been assisted by execution of jobs agreements and offering funding incentives as a vehicle for encouraging job growth and business expansion. The new Beitzel headquarters and Strata facility are welcome news to the growth of business in Garrett County.

When one looks at the declining student enrollment in our schools it is imperative that we focus full-time attention to seeking to reverse this trend. Raley spearheaded a project to revitalize towns and communities in an effort to deliberately grow the population.  The relationship be-tween boards of education and county government has eroded across the state and Raley wants to see that effort a priority for restoring trust between the two boards in Garrett County.  

“We must be collaborative and get together to resolve our financial differences as our students and parents expect nothing less from elected officials,” stated Raley. “The tough fiscal times have put us at odds and that has to stop.”

Other areas of importance in economic opportunity involve the careful spending of limited funds. “We must be cautious in our approach to funding capital projects and a plan for the county to sever its operation of ASCI is a must,” stated Raley. “We have proposals to fund some $40 million of capital projects and that is simply not affordable in the current economic times.”  

Raley wants the potential privatization or sale of ASCI to be a priority effort on the part of economic development. Raley stated, “The sale would be an excellent source of revenues coming back to the citizens for more important priorities like our schools.”

Raley can be contacted at 301-707-1061, at susanral@ or Jim Raley’s Facebook page for additional information or to schedule appearances or a personal one-on-one visit.

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