My name is Bob Gatto and I am pleased to introduce myself and announce my candidacy for Garrett County Commissioner from District III. I live in Hutton, Maryland with my wife Darlene and our six great pets. Together we have four children and six grandchildren. I’m originally from Aurora, W.Va.
I graduated from Preston County in 1980. Since graduation, I have worked primarily in the construction maintenance field as an electrician. I’ve been a resident of Garrett County for 15 years. I’m employed as an electrician and general foreman by Heilig’s Plumbing, Heating and Electrical LLC. I help in overseeing all aspects of the company. I hold electrical and plumbing licenses in both Maryland and West Virginia. I’m a member of Crellin Assembly of God Church and serve on the board of trustees there. When I’m not working, I enjoy farming, gardening, sports, etc. … anything that allows me to be outdoors. I love the four seasons in Garrett County. Fall is the best time for me; maybe because I appreciate it more knowing that winter is close by.
The two questions I have been asked most often since deciding to run for commissioner have been: “Are you serious?” and “Why are you doing this (to yourself)?” The answer to the first question is “Yes, I am very serious.” and the best answer to the second question would be, “To make a difference.” The only way I know to make a difference is to get involved. I can’t stand by, point fingers or complain and not do anything about it. All that does is create stress and further divide the county — even worse, things remain the same.
I believe the majority of the candidates on the local level share a lot of the same qualities as myself such as background, education, experience and the sincere desire to help make things better, but I feel that what makes me different and is that I am a leader. Not a pusher, but a leader by example, a listener, using my character traits, my past experiences and the resources around me (especially people) to educate myself and make a positive difference.
It seems that right now we are reacting to a lot of issues facing the county. Decisions have already been made on many of these issues. The results of these decisions are leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths. Arguments and discussion continue because decisions were made without their involvement or against their wishes with little or no explanation. Hopefully, the facts are there to support the decisions, but why not approach it differently? Let the people get involved before the decisions are made, listen to them and show them respect. There are great people in this county that for the most part are feeling ignored or feel as if they cannot make a difference ... and that is wrong. Our officials are elected to serve the people and to be their voice.
If I’m elected I will be proactive in my approach to helping the county. I will gather information, ask questions, share information and get input before making decisions. The decisions I make will be what is best for all and then I will stand by those decisions; holding myself and those that we’ve entered into agreement with accountable. I will make every effort to be sure that the laws and regulations are followed and enforced for both our benefit and our children’s benefit.
I know without a doubt that I can serve well as county commissioner. I plan to get involved in all aspects of our county and its government. I look forward to working with county employees in our schools, our roads department, our courthouse and all other county agencies. I want to be a part of those areas not as someone relying solely on department heads. That is the only way I can learn. I wouldn’t be there to intimidate, but there to help, learn, share and listen. I enjoy working … it hasn’t hurt me yet.
In government, I’ve always been on the outside looking in. I want to take a look from the inside out. How else can anyone truly know how the decisions being made are going to affect the people or the services? My involvement will not stop with the county personnel. I also plan to remain very accessible to the general public; they are the ones I will serve.
I’m definitely new at politics. My perspective may be different than most politicians (I hope). I can only be myself; that’s the only way I can be. That is why God created us; to be ourselves and ultimately to make a difference for Him.
I thank you for this opportunity. I need and ask for your support both now and after I am elected. I encourage you to get out and vote. The last day to register is Aug. 24. Hold those who are making the decisions that affect your life, your children’s future and your county accountable. Your vote does make a difference. Let’s make Garrett County a county we are all proud to be a part of.
Cast your vote for Bob Gatto County Commissioner. To offer your support, contact Bob at 301-334-8383, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail contributions to Friends to Elect Bob Gatto, 1355 Hutton Road Oakland, MD 21550.