BOWIE – Karl H. Stehmer, a legislative affairs director for NASA, has filed to run in this November’s election to fill the District 1 seat currently held by Councilmember James Marcos. After 32 years of living in the city and engaging himself in the community, Stehmer said he likes where the city is at and […]
BOWIE – Karl H. Stehmer, a legislative affairs director for NASA, has filed to run in this November’s election to fill the District 1 seat currently held by Councilmember James Marcos.
After 32 years of living in the city and engaging himself in the community, Stehmer said he likes where the city is at and he wants to help it continue to move forward.
“I support what council is doing, the condition the city is in and I’d like to put my 32 years of engaging this community to work and continue keeping the city of Bowie coming along and raising it to the next level,” he said.
Stehmer’s platform is to “keep a good thing going” and take the city to new heights.
“I like the financial condition of the city, the triple A bond rating—it’s one of the only two cities in the state of Maryland that has that—all the bills have been paid, the taxes have not been raised in six years and services have been provided,” he said. “I’d like to work with the city council to continue that good record and even improve that already good level.”
Concerning District 1, Stehmer thinks there are a few areas that need extra help, one being Historic Old Bowie.
“It’s been a little bit economically pushed off to the side because most development is taking place in other parts of Bowie and in some extent, the reflective nature of Bowie has its own rewards but there are some difficulties there—we had two recent incidents of shootings—there’s tension there,” he said.
Stehmer supports smart development and wants to work with the Prince George’s County Council to get the zoning and planning authority for the city.
“We have to work with them (the county council) to get our voices heard but it’s important to do that and to keep good relationships with the county,” he said. “We have a good relationship with Todd Turner and definitely with the county executive so that the voice of the city is heard on zoning and planning issues.”
Stehmer said his experience working in legislative affairs for the federal government will help him as a city legislator.
“I know the process very well,” he said. “I know who we have to talk to in order to get your voice heard on behalf of your district and bring all of that 33 years of being here, being in the community, being engaged, helping the city advisory committee, I can bring that and I think I would give the voters of District 1 a really good return on their votes if they choose to vote for me.”
Stehmer, 64, said there are five reasons why people should vote for him.
“One, I can do a better job, I think, than anyone else currently running. Two, I know the city inside and out for 33 years. Three, I know how government works. Four, people listen to me and five, I’m a darn good listener to what the people of District 1 need and what they would want,” he said.
Stehmer said he thinks transparency in city government is “important.”
“People need to know how the government is working and what their elected officials are doing and be able to be aware of the discussions about the issues and how they’re being addressed,” he said. “The definition of transparency can sometimes change from one individual to another. What is transparent to one, somebody else may think it’s not. You might not ever get full agreement.”
Stehmer thinks the city is being transparent because the council meetings are open to the public and broadcast on television.
“I don’t think there’s anything said there that someone couldn’t find out by paying attention,” Stehmer said. “So I’m not aware that there are any issues with transparency.”