Frederick County County Council
Frederick County is at a crossroads. We can choose to become Montgomery County-North or we can remain a viable community.
I am a proven leader. I am committed to a limited government approach to legislation. The expansion of county government needs to be slowed down. It is not a sustainable path.
I am a staunch advocate of public safety. I pledge to back our elected sheriff and the deputies under his command. We cannot afford to make the same legislative mistakes that lead to the spikes in crime rates like our neighbors to the south in Montgomery County.
Considering the partisan nature of politics these days, I promise to represent all members of my district regardless of their political affiliation
LET'S GET THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT OUT OF YOUR WALLET AND OFF YOUR BACKS!!!
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John was born and raised in the Hudson Valley region of New York State and permanently relocated to Maryland in 2000 while a member of the United States Army. He moved to Urbana in 2012 and then to Westview South in 2021.
John joined the Army in 1996 and served on active duty through 2002. John was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division in Vilseck, Germany. John was then assigned to Fort Detrick in 2000, where he was named Soldier of the Year in 2000.
After being honorably discharged from active service, John continued to serve his nation and state with the Maryland Army National Guard's 29th Military Police Company. While serving it the Guard, John was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. After completing this tour, John separated from military service in 2004.
John earned a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. John continued his education and earned a dual Juris Doctor and Master's of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore. All while serving as a police officer with the Montgomery County Department of Police.
John earned a promotion to the rank of Sergeant in 2018. He has served for over twenty years with that agency. John has been a patrol officer, field training officer, criminal investigator, motor officer, and shift supervisor. Currently, he is assigned to the Internal Affairs Division.
John passed the Maryland Bar Exam in 2017 and works as an associate attorney for Ashcraft and Gerel, LLP in their Worker's Compensation division. His litigation work brings necessary relief to injured workers.
John brings subject matter expertise in the area of public safety and looks forward to speaking to all voters on his plan to keep all Marylanders safe.
John is a current basketball and football referee in the Frederick, Montgomery, and Howard County areas. You can also find him playing trombone with either the Browningsville Cornet Band, Montgomery Village Community Band, The Market Street Big Band, or Hank Levy Legacy Band.
John attends mass at St. Joseph's-on-Carrolton-Manor Catholic Church in Adamstown, Maryland
Why I Decided to Run
After the 2021 legislative session, I felt called to action. Democratic legislators waged a full-scale war on police officers and individual taxpayers. Their legislative decisions were made behind the comfortable, impregnable walls of Zoom which shut out Maryland voter’s ability to truly voice their dissent over these actions. Unfortunately, the same was done here in Frederick County to some extent.
I argue a Zoom meeting does not meet the requirements of a public forum. Especially, when the persons in charge have total control of who speaks. Thankfully after two years, Winchester Hall is open to the public. I vow to not close Winchester Hall off to the people.
Legislation passed last session at the state level will not keep Frederick County residents safe. Our sheriff is doing phenomenal work but he needs our help to ensure that legislators do not get into the business of legislating policy. I wholeheartedly support our law enforcement officers across the state. Publicly supporting our law enforcement officers and ensuring they are properly funded and equipped are a guarantee to keep our streets safe!
Our local property taxes have risen every year under the Jan Gardner administration. This includes this year as well. I vow to pass legislation that will decrease our tax burden. I pledge to ensure that budget surpluses are returned to the tax payer and not squandered on pet projects.
I am committed to stop reckless spending. I plan to bring fiscal responsibility and accountability to the county. Permitting a county official to walk away with a nearly $1 million windfall after violating federal law is unconscionable! We have seen our county budget balloon to a point where it could explode.
I hope you will stand beside me as I take on this enormous responsibility.
John A. Distel
My Personal Observations
In 2021, I along with many of my co-workers, friends, and family watched all-out legislative war against working police officers in Maryland. There was nearly no true public participation outside the hand-picked legislative workgroup. There were no real public hearings on these matters. Running the legislature via Zoom, permitted little to no interaction or involvement with stakeholders. At the conclusion of last session, I knew I had to get involved in the fight to save Maryland. Some of those measures have made their way into Frederick County and are beginning to handcuff the Sheriff's Office.
Taxation and regulatory policies are driving away families, businesses, and retirees in alarming numbers. We need to better provide for our retirees and make living in Frederick County more affordable to retirees.
We all want our children to have an excellent education but what we are witnessing is a lack of accountability by administrators in the schools. Curriculum should be public knowledge so we know what our children are learning. I support publicizing FCPS curriculum for each class. If anything, to give the parents an opportunity to learn alongside their children and be of assistance.
Our county experienced the largest growth in the state over the past ten years. While growth is a goal, we must work to ensure that the growth does not outpace resources. We need to redirect growth away from high-density development.
I want to reverse course at Winchester Hall. We cannot continue to go full-steam ahead and overgrow this county. To that end, I will tirelessly work to keep our hard working farmers and property owners safe from the overreach of county government. Especially, when those property owners have demonstrated outstanding tewardship of their land.
I moved here from Montgomery County because of the natural beauty and blend of agricultural/commercial. I want to keep it that way.
Please explore the site to find out more about my candidacy.
Where I Stand
CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE
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As a police officer, I truly understand the need for all residents to feel safe and secure. Over the past ten years, Democratic legislation in the House of Delegates have made Maryland less safe. These measure were taken unilaterally and with nearly no bi-partisan support. Those policies are beginning to trickle down to our community and starting to handcuff our elected sheriff, Chuck Jenkins.
While I may work for a county police department, I will not subvert the charter or vote for the enactment of a county police department.
I fully support the mission of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office and the excellent deputies who keep our streets safe. I will ensure that the Sheriff's office is supported and fully-funded.
We are already seeing the blowback from legislative measures taken in Annapolis. Our sheriff's office is being handcuffed in Annapolis and we are seeing rising crime in Frederick County. No one wants that!
As a daily commuter to Montgomery County and points beyond, the trek from Frederick to Clarksburg can take as long as ninety minutes.
Widening I-270 is twenty years overdue. If the project were to be completed today, the region would still be fifteen years behind schedule. The fact that members of the Frederick County Council voted and lobbied against the expansion of I-270, demonstrates how out of touch with the day-to-day realities many Frederick County residents face.
The rapid expansion of Frederick County requires us to also look at our roads that are not covered by state or federal partners. The larger Frederick County becomes, the more work required to keep the county roads in good repair.
As a County Councilman, I will continue to work with the State Delegation and members of Congress to achieve these goals.
Infrastructure does not only mean roads. Schools will need to be built, electric will need to be delivered, and internet access will be needed, especially in the more rural parts of the county.
I will work on improving internet coverage areas to the county. Especially as areas such as Adamstown, Brunswick, and Jefferson continue to grow.
I will seek out public-private partnerships which limits the taxpayer's burden to pay these costs.
We have seen the reckless spending habits of Annapolis and they have made their way into Winchester Hall. Each of the past eight years, the County budget has increased. The County Budget has grown over $200 million dollars. This includes a 10% increase from FY 2022 to FY 2023. Add skyrocketing inflation to these costs and it is a recipe for disaster. These increases are unsustainable for tax payers.
My oath to the people means protecting their wallets from reckless spending measures without a sound fiscal plan and oversight to ensure tax dollars are not being waste.
Upon receipt of each county agency budget, I will review it line by line and look for places where cuts can be made. This will force department heads to justify their budgetary increases.
Taxation and Fiscal Responsibility
For the past eight years, we have seen our taxes increase in Frederick County. There has also been record levels of tax revenue intake due to the massive growth. Frederick County doesn't have a revenue problem, there is a spending problem in Frederick County.
I pledge to look for areas to trim the government budget in an effort to return money back to the taxpayers. I believe that individuals and businesses know more on their financial needs as opposed to the government.
Retirees are finding it much harder to afford to remain in Maryland upon retirement. We need to take better care of retirees in this state.
All retirees should be provided a larger credit of untaxable income to promote our retirees to stay in Maryland as opposed to the current trend of flight from the state. I plan to draft and enact legislation that protects retirees wallets. Why should grandparents/parents be forced to leave their children and grandchildren behind because they cannot afford to live in Maryland?
I look for solutions that will put more money back into your pocket and policies that spend your tax dollars wisely.
Thank you for your interest in John Distel. If you have a question, concern, or would simply like to get in touch, please see the information below.
Friends of John Distel
PO Box 411
Buckeystown, Maryland 21717