Frederick Zoning Board of Appeals member Philip Dacey has joined the expanding list of candidates vying for a spot on Frederick’s Board of Aldermen.
Dacey, 34, a Republican, said he grew up in Frederick, graduating from Gov. Thomas Johnson High School in 1996. He is currently director of external affairs at the Motor Vehicle Administration, and is formerly a lawyer.
He said his primary reason for running for the board was concern over the city’s growth, and making sure that the city grows responsibly.
“I want to see the right kind of growth when it comes to Frederick,” he said. “I see the future of Frederick as not residential tract housing. I want to see Frederick as not just a bedroom community for Baltimore and Washington. We need to bring jobs so people don’t need to commute.”
Dacey said the city needs to have a plan for the growth, and that the current Board of Aldermen seems to be operating without that plan.
“That’s really something that needs to be addressed,” he said. “They’re annexing property without necessarily a larger plan of how to incorporate those annexed areas.”
Dacey is a member of the Frederick County Ethics Commission and the Frederick City Board of Zoning Appeals, a position he has resigned. He said he’s still an active member of the zoning board until a replacement is appointed. The appeals board is a five-member board that has the power to hear and determine appeals from refusal of building permits or land use, or if an error in zoning ordinances is claimed, according to the city’s website.
Dacey is also a member of the Criminal Justice Information Advisory Board, appointed by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). That board advises the state’s Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services, and the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, and monitors development, operation, and maintenance of the judicial system, and recommends procedures for using criminal history record information in the research, evaluation, and analysis of crime.
He said he was concerned about the perception of crime in certain areas of Frederick, like along Carroll Creek.
“I think the perception of crime in certain areas, in downtown like Carroll Creek is really hurting the development potential of Carroll Creek,” he said. “We need to deploy strategies to tackle that type of crime. My wife works one block away on Patrick Street — she absolutely would not go down there at night by herself. ... Business and development and growth is certainly hindered by that type of perception.”
Dacey lives in Frederick with his wife, Alicia, and their two children, Kira and Harper.
The current five-member board of aldermen is composed of all first-term members, including Shelley Aloi (R), Carol Krimm (D), Michael O’Connor (D), Kelly Russell (D) and Karen Young (D).
In addition to Dacey, Josh Bokee (D), Daniel D. Cowell (R), Philip Dacey (R), Hayden Duke (R), Jill M. King (R), Donna Kuzemchak (D), Jack Lynch (D), O’Connor, Russell and Derek Shackelford (D) have filed to run for four-year terms on the board. The position pays $25,000 per year.
The top five Democrat and Republican candidates for the board’s Sept. 10 primary election move on to the Nov. 5 general election along with any independent or third-party candidates.
No unaffiliated candidates had filed for the board by the May 1 deadline, according to the city election board’s website. Aldermanic candidates run at-large in the general election with the top five vote-getters winning the seats.
Each party also selects a mayoral candidate in the primary.
Incumbent Mayor Randy McClement (R), as well as Young and Del. Galen Clagett (D-Dist. 3A), and unaffiliated former Mayor Jennifer Dougherty have filed to run for the $90,000-a-year job.
Several other current and former politicians also have been mentioned as possible mayoral candidates, including Aloi and Frederick County Commissioner Billy Shreve (R).
Dougherty was the only unaffiliated candidate to file for mayor by the May 1 deadline, according to the city’s election web site.
Candidates who are registered Republicans or Democrats have until July 2 to file for mayor or alderman. Third-party candidates must be nominated by Aug. 5.