District 38B Profile: For Anderton, focus is on jobs

Carl Anderton’s “jaunt into politics,” as he called it, “just kind of happened.”

“I was raising my family. I’ve always been involved in different things. It felt natural that I would get involved in the community,” he said.

Now in his third year as mayor of Delmar, Md., the 41-year-old father of two previously served on the town council for six years.

Carl AndertonHe decided to run for Maryland delegate, opposing incumbent Norman Conway, D-38B, after being elected president of Maryland Municipal League and noticing what he called “a lack of representation in Annapolis.”

“I had nobody I could go to talk to about bills and ideas to expand job growth on the Eastern Shore,” he said.

He said he has asked Conway to meet with him, and the delegate agreed and said he’d check his schedule, but no meeting was ever planned.

“Once I became president of the Maryland Municipal League I got to travel the Shore and I got to see the relationship other mayors had with delegates. You could just see the areas that were growing,” he said.

He said he’s disappointed Conway “supported having road money taken away” and that, since 2007, there’s been an additional $9 billion in new taxes.

“They keep spending more than they are bringing in and that’s a recipe for disaster at this rate. I felt the need to run. I wanted to at least try to go to Annapolis and bring a level of thinking that starts here on the Eastern Shore,  that we live within our means when it comes to tax dollars. In Annapolis, it is all overreach,” he said.

He strongly opposed the proposed Poultry Fair Share Tax that would have cost Eastern Shore chicken farmers 5 cents for every biddy, or hen. The plan was to earmark proceeds for cover crops and bay clean-up, but Anderton said it would have deeply hurt farmers.

Concerned, he talked to one of the bill’s authors.

“After a conversation with him about how detrimental it was … at the end of the discussion he withdrew his bill, but there is no guarantee it won’t come back next year,” he said.

Married since he was 19, Anderton and his wife Sara, a registered nurse, are the parents of  Carl III, 18, who is studying to be a pastor, and Colin, 14, a freshman in high school.

During his lifetime he has had various jobs,  including digging graves, building homes and broadcasting on radio station 93.5 FM, The Beach, a job he characterized as “fun.”

He constructed homes for a start-up company and put new roofs on chicken houses, while maintaining an interest in politics.

If he’s elected, he said he will concentrate on the Salisbury-Fruitland-Delmar area “to get our economy growing.”

“When you get a job and you earn a paycheck and you’re able to do things now that you couldn’t do before, it changes your whole outlook on life,” he said.

During his campaign, he has knocked on 5,500 doors and said he overwhelmingly hears concerns about finances.

“The people I talk to feel the economy is struggling. People are afraid to spend money because they are afraid they won’t make more. It’s sad. I want to see that partnership with local municipalities we don’t have now.

“We should be reaching out to companies that are thriving and bring them here. It’s team work. We’ve lost our seat at the table in Annapolis. We’ve lost our voice. We don’t have that,” he said.

Anderton said Conway is known as one of the most powerful people in Annapolis, yet Wicomico is one of the poorest counties. “If I had the power he had, I’d be using it,” he said.

“There are two styles of governing — do what the governor says and the style where you do what the people who vote for you want,” he said.

When fliers were mailed in Salisbury depicting Conway behind bars, and wearing a burglar’s mask, Anderton said it disappointed him.

People thought it came from me. People questioned my character. We were both victims of that,” he said.

“I called the state party and, well, I’m probably not going to be on their Christmas card list. There is no room for this. We’re trying to do something really exciting and to bring representation to the Shore. That kind of thing weighs me down. I want to see fundamental changes here on the Eastern Shore,” he said.

Specifically, he said he would work to see the end of trailers that double as classrooms at schools.

“We’ve got to be smart with our dollars. We are not being smart with them in Annapolis. They just spend like there is no tomorrow, but there is a tomorrow and we have to be ready,” he said.

He’d also work for clean, safe streets in neighborhoods and oppose tax increases.

“We’re going to roll back as many taxes as we can. We need to put money back in people’s pockets and live within our means,” he said.

“We’ve been 28 years waiting to bring jobs here and lower taxes. I’d ask Mr. Conway, ‘Why do you say this and then do the opposite? Why?’ It’s absolutely proof in the pudding. Let’s have somebody represent us in Annapolis,” he said.

“Try it. Just try it. You might like it.”

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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