Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Monique Holland - Candidate for At Large
I've invited all of our 8 council candidates to answer 4 interview questions. Today's candidate is At-Large challenger Monique Holland. Please feel free to use the comments section to ask her additional questions.
1. Who are you?
Monique L. Holland
14614 Farnham Lane
Laurel MD 20707
I am a Ward 2 resident who has resided in Laurel for 5 years. I am a 40 year old mother to 4 children and a wonderful and supportive husband. I am a Vice President with CW Capital in Washington DC whose primary responsibility includes evaluating the operations of commercial property owners and directing them on running efficient and viable operations. I grew up in Dundalk Maryland and between my grandparent’s tobacco farm in North Carolina. I am active on Laurel High School’s PTSA Executive Board and I am on the Concessions Committee selling snacks at games. I am on the Advisory Board of the Villages at Wellington Community Association and on the Social Committee. I personally enjoy gardening, watching old westerns, soccer, baseball and visiting with family and friends. My faith in GOD is the foundation of my life and directs my path.
2. Why do you want the job of Laurel Council member at this time?
I believe that I could become instrumental in helping Laurel maintain its small town feel while at the same time addressing the most important concerns of its residents. I will promise to always listen to the residents, respect their opinions and most importantly respond. I believe I can be effective in bringing the residents together and in being a team player with the Council to resolve the concerns you have that face this City. I will take the time to analyze, research and evaluate all decisions that are made for the good of the community. I see areas of improvement in the use of technology, recordkeeping and in nepotism. My view is that every great corporation looks for a variety of leaders who all bring unique talents and strengths to help the company stay viable and grow. We have to ensure that we are maximizing every dollar earned and being smart in the way we spend your tax dollars.
3. What are the 3 most important things you want to accomplish if elected?
Focus on proper management of development and land use issues. Allow public infrastructure to catch up with development This includes roads, services and response time for residents; adequately equipped schools that are magnets to learning; and smart economic growth for our city (to include the proper business mix along Main Street).
Public Safety – working to have a first rate fire/rescue, police and public works department. Retention of all our staff is key to our stability. The most pressing need is addressing the concerns of the police department, to include technology which could help improve efficiency and by approving collective bargaining and the DROP Program.
Work as a partner with our neighboring schools and recreational department. We need to lobby and work as a partner with the County to get more of our tax dollars for Laurel’s aging high school. We can no longer accept inadequate lighting, aging library and a football field that is ill-equipped for games forcing the school to utilize the fields of neighboring schools. We have first rate middle and elementary schools but then our high school lands on the list for failing to meet the yardstick for “No Child Left Behind”. Our best and brightest kids go on to other high schools to include Roosevelt in Greenbelt. Recreational facilities for our kids are inadequate and we lose at-risk kids because their parents cannot afford to pay for more expensive programs offered in neighboring counties or at Fairland. As a City, we have to be at the forefront of supporting these causes.
4. What is your vision for Laurel 10 years from today?
I envision a place that while growing has managed to maintain its small town feel. The stability of Main Street is key to this. I grew up in a small town and every time I visit I feel the pulse of the City by stopping past our Main Street, looking for those unique shops to visit. Not everyone wants to shop at enjoy entertainment at an indoor or strip mall. I envision a City that is walk able, bikable and where sporting events at the local high school are well attended like those of typical great schools. We need to support our principals and educators. As far as I am concerned the success of a high school is equally as important to the viability of a Main Street. We can’t send a message to our kids as they are about to embark upon the biggest journey of their lives that we do not care.