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Schneckenburger Files for Cecil County Council in Dist. 3; Past Foe of ’3 Amigos’ Pledges GOP Loyalty, Job Creation in ’14 Campaign

January 7, 2014
By Nancy Schwerzler

Dan Schneckenburger, an engineer and past member of numerous county advisory panels and business groups, filed his candidacy on 1/6/13 for the Cecil County Council seat now held by Michael Dunn (R-3).

In the recent past, Schneckenburger, a Republican, was highly critical of Dunn and his fellow members of the old “Three Amigos” majority of the county’s Board of Commissioners—a faction that also included current Council member Diana Broomell (R-4) and former Commissioner James Mullin (R-1).

In December, 2011, the Three Amigos refused to re-appoint Schneckenburger as a volunteer member of the Susquehanna Workforce Network board—shortly after he wrote an op-ed column for the Wilmington News-Journal that criticized the Amigos’ majority, calling the group “quite possibly the worst administration in the history of Cecil County.” He criticized the group’s record on “crony” appointees to various boards and commissions and the politically-tinged ouster of the county’s former director of economic development.

But in a statement announcing his candidacy this week, Schneckenburger never mentions Dunn’s name or the Amigos and seeks to bolster his credentials as a rock-ribbed conservative Republican:

“I strongly support the principles of the Republican Party – with less government, protection of personal property and second amendment rights, and more freedom for individuals and families. I am running to make sure that these principles are put into action.”

He also gets in digs at the “liberal lawmakers in Annapolis.” The General Assembly is controlled by Democrats.

Since the County Council usually doesn’t get into Constitutional issues, touting those GOP bonafides might be a bit over-reaching for a local contest. But the county currently has a slight GOP voter registration majority, and his first political battle will be to win the Republican Party nomination for the Council seat.

Dunn, also a Republican, is widely expected to run again for his seat. His financial disclosure forms to the county ethics panel show no other employment, apart from his $25,000 a year part-time job as a county Council member.

Dunn rarely if ever speaks at County Council worksessions and meetings. And some members of community panels on which he is supposed to represent the Council—such as the fire companies and the parks and recreation board– have complained that he rarely shows up at their meetings.

Without mentioning Dunn by name, Schneckenburger said, “This district has been under represented the last four years, and I promise to change that as your County Councilman.”

Schneckenburger, a graduate of the University of Delaware, is a chemical engineer who worked for many years at the former Basell research center in Elkton. He now works on energy efficient and clean technology projects in Maryland and Delaware.

In announcing his candidacy, Schneckenburger, who lives in Fair Hill, said he was looking “forward to earning the trust and support of the people in Cecil County.”

He said his top priorities were job creation, growing the local economy, and “increasing revenues from creating more employment opportunities in our growth corridor.”

[UPDATE: In an interview with Cecil Times, Schneckenburger said he was “satisfied” with current efforts by the county’s economic development department and is “very optimistic” that Cecil County is on the verge of a business investment boom. The availability of land and the county’s strategic location on the I-95 corridor give the area an advantage over other regions, he said.

[And the anticipated opening of the new county vocational/technical high school in 2015 will enhance job opportunities for local residents as well as provide the workforce training that new businesses are looking for. “I’m very bullish on the tech school,” he said. (His opponent, Dunn, repeatedly voted against the county’s acquisition of the Basell scientific building that is being renovated for the new school.)

[Asked if he considered himself a supporter of County Executive Moore, Schneckenburger said, “I would say I am.” But, he added, “she really didn’t make any changes” in her first year in office, and moving forward change will be needed. Areas that should be looked at include county departments and the capital improvement budget.

[Politically, Schneckenburger said, “I am a conservative at heart” and his initial focus is winning the Republican primary. He said he wanted to focus on his “vision” for the county—especially job creation—and will ask his opponent “where have you been” on such issues for the past four years.]

During his many years in the county, Schneckenburger has served as past president of the Cecil County Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the recent County Executive’s Strategic Planning Advisory Network.

He also served as vice chairman of the Charter Board in 2009-010, which drafted the Charter that was resoundingly adopted by voters in 2010 to change from the Commissioners form of government to the new system, with a County Council and County Executive. Cecil County recently completed its first year under the new Charter form of government.

Schneckenburger is the first candidate to file for the District 3 Council seat. Council seats in Districts 4 and 2 are also at stake in the 2014 elections and Republicans have filed in those contests. But so far, no Democrats have filed for Council seats. The state deadline for candidates to file is 2/25/14 and the primary election will be held 6/24/14.

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30 Responses to Schneckenburger Files for Cecil County Council in Dist. 3; Past Foe of ’3 Amigos’ Pledges GOP Loyalty, Job Creation in ’14 Campaign

  1. Joe C on January 8, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Dan,
    Welcome aboard the politic train. Hopefully, if elected you will stand up to Tari Moore’s liberal policies and not be a bobble head for her free spending agenda. You will also have a lot of work to do to make charter cheaper than commissioner government as you promised when you were conducting briefings around the county. Happy New Year!

    • Brian on January 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      I don’t remember any promises about Charter being cheaper – revenue neutral, yes, but not cheaper. What I do remember was that in Charter, council member salaries were lower than commissioner salaries (which made sense to me because they would have less responsibilities), and no benefits for the council or the executive (which didn’t make sense to me – especially for the executive).

      Anyway, it’s foolish to expect government to be cheaper. Prices go up every day – and government has no immunity against the cost of goods and services.

      • Joe C on January 13, 2014 at 8:45 pm

        There were comparisons by Friends of Charter between commissioner form of government and charter. As you would expect Charter was shown to be cheaper. Now we see that is not the case. I am talking about the size of the government not the general operating fund, that is a whole another mess.

    • Ron Lobos on January 14, 2014 at 8:10 am

      Joe, the idea is not to stand up to Tari, but to rather stand up for the people and be true to them as the conservative you say you are. Stand up for me and the people who will vote you into office.

      The challenge will not be for Dan to stand up to Tari, but rather to stand up to the County Departments (Schools, Libraries, Sheriffs Dept, County Roads, etc.) These departments have it down to a science on how to extract more and more money each year from the county taxpayers.

      I see many of our elected officials fall prey to these departments in return for their support in getting them re-elected. I feel that all elected officials should behave in such a manner as to base their decisions on the premise of being a one term politician. This alone will make a person honorable.

      • Joe C on January 17, 2014 at 6:57 am

        Agree with most of what you wrote but Tari is pandering to those who helped her get elected, therefore the councilors will have to stand up to her run away spending and not be bobbleheads.

        • Ron Lobos on January 18, 2014 at 9:54 am

          I fear that all who had the backing of the CCPS during election time will cave to them at budget time. I think that during budget time, we need to all show up and look at the requests for more money from all departments from a common sense point of view. I’m not sure that more money will make our children smarter and provide a better education then they already receive. We must try to remember that the money we spend is to be used to enhance our children’s education, not to grow the school administration.

    • Stupid Intolerant on January 14, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      Bobble head?Do you mean like Mike Dunn is for Dianna Broomell?

  2. Rick O'Shea on January 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Dan Schneckenburger’s resume’ is certainly impressive. The combination of education, professional experience, and community service has prepared him for this position. If Mike Dunn files for re-election, it will certainly provide the voters with a clear choice. The Smipkin/Non-Smipkin aspect will make it very interesting. The absence of former Senator Pipkin financed negative mailers and robo-calls should make this an issue oriented primary election.

    • Stupid Intolerant on January 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      Mike Dunn doesn’t show up for anything he doesn’t have to and that being council meetings and he has been known to miss those.Do you think he’ll show up for an election?

      • Joe C on January 17, 2014 at 6:44 am

        How many council meetings did he miss? I recall one when he was sick. big deal!

  3. Stupid Intolerant on January 10, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Run Dan run,You should have no problem in the primary against the doormat Dunn.I think he’ll be lucky to get six votes.

    • Joe C on January 12, 2014 at 8:20 am

      That is what Carl Roberts thought about Diana Broomell! Result: Wipeout!

      • Rick O'Shea on January 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm

        Result of electing Broomell: Disaster

      • Stupid Intolerant on January 14, 2014 at 6:57 pm

        Dianna Broomell ran on a hidden agenda and rode a republican tsunami and won by how many votes?Now she has been exposed.Retrospect has shown her to be a total downgrade from Carl Roberts and now we as a county have been paying for it ever since.

        • Joe C on January 17, 2014 at 6:26 am

          over 3000! The way most races have gone, it was a wipe out!

      • Truth on January 31, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        Joe, don’t forget one thing. A whole bunch of people would rather have voted for ANYONE other than Dr. Roberts. He is/was not a fan favorite as it were.

        • Joe C on February 1, 2014 at 11:10 am

          Please look at the money spent by Roberts versus Broomell and then see who the conservative is. Conservative with campaign funds means conservative with tax dollars.

  4. Ron Lobos on January 14, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Joe, that was no wipeout. She barely beat Carl. I am convinced that the only reason she won is because she had an (R) behind her name on election day. If only 200 more people really knew her and how she insists on being in control, having the last word and special interest minded, Carl would have been our commissioner and many of our current problems would not now exist– ie., Buddies for life, Artesian debacle that cost taxpayers 60 million dollars, a probable law suit by the Rt. 40 proposed methadone treatment clinic, unconstitutional down zoning of privately held property, and the list goes on and on.

    You need to take you blinders off, Joe, and see her for the way everyone else knows her to be. Just sayin’

    • Joe C on January 17, 2014 at 6:38 am

      Ron,
      You are drinking the CBL koolaid! Please check the election results and then reconsider what you wrote, it was not even close. To imply that she won by 200 votes is a Big lie. It was like 3000 votes, big numbers. Please do not loss creditability by putting false statements in this forum. The artesian deal did not cost the rate payers 60 million dollars, but the unnecesary
      spending of Hodge, Mccarthy and Bowlsby did cost the rate payers 20 million dollars by installing unneeded upgrades at Seneca Point. There is no lawsuit on the meth clinc and BFL are doing a great job.

      • Joe C on January 17, 2014 at 7:03 am

        Ron since you are a friend I saved you the trouble:

        Broomell 15788
        Roberts 13060

        ron that is 2728, sorry I was a little off, but a huge wipeout especially when you consider the huge money spent by carl and the very conservative amount spent by Diana. You can return the favor and look those figues up.

      • Ron Lobos on January 18, 2014 at 9:56 am

        The verdicts still out on the methadone clinic.

      • Mary Ann W on January 18, 2014 at 10:00 pm

        Ron, you may be thinking of the Primary that year where she beat Mike Dawson by a very small margin. In the November election, most Republicans won by fairly large margins in Cecil County.

        Joe, a lawsuit WAS filed against the county by CC Recovery (the drug treatment center that wanted to locate in the old Rose’s Diner.)… I haven’t heard if it’s been resolved.

        As for the contract with Artesian – not only did we lose the money they were going to pay the county for the sewer plants – in this year’s budget alone there’s more than $11M to pay for maintenance of a couple of them. We can thank Broomell, Dunn and Mullin for that.

        • Ron Lobos on January 20, 2014 at 7:02 am

          Thank you Mary, I stand corrected on those election results. However, it should be noted that in the primaries for County Executive, Broomell received 12% of the Republican vote which was only 6 % of the total vote. Also, thank you for bringing to light clarification on the CC Recovery and Artesian matters that are costing taxpayers an arm and a leg.

          • Joe C on January 21, 2014 at 7:50 pm

            6% of the total?? You do not figure percentages of all votes in a primary, only within the party. Also T. Moore did not get a majority of the votes, only a plurality. Another correction Ron, if as you say, Artesian is costing money, it is only to the rate payers not the Taxpayers because the sewer is run as an Enterprise Fund. Are you a rate payer?? Ron you are a good guy but please get the FACTS straight.

          • Ron Lobos on January 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm

            Joe, 6% of the total is still a fact. Count what you will. Bottom line, Tari got a majority in the general election. That’s all that really counts.

          • Joe C on January 25, 2014 at 8:26 pm

            Ron,
            I get my own information from many sources. Still waiting on the answers to my questions;How much did Carl Roberts spend per vote versus how much Diana Broomell spent? Are you a rate payer? Tari only got a plurality of the vote not a majority as you claim, please get the facts straight.

            Mary Ann W,
            Thank you for the case info. Do you really think that Artesian would have paid for all the maintenance and repairs out of the goodness of their hearts and not raised rates on the rate payers?? It would of cost the rate payers even more since utility companies in MD are insured a certain rate of return on investments generally in double digits. So selling to Artesian would have increased rates on the very businesses you want to draw to the growth corridor, therefore Diana Broomell helped business growth instead of hurting them as you seem to want.

        • Joe C on January 21, 2014 at 7:40 pm

          What is the case number? You forgot to mention that Artesian did buy the entire county water system and the county did get those funds, but God knows where there went to. Should have been put back into the enterprise fund. There is maintenance every year, can not blame Broomell and Dunn for that but you can Blame the Free Spending Three (Hodge, bolsbey and McCarthy) for spending 20 million more on Seneca point than was realistically needed.

          • Mary Ann W on January 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm

            Case number is 1:12-cv-03786.

            Sale of county water assets went to the enterprise fund.

            Yes, on-going maintenance of sewer assets is a necessity. When the contract with Artesian was terminated (3-2 vote, Broomell, Dunn and Mullin voting in favor), those sewer plants (and all deferred maintenance costs) came back to the county taxpayers.

          • Ron Lobos on January 24, 2014 at 12:23 pm

            Joe, I’m surprised that Councilwoman Broomell did not divulge this information to you. Probably because it is turning into a major embarassment for her.

    • SchoolMarm on January 26, 2014 at 8:04 am

      I note in earlier posts you lament the amount of money allocated, or the increase of funding, for schools (especially for schools), libraries, etc. It is true they take a major part of the available funds each year–but these departments provide important, critical services to the citizens. In this entry you point out the huge amount of money wasted by our local government officials via their decisions. Isn’t that the real budget problem?

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