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I was invited to a forum along with other local candidates to the Water’s Edge by the Route 40 Business Association for the purpose of introducing myself to the public and telling my vision for Harford County. I’m running for County Council District C and in case you missed it, this was my presentation:

I have 30 plus years’ experience in business, government and nonprofits.

As a business executive and an environmentalist, I joined Governor Schwarzenegger's team to help create a cutting edge green economy, which resulted in the creation of a half-a-million green jobs. It was innovative, it was controversial, it was visionary and it worked.

In earlier years, I worked for several prestigious public relations/ marketing firms creating promotional campaigns for multi-million dollar corporations, such as Target, Merle Norman and my favorite the Tournament of Roses. I'd like to add Harford County to my list.

I also served as vice president for a 5,000 member employer organization, whose members employed over 2 million workers.

Lastly, I owned my own business. No business school could prepare me when the realization hit that it was up to me to meet payroll, nor that gut feeling I had as I signed away my life for loans and leasing agreements.

I want to nurture and grow small businesses in Harford County. They contribute and add to the character of the community.

Harford County is known for its scenic beauty, rural landscape and historic significance. I don’t want to see it become a haphazardly built, traffic congested nightmare like so many other places.

Saving this precious asset is a key to Harford County’s economic success that includes Route 40, which we must redevelop and revitalize, instead of creating more sprawl. We have to look at the big picture. Everything is connected. One of the reasons Clorox moved here is because the general manager liked the rural countryside.
Companies are making decisions on where to locate based, among other things, if the quality of life of a community meets future trends.

Pittsburgh, my hometown, is in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters. It was leaked that the secondary requirements they had --- undoubtedly influenced by millennials --- included a good bicycle system and hipster coffee shops.

Because of visionary elected officials, Pittsburgh over the years has developed a Heritage Bike Trail connecting the city. It may be what lands them a $5 billion project. In the meantime, it's worth noting that nationally, bicycle tourism brings in $71 billion a year and Pittsburgh is getting in on the action.

Harford County isn’t Pittsburgh, but we must be strategic on how we use one of our biggest assets, our quality of life. We must be visionary in our approach to our community's future. Over the years, I have worked with visionaries, I am a visionary and I would like to put all my experience and talent into preserving our quality of life while supporting our business community and creating jobs.

We need to ask ourselves, how do we want Harford County to look 20 years from now. That is where we begin.

Karen Kukurin
County Council District C

Authorization, Friends of Karen Kukurin, Treasurer Rita Scharmann

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