Q&A: District 4 Candidate Craig Muckle on the environment and development
Bowie City Council Candidate: Craig M. Muckle
Occupation: Public Relations/Communications Executive
Education: College Graduate, University of Dayton
Years lived in Bowie: 25
Current or previous elected office, if any: None to date
Which seat are you running for on the Bowie City Council? District 4
Endorsements from environmental leaders, if any: None thus far
What is your stance on accepting donations from developers? Have you received developer campaign donations for this or previous campaigns?
To date, I have not accepted contributions from developers nor did I during my first campaign in 2015. However, I would accept campaign contributions from a developer, but I would make it clear that my acceptance would not lead to any quid pro quo. If elected, I would evaluate any and all development projects solely on the overall benefit to the community to include appropriateness, sustainability, overall impact to our community and any other factors that need to be considered.
What are your plans, if any, to address concerns about overdevelopment in the Bowie area?
As a past leader of two local Chambers of Commerce, I am generally supportive of development, but we need to continue to be thoughtful with our approach. The retail and business landscape continues to evolve so redeveloping and/or repurposing existing structures and spaces may be our more important opportunity. Those considerations may and should include creating new green space, more recreational amenities (bike trails, for example) and more creative ways to make Bowie a more walkable community. We also need to continually be mindful of scale and appropriateness.
Do you believe climate change is real and if so, what climate change issues, if any, are you planning to tackle while on the Bowie City Council?
Climate change is certainly real. Flooding is an issue in low-lying areas so we should be investigating how we can reduce the amount of impervious surfaces in order to decrease runoff of dirt and other pollutants into the stormwater management system.
After reading the Bowie Climate Action Plan, how would you work to implement it if elected?
I noticed there did not appear to be any mandate for new structures to be built with LEED certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the world's most widely used green building rating system. It may be likely that LEED certification could be achieved for new or redeveloped commercial or recreation properties if most of the requirements on the Action Plan are met. But, I do believe there should be public awareness so residents know that sustainability is being mandated.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
If elected, how will you ensure that funds are allocated to the city’s environmental initiatives?
If we are not doing so already, the city should be including some sort of surcharge for any (re)development projects with those dollars being specifically designated to fulfill those initiatives.
With the rise of inflation, what are your long-term plans to reduce home energy costs?
Our residents are often approached by home improvement companies selling window and door replacements. I am not sure what percentage of residents are able to take advantage due to cost of these products. Maybe the city could offer financial assistance to help homeowners who may not be able to pay for these improvements to at least reduce some of the cost.
What role, if any, do schools, businesses and homeowners play in protecting the environment locally?
Protecting the environment must be a shared responsibility by all stakeholders. It cannot be left to selected constituencies to fulfill.
This candidate Q&A was compiled by Ariyana Griffin, the Bowie Sun student environmental reporter.