Laurel Mayor Makes Bid For Third Term

Moe looks to unfinished business in re-election hopes.

After 12 years on the Laurel City Council, Mayor Craig Moe says he still believes he has unfinished business, including economic development and lowering property taxes as he makes his third bid for office.

Moe, 51, who works in the Maryland Transit Administration, is gearing up for the Nov. 1 election. He said that before deciding to seek another term, he reviewed whether or not he was still needed in office and if there were more he wanted to accomplish.

“I re-evaluated, like I always do when I run for office,” he said. “I felt like I had something” left to give.

That something includes seeing the completion of the Laurel Mall redevelopment project, which after has begun to move along. This week, and a movie theatre chain have signed on to be part of the project.

“The town center is going to happen," he said, "not at everyone’s fast pace.”

Moe also said he wants to see fewer vacancies on Main Street. His administration has been criticized for failing to attract or maintain businesses in the city center.

There are 127 businesses along Main Street, with 12 vacancies, according to city records.

“It’s easy to take shots at the guy on top,” he said. “Would I like to see some of the vacancies filled? Absolutely. But the city doesn’t own those properties.”

The Laurel city election is one of the most contentious in years. Former Laurel Councilman and Ethics Commissioner are challenging Moe.

“I’m going to work harder,” he said. “I understand I get shots taken at me.”

Moe has been criticized by his opponents for a lack of diversity on the city council and a perception that he has not engaged citizens outside of Ward 1.

“I’m very cognitive of what managerial staff I have here,” he said. “Our work force is very diverse. I think it’s important to have diversity.”

Moe cites his appointment of a female as city administrator and two African-Americans to head the Laurel Police Department and the city’s planning department in the past.

“I’ll let my actions speak more than my words and let that pay dividends,” he said.

His actions have won him the support of elected officials and .

“Mayor Moe has been a leader in Prince George’s County and always works hard to get the best results for Laurel residents,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker in a statement. “He has been able to open many doors and works well with others to get things done.”

Donna Ault-Curp, a Laurel business owner, said she’s been a part of the community for 20 years and supports Moe.

“…He has worked hard to keep local businesses while attracting new ones,” she said in a statement. “He is the right person to be our mayor.”

Stick with Laurel Patch for our exclusive election 2011 coverage, including a live interview with the winner of the mayor’s race Tuesday, Nov. 1.


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real-old-town-laurel October 28, 2011 at 11:17 AM
fix the mall, lower property taxes, fill main st., looks like he's been reading Sarich's literature! why hasn't he lowered taxes for the 12 years he's been in office? why hasn't he fixed the mall for the 12 years it's been losing stores, BECAUSE HE IS IMCOMPETENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SARICH SARICH SARICH SARICH SARICH SARICH SARICH SARICH SARICH
RainingTruth October 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM
Oh mr Rousseau we've missed you! The mall is happening read the news! And he must have missed the part in Mikes literature about threatening every city employee and police officer or private citizen that he can't bully...natural leader! Glad for that...main street has 12 vacancies...out of 140...where do you two get your literature...
RainingTruth October 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM
My comment is for realoldtownRousseau fyi
Xanadu October 28, 2011 at 12:26 PM
To RainingTruth's comments about the ongoing Sarich\Rousseau bullying and for those that have not seen it yet, I encourage you to read the following: http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/opinion-talk/letter-editor/ph-ll-letters-mills-20111026,0,877001.story I do not know Ms Mills -- I wouldn't know her if she knocked me over. That being said, it obviously took great courage for Ms Mills to publish this letter as an attempt to put an end to the madness. And make people aware of what is REALLY taking place. I'm sure Sarich\Rousseau are going to call Ms Mills a liar -- I'm fully prepared for a good laugh. Ms Mills courage and purpose is not dissimilar from the Representative from the Comptroller of MDs office chiming in on the "Personal Finances" article to essentially say that Sarich has lied about settling with the State on the matter. I and others are still waiting for a response to that but I'm guessing we'll never get one. I sent Joshua a request to follow-up on the matter since he reported on that matter but evidently it fell on deaf ears. I'm not a journalist but if I were and in this situation, I would be all over Sarich for an explanation.
real-old-town-laurel October 28, 2011 at 12:56 PM
Xanadu October 28, 2011 at 02:20 PM
You're the bully, Rousseau. I think I've also heard people use the word "thug" when speaking about you. It's well documented. And Ms Mills documented it yet again.
Bob October 28, 2011 at 03:47 PM
realoldtownRosseau - "ABUSING YOUR POSITION IS NOT LEADERSHIP SHE SHOULD BE FIRED!" From the sound of it, this is how you folks plan to govern if you ever get elected. Did not Mr. Sarich just proves at the City Yard Sale that he feels he is above the rules? Have not you and your mentors at the LB&GC shown time and again that you feel yelling the loudest and complaining with tired platitudes will give your followers a boost, but give the rest of us the sense that you are no more, now or ever, just school yard buillies wint inferiority complexes? After all, this is how you have run the once proud Laurel Boys and Girls Club into the ground. A lack of leadership and firm standards is what nromally causes folks to default in their professional lives, so your brilliant solution is to trust the life of a City to a person who can not run a pool business or pay their taxes? No wonder you faught so hard to keep criminal record checks out of the election cycle. Makes me, and many others, wonder what you're hiding.
real-old-town-laurel October 28, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!! Moe must go! Moe must go! Moe must go!
real-old-town-laurel October 28, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Kristie mills the woman who ordered people to steal signs and has a slots habit? That one who wrote that nastyness? That's who you want oh my goodness
craig frederick October 28, 2011 at 10:42 PM
why don't you stop being a coward and show your name?
craig frederick October 28, 2011 at 10:51 PM
it is called freedom of speech.
oldtwnlaurel October 28, 2011 at 11:36 PM
Well, the Mall is moving forward, Main Street is a problem with variables outside the control of any single Mayor and the lowering of taxes would be fiscally irresponsible, if done the way Mr Sarich would do it, namely willy-nilly. Go on ranting like a small child and shouting. It won't make you, or your candidates, look any better.
oldtwnlaurel October 28, 2011 at 11:40 PM
She didn't abuse her position, she defended her fellow employees.
oldtwnlaurel October 28, 2011 at 11:43 PM
Do you have any evidence to back any of that liable up? Or are you just casting more aspersions? Oh wait, let me think about who I am addressing. Of course you don't. All you are is a thin skinned little bully crying now that another kid has stood up to you.
oldtwnlaurel October 28, 2011 at 11:45 PM
What else do you expect from crypto Republicans?
Peter Lewnes October 29, 2011 at 10:33 AM
GM Bob, STANDING OVATION! Let the LBGC take all of us to court for expressing OUR freedom of speech in which WE all should be able to voice OUR OPINION and not just them! That is if you can call there YELLING & SCREAMING an expression of speech! Another threat by another organization & backer of the Pinocchio Campaign who also CONDONES the THREATS and RACIST remarks of one there own so-called youth advocates! SHAME ON YOU - A GREAT EXAMPLE FOR OUR CHILDREN It is not US who are hurting the LBGC but a few of YOU!
Peter Lewnes October 29, 2011 at 10:46 AM
Hey Rousseau, EXPLAIN slots habit and please come out from behind that dress your wearing and be a REAL man and use your REAL name! Kristie Mills wrote it and explain ALL the others who witnessed your actions! WE ARE NOT AFRAID! SAY NO TO PINOCCHIO & ROUSSEAU!
Jim Mason October 29, 2011 at 12:13 PM
Actually, I don't think it would be a smart move for 'real-old-town-laurel' to reveal his real name...anonymous ignorance is one thing, but his comments are becoming increasingly libelous, and he would face rather severe punishment. Though once a person starts throwing around such asinine accusations without any substance, the desperation of their untenable position is now clear. The other thing to consider is the ostracism he would face from his neighbors, the shame of having to own up everything he has posted here. On a personal note, I am finding it more difficult to contain my own severe dislike towards this person, and if I knew his true identity, I would find it very difficult to avoid the temptation of encouraging him to move away, as he is no longer welcome in my city.
Concerned Citizen October 29, 2011 at 03:24 PM
Public records show Mike Sarich was the Resident Agent for two companies that have open state and federal tax liens for unpaid taxes. The federal lien is for unpaid employment and unemployment taxes.
oldtwnlaurel October 29, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Considering the fact that several people already sent in pictures of that Lollard sign they had up, I imagine they'll be very interested. That it was tackily put up so that a former member of the DNC's body would be carried past it won't affect the IRS, but it disgusted many. I'm also aware that the "audit" has been sent to the IRS.
Peter Lewnes October 29, 2011 at 09:22 PM
GE Jim, Bob & oldtwnlaurel. Your comments are shared by me & many others! Bob, I did find one flaw in your posting though: "Have you cleared this comment with your graduate of UMAB Law? " How could the so-called graduate possibly have a clue for the HAT-RACK that sits upon his shoulders is EMPTY!
Sam from Laurel October 29, 2011 at 10:10 PM
I am very excited about all the passion surrounding this up coming election, hopefully it will equate to voter turn out. I want to give kudos to Patches.com for this local news outlet and forum. As an undecided voter I was able to pick up some relevant points surrounding the candidates that I have been unable to gather through the traditional outlets. As a father with two small children and two on the way, the issues that I want addressed in order are 1.Education 2.Out of control property taxes 3. Falling property value secondary to foreclosures and 4. Small efficient ethically responsible elected and government officials. For me the mall, while an eye sore is a non sequitur in terms of economic prosperity for Laurel. OK it brings in a couple of hundred minimum wage non benefit paying store clerks, with the corporate taxes flowing to there home states or over sea tax shelters. More importantly would be a candidate who has the long term goal of attracting better quality businesses to Laurel. I love Laurel and it has much untapped resources, all we need now is city and county officials with the vision and integrity to capitalize on it. Most of all even though some of the comments seem personally motivated, we all win as long as we are active engaged citizens. I give all three candidates praise for contributing their time and probably their wealth in up holding the democratic process. See you at the polls.
oldtwnlaurel October 30, 2011 at 09:28 PM
The City has next to nothing to do with education. The PGCPS makes it perfectly clear that it wants the various municipalities to not "interfere" with the schools. Beyond a few things, like lobbying for better conditions and small gifts, no municipality has been able to help local schools. That said, what can be done is being done. And, unlike in Greenbelt, the local police are not effectively banned from the buildings. The powers that be in Upper Marlborough want to hide the conditions from the community at large and so do not want local officials looking in. The local property taxes are not "out of control." The costs of maintaining and improving facilities and services rises at the same rate as the rest of inflation. Running government on the cheap gets you what you paid for. The falling property values have as much to do with am inflated and over heated market. We are pumping out the last 40 plus years of national financial mismanagement and things are adjusting accordingly. As for the last, Mayor Moe and the council provide for what you request. In fact, it is only in Municipal government in this County that you find efficient and ethical government. One of the reasons why the County bureaucrats in Upper Mayberry hate the municipal governments, and Laurel in particular, is that they show what local government can be like. Our planning and zoning office is efficient and hard working, and avoids soem of the games that the county likes to play.
Sam from Laurel October 31, 2011 at 01:57 AM
I think for any jurisdiction to succeed whether locally or nationally we should base are points of view on facts. Prince Georges County according to their own Maryland State Assessment is ranked second from last above Baltimore City with Laurel High School ranked 165 of 225 public high schools in MD according to Schooldigger.com. Lobbying is a great tool that we can use, but looking at these educational statistics and saying "what can be done is being done." Is not acceptable to me, especially when I see the faces of my 5 and 6 year olds. Towards property taxes I went to the zillow.com web site picked 4 single family homes with similar state assessments in 3 other jurisdictions and Laurel City and compared there yearly bill for 2010. Laurel $417K tax $6,300 Howard County $430K tax $4,700, Montgomery Co.$402K tax $4,400, and Ann Arundle $441K tax $4,000. Asking our government to be more effecient with our hard earned tax dollars is different than being cheap. Prince Georges County has the highest rate of foreclosure in Maryland according to Realtytrac at 400 with Baltimore coming 2nd with 147. With the City of Laurel being the 9th highest Jurisdiction for foreclosure activity in MD. Its very hard to justify that this is normal market economics. This is a epidemic with hundreds of our citizens struggling. In no way am I denegrating our current local elected officials. I gave them much praise for there service, but for me its important that these issues be addressed for my kids.
Layla November 01, 2011 at 01:27 AM
Mayor Moe is incompetent? Seriously? The town center is going to happen. You cannot force a developer to do anything. Mayor Moe has pushed and pushed the owners of the mall. Now there are new owners- and they have developed a great working relationship- that will show results very soon. If relations shut down between the Mayor and the developer- they don't can just tell the City to forget it- sit on the property and then sell it to who knows what type of company. As for the bullying- my friend is a City employee who had to endure the rant put on by Sarich, Rousseau and Levet Brown at City Hall. So, I assure you- it DID happen. Mrs. Mills simply stated the facts and felt compelled to be the voice of her employees- because they are all too scared to come out and say it on their own-they fear retaliation and rightfully so after what they witnessed. It is totally ridiculous to think that Mrs. Mills or Mayor Moe had anything to do with the sign incident that's been in the papers. Actually, if I recall correctly- Mayor Moe and his Administration warned employees to stay out of the politics months ago- because they knew it would get ugly and didn't want their employees (who they care about and would never bully as Rousseau and Sarich have) to be caught up in the politics. We need people in office like Mayor Moe and the other incumbents- not those bullies who are suppose to be grown men- not act like mean little boys.
oldtwnlaurel November 01, 2011 at 01:46 AM
How exactly do you think that the City can do anything for the Schools when they have no say over them? The Charter in no way empowers the City to legally in their running, and the powers that be in Upper Marlboro are quick to quash attempts to get involved. take the issue up with the School board, where it belongs. Chasing after the City over the schools only lets the real culprits off the hook. You will have to excuse me if I see the Tax issue differently. What, precisely, do you think the City can do, under the actual laws of Maryland, about foreclosure? That is, in no small part, a State and Federal issue.
tanisha November 01, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Mall is happening that is great! Who is financing it?? Why no disclosure on the financing? It looks like a political ploy. Moe has been Mayor since 2002 the mall looks like a war zone and all of a sudden it is happening? I do hope so I'm tired of driving to Columbia to shop.
Jared Clarke November 01, 2011 at 11:38 PM
It takes no courage of any kind to post a letter to the editor in a friendly newspaper defending your job and that of those who report to you. All that letter smacks of is cheap politics. As far as the mall, I'm skeptical about anything that's a reprint of a press release issued by any candidate. Right now, no permits for construction have been pulled. So as far as I'm concerned, even if demolition goes forward, until that happens this doesn't count for anything. The mall has been a vacant eyesore and a safety hazard for too long to consider rumors and promises as any indication of progress. Paperwork and equipment rentals will prove it out. I'm a resident of old Laurel and while the mayor (any mayor) can't control what businesses populate an area any more than who gets hired, they can do a lot to discourage economic activity. What we've had is neglect and disinterest and a tax policy that makes it hard to stomach the costs of locating inside a historic district where there are already restrictions on building codes. I like the way Main St. looks (the historic buildings that are actually kept up). But business people need to have reasons to balance out the cost of that charm otherwise they'll bolt, and that's exactly what's happened. The property taxes are a joke, zoning is nuts and it takes an attorney to get a parking space.
tanisha November 02, 2011 at 12:06 AM
@Jared Clarke Right on the $$! The business I worked for look at the City of Laurel for space and said no thank you!!
Concerned Citizen of Laurel December 08, 2011 at 03:24 PM
A message to the Mayor, City Council & Code Enforcement On a daily basis I travel pass the Laurel Boys and Girls Club and now have noticed that most of ALL the windows in the building have now been covered over and that bus has now sat there for over 2 YEARS with EXPIRED tags and registration! With children and adults in and out of the building, is it SAFE (code enforcement) that the windows are covered over in case of an emergency? Also, after being inside the building on a recent Saturday what is the legal capicity of people being inside? Seemed to be an accident waiting to happen! As for the bus, isn't it law that ALL vehicles must have current tags and registration affixed to them on either public or private property and if not, subject to being ticketed or towed?


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