With the Easton mayoral election on May 2nd nearing, balancing growth and affordable housing has emerged as a critical issue. the Spy’s Dave Wheelan interviewed Jake Day, former Salisbury mayor and current Secretary of Housing and Community Development, for insights on tackling these concerns.
Day ponders if Talbot County’s stagnant population trend is due to a lack of housing development or an actual reflection of demand. He believes people want to live in Easton, but growth is hindered by high costs and challenging building conditions.
He stresses the importance of collaborating with local communities to identify suitable development areas while preserving environmentally sensitive and agricultural zones. Day cites potential redevelopment opportunities in Easton, such as the Safeway site for mixed-use and mixed-income projects.
To increase housing stock without disrupting Easton’s character, Day suggests converting upper floors of historic buildings into apartments, as done in Salisbury. He highlights that density can be achieved while respecting Easton’s charm.
Although not aspiring for Easton’s mayoral position, Day discusses the strong mayor system’s potential in driving change by aligning grand visions, intermediate goals, and measurable outcomes, holding staff accountable for progress.
This video is approximately seven minutes in length.
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