CENTREVILLE — Business owner and community supporter, Josh Shonts of Centreville has declared his intentions to run for town council this October. A six-year resident of the town, Shonts established his first Smoke, Rattle & Roll restaurant four years ago in Queen Anne’s County and recently opened a new location on Pennsylvania Avenue in town.
The number one reason Shonts said he decided to run was because as a resident he was searching for more transparency from the town. Shonts is hopeful that future councils will have more foresight, especially when it comes to budgeting the town’s money. The budget has been a huge issue, he said, referencing the recent million dollar plus shortfall for the town’s water and sewer project.
He said he would like to see term limits established and is in favor of a council of five. As a business owner himself, Shonts said there should be a better system in place to assist new businesses looking to establish in town limits. In his experience, setting up his business in Centreville, Shonts said he was given only a fraction of the information that he needed.
If Centreville wants to be open to attract new business, you don’t want those potential business owners to be blindsided by regulations and unexpected expenses such as water allocation or parking requirements, he said. Those things should be made clear up front. He suggested a forum for potential new businesses to meet with the town first.
Currently, the town does not have a planner, and at this time that job is outsourced to someone in Anne Arundel County, Shonts said, pointing out what he perceives as another downfall.
Another point against business owners, if you own a business or property in town (such as a landlord), you do not have a vote on town matters unless you are also a resident of Centreville, Shonts said. These individuals are paying taxes, water fees, etc., without representation, he added.
Also on his agenda, water quality and how usage is calculated, both commercially and for private residences.
He said, “I would tell people to consider putting on their own water meters.”
Editor’s Note: Shonts is running in the October election for the seat currently held by Jim Beauchamp, who is not seeking re-election.