common values | common sense | community focused
Since 2018, Nathan has focused on passing legislation that improves the community and solves issues in a common sense way. He's worked across the aisle with members of both parties to pass things like:
Reopen Anne Arundel County
In 2020 and 2021, Nathan led the efforts to end the State of Emergency in Anne Arundel County and revoke the emergency powers given to the County Executive by the County Council - Bills 41-20, 83-20, 4-21, and 50-21. On June 7, 2021, Nathan brokered a compromise with the County Executive that led to the end of the State of Emergency and secured key protections for the restaurant industry to keep expanded outdoor seating through November 1, 2021.
Protecting Our Neighborhoods
After hearing about numerous examples where neighborhoods were being changed from residential areas to commercial enterprises after companies were buying up homes and converting them to businesses, like assisted living facilities and group homes, Nathan introduced Bill 16-20. This Bill added reasonable restrictions to ensure that our neighborhoods are not being turned into business districts. (Passed 5-2)
It also was concerning to learn that developers - after holding community meetings - got to send the minutes from the meetings directly to the Office of Planning and Zoning (OPZ). Since no one from OPZ was required to attend the meetings, there was no independent verification from OPZ that the meeting minutes were accurate or that they accurately represented the position of the community on the development proposed. Nathan introduced Bill 28-21, which requires the developer to record the meeting and provide the video to OPZ so they can independently watch and verify the community's position at the meeting. (Passed 6-1)
Stopping Litter & Pollution
Repeated complaints from the community about litter and pollution led Nathan to work on a series of Bills - 72-20, 19-21, 26-21, and 61-21 - to address these issues.
Bill 72-20 is the first-ever effort to regulate unattended collection boxes you see all over the county (i.e. leave your clothes, shoes, glasses, etc.). While well-intended, in some places these boxes were becoming an eyesore and attracting animals. This Bill requires that the boxes be monitored and collected by the company that owns them, or the county can take action against the business. (Passed 7-0)
Bill 19-21 is the first-ever countywide prohibition on littering, both on county property and private property. Until this point, there was only a prohibition on litter in the county right of way. This expanded the prohibition to combat the problems of roadside litter and trash. (Passed 7-0)
Bill 26-21 modernized the county's noise ordinance law to include all audio-producing devices (not just phonographs or a Walkman). It also made enforcement of noise violations easier for the police and changed the quiet hours to 10pm-7am. (Passed 7-0)
Bill 61-21 is the first-ever light pollution ordinance, which requires outdoor lighting to focus on your property (i.e. you can't shine a light into your neighbors windows) and point the lighting toward the ground, helping with light pollution. (Passed 7-0)
Spending Taxpayer Money Better & Increasing Transparency
Nathan introduced Bill 2-20, which he co-sponsored with the County Executive, in response to the problems with utility companies not moving their equipment in the county rights-of-way. A number of county capital improvement projects had been delayed and over budget due to utility companies failing to move their equipment in a timely manner, which costs taxpayers money. This Bill changed the law so that the County can fine companies when they fail to reasonably work with the County on these projects to ensure your money is spent efficiently. (Passed 7-0)
Additionally, Nathan led the charge on two Charter Amendments that were passed by the Council, and then adopted by the voters in 2020:
Resolution 36-19 grants the non-partisan County Auditor more access to County records to investigate instances of waste, fraud and abuse. Nathan was the original lead sponsor and the full Council co-sponsored. (Passed 7-0)
Resolution 37-19 gives the County Council confirmation authority over the County Executive's pick for Police Chief, Fire Chief, and County Attorney. This is an important check and balance to ensure these positions serve the entire county, not just the County Executive. (Passed 7-0)
Knowing the stigmas associated with mental health and other health issues, Nathan has passed Resolutions declaring suicide a public health crisis and supporting awareness of Multiple Sclerosis.
Resolution 2-20 declared suicide a public health crisis in Anne Arundel County. With 67% of gun-related deaths being suicides, it's necessary for our Health Department to aggressively work to reduce these preventable deaths. (Passed 7-0)
Resolution 12-20 recognized May 30 as Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Day. (Passed 7-0)
Removing Barriers for Local Businesses
As our county changes, businesses often confront archaic and outdated zoning requirements that make it difficult or impossible to operate. This was the case for two Bills that Nathan passed - Bills 52-20 and 104-20.
Bill 52-20 removed barriers for pawnshops to operate when the surrounding community consented and agreed to the pawnshop being located less than 300 feet from their home. (Passed 7-0)
Bill 104-20 allowed for cosmetic facial hair (i.e. micro-blading) services - often used by cancer patients and others with medical conditions - to operate as a home business. (Passed 7-0)
Bill 49-20 modernized the zoning laws to allow for additional housing types for those living in assisted living facilities, making it easier for our residents to age in place. Instead of being forced into a large assisted living facility, this Bill created an option for smaller duplex and villa-style living arrangements in an assisted care setting. (Passed 7-0)
Quality of Life Improvements for You
Prior to Bill 83-19, vehicles towed from Anne Arundel County could be taken up to 10 miles away, meaning residents had to go to Baltimore City, Howard County, and surrounding jurisdictions to get their cars back. This bi-partisan piece of legislation requires that towers can only tow vehicles up to 2 miles outside Anne Arundel County, lessening the burden on citizens. (Passed 7-0)
In addition to his successes, there have been a number of issues Nathan has fought for that have been unsuccessful, including:
After his election, the County Executive ended a very successful screening program for individuals who had been arrested and charged with a crime (287g). After their arrest and charging, detention officers specially trained in immigration law screened all inmates to determine if they were in the country with lawful status. Nathan introduced Resolution 1-19 calling on the County Executive to retain the program. (Failed 3-4)
In his first budget, the County Executive increased the income tax rate from 2.5% to 2.81% - a 12.4% increase. Dating back to 2001, the income tax rate in Anne Arundel fluctuated from 2.49% to 2.56%. Nathan introduced a Bill that would have capped the income tax rate at 2.5%, similar to the property tax cap. (Failed 3-4)
Cell Towers on School Property
Nathan introduced Bill 53-20 that would have made it a last-resort for cell phone providers to put their towers and equipment on school property. (Failed 3-4)