Helping the Citizens of District 1
Funding for our public schools has been increased more than $10 million over the last four years, providing greater and more diverse learning opportunities for Worcester County Students. These increases also allowed for competitive pay raises for our hard-working teachers and support staff. This figure does not include the millions spent on capital projects for our school system, which – among many other important uses – provided a new roof for Pocomoke Middle School. I believe that our public schools are among the best in the nation, and I will continue to advocate for our students, faculty, and staff members.
Fire and Emergency Services
I have served on the Fire/EMS Committee since its inception, learning about the needs of our emergency services personnel and studying how these departments are funded. Over the last two fiscal years, the commissioners have approved more than $1.8 million in additional funds to help support our fire and EMS companies here in Worcester County. This includes money for new equipment, scholarships for EMS trainees, and changes to funding for length of service awards. Most importantly, these new funds have been used to provide for full-time staff at the Stockton VFC and have been utilized to retain EMT staffing for two 24/7 ambulances in Pocomoke.
Casino Impact Funds
When Ocean Downs Casino was first built, the Maryland State Assembly legislated that local impact money would be given to Worcester County, Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and the Town of Berlin, leaving Snow Hill and Pocomoke out of the equation. I strongly advocated that the Southern part of the county be included in the casino windfall, getting enough votes in FY21 to include Pocomoke and Snow Hill. These towns now receive 10% of the county funds from table games revenue – a total of more than $120,000 each from FY21-FY23.
In 2020, at the urging of several constituents, I began to look into the animal rights laws written into the county code. These laws were vague and lacked the necessary enforcement tenets to enable county staff to effectively combat the abuses of certain individual animal breeders. Together with several county departments, administrative staff members, and the offices of the Sheriff and State’s Attorney, we sought to change our laws to better protect our domesticated animals and their potential owners. In 2021, we passed what we believe to be the most comprehensive set of animal rights laws governing breeders and boarders in the State of Maryland.
Looking to the Future
Pocomoke Recreation Center
Once the new library construction begins, it is my goal to plan and construct a new downtown recreation center to serve the citizens of the greater Pocomoke area. This project is strongly advocated for by the Pocomoke City Council, and we will move forward as partners in the funding and construction of this new complex. I believe a new recreation center will serve all of the citizens of District 1, including some of our underserved communities. The design and construction of this facility will be a top priority in my second term as commissioner.
Pocomoke Library/Armory Project
Building a new library in Pocomoke has been in the project stage for nearly two years. Pocomoke needs and deserves a new, state-of-the-art library that is built for the needs of our citizens – one that has more programs, more computers, and more meeting space. Together with the City of Pocomoke, we concluded that the best strategy would be to demolish a city block full of urban blight – namely, the old armory building on Second Street – and make that the location of a new library. After overcoming multiple roadblocks, it appears the buildings on that block will be demolished in the near future and the request to fund construction of the new library will go to the State of Maryland for approval.
Strong Community Connection
“No one knows Worcester County like Josh! He uses his local knowledge to support and improve his community. He is truly admired and respected by the people he serves.”
Ellen Willinghan, M.A.
Worcester County Community Health Advocate
Lower Shore Vulnerable Populations Task Force
“Success is no accident in politics or life. It takes hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and the ability to listen to others. Josh possesses all of these qualities.”
Harold L. Higgins
Worcester County Chief Administrative Officer – Retired
“Commissioner Nordstrom’s compassion for and dedication to his constituents were always his highest priorities when working through the many issues faced by Worcester County.”
Retired Director – Worcester County Department of Development, Review, and Permitting