LEXINGTON PARK, Md. — Steve Tuttle[D] is a 45-year-old veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he worked as a Life Support Systems Technician, or PR for short. Tuttle’s commitment to serving St. Mary’s County has led him to seek public office and run for Commissioner of District 4.
Tuttle has always had a strong sense of pride in his country and his work. He learned when he was very young to stand up and fight for those who cannot speak for themselves. His convictions have led him to dedicate over half of his life to serving his community, whether that means helping the homeless as the Chair of WARM, working on base as a member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, or supporting more funding for our schools and police departments.
Tuttle recently described to TheBayNet.com his campaign platform, beginning with his reason for running.
“When I moved back to St. Mary’s County, I became involved with several community organizations. Between my work with WARM and the Animal Control Advisory Council, I am passionate about working within the community. I decided to run for office after not feeling heard by our elected officials, despite being an active community member and speaking at several commissioners’ meetings…I’ve seen the frustration and gaps between county government and what can be done to support the county’s citizens, and I believe I can help to fill those gaps.”
Tuttle has a lot of accomplishments in his life that he is proud of, one of those accomplishments he is most proud of is serving his country as a member of the United States Military.
“I believe it shaped me into who I am today. I earned several military awards and ribbons during my deployments for outstanding achievement and conduct.”
He is also devoted to his community and worked as a member of both WARM and the Animal Control Advisory Board to help those in need.
“I am proud of my work here, and regardless of the election’s outcome, I will continue to work diligently to support my community,” he explained.
Public safety is another major issue that Tuttle would address if elected to the Board of Commissioners. He believes that public safety is paramount to the community and that citizens have a right to feel safe.
He said that “a solid relationship with the Sheriff’s office is important, ensuring that our police force is well-funded and fully staffed. To support these officers, we must be sure they feel valued and can live in the communities in which they work.”
Mental health services also need to be improved, according to Tuttle. Mental health is particularly important for the most vulnerable people in our society, like young people.
“Providing adequate mental health services and providers to achieve that goal is crucial to supporting our growing county. Some want to put a net around the bridge, but ideally, we would be able to reach people before they get to that point.”
Tuttle has a multitude of ideas that he would like to implement if elected to the Board of Commissioners, the first of which would be to improve relations with the Board of Education. He is a huge supporter of educators in St. Mary’s County and believes in the importance of the school system for the youth.
He also believes in the importance of being open-minded toward the needs of the school system while being smart with taxpayer dollars.
“While my opponents [Scott Ostrow] may paint me as keen to ‘rubber stamp’ the Board of Education’s budget, I fully intend to ensure that we take the budget process seriously,” Tuttle said.
In addition to the Board of Ed, Tuttle wants to provide more support for emergency services and first responders. Tuttle claims that Ostrow again is misrepresenting him in this field.
Tuttle said, “I wholly and without reservation support the volunteer fire and EMS crews. Response times during COVID were a significant challenge for the department. To further assist, I will look into ways to make volunteering less of a burden.”
Finally, Tuttle wants to help develop more public-private partnerships to save money, relying on a large number of supporting community organizations to help.
Of course, the job of a commissioner is not an easy one.
In terms of the difficulty of the job, Tuttle believes the toughest part would be having to rely on the county government departments to fix problems facing the community. The reason for this, he claims, is trust.
“I am a problem solver and used to being hands-on, so while I have the utmost confidence in our county departments, I’ll have to get accustomed to trusting others to help when appropriate,” he explained.
The easiest part of the job, Tuttle says, would be cooperating with citizens to accomplish community goals. He has been very involved with several community organizations and likes to be on the ground and helping.
“I want to work with not only community organizations but also make sure we are talking with our commissioner boards and gathering their input.”
Tuttle has made the quote “Strength in Community” into his campaign slogan, but it means much more than that to him.
“It is a motto I truly live by. A rising tide lifts all ships, and if we can invest in our community, strengthen relationships with our community organizations, and give them the tools to do the work on the ground where they are, we can improve the lives of citizens in District 4 and St. Mary’s County as a whole.”
Tuttle concluded his talk with The BayNet by explaining why people should vote for him, as well as leaving a final word about his campaign and the election.
“I have years of community service experience and genuinely care about the community. I’ve been speaking at commissioner’s meetings for years, standing up for voting rights, supporting school funding, the sheriff’s office, and other vital county needs. I am motivated and committed to helping all St. Mary’s County citizens. As stated before, I believe that if we work together, reach across the aisle and put aside our differences, we can make meaningful change in this county.”
“For eight years, the District 4 seat has been unchallenged. This year you have a choice in who ends up in the seat. The citizens of St. Mary’s County, especially District 4, deserves a commissioner who has been working for them for years on the ground, knows the community’s needs, and is willing to stand up and fight for them.”
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