When James Cook ran for Rock Hall mayor, he already had insight into the town’s most critical issue—wastewater and water.
As an engineering and project designer at RAUCH, Inc, in Easton along with a term on the Rock Hall town council, Cook knew what he was getting into and made it his single issue running as a candidate.
And it’s a daunting task. To overhaul the Town’s most critical infrastructure issue could take a decade and 20+ million dollars. In the meantime, however, the young mayor is promoting a temporary solution to the water quality: a mobile filtration system that will circumvent the long- deteriorated filtration component of the water treatment plant.
“A mobile filtration system will take care of 30-40% of the water quality, he says.
At the same time, Cook, will reach out for assistance through his roles as a member of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Municipal League and Eastern Shore Association of Municipalities and his almost four years at an Adjunct Instructor for the Engineering Technology Department at Chesapeake College.
Switching gears, the Mayor discusses a project involving the transformation of the old Rock Hall municipal building into a community-focused library. The project gained widespread support, with community members actively contributing ideas and suggestions recently during a well-attended meeting. Anticipating completion by 2025 or 2026, the Mayor envisions a thriving and community-centric library for Rock Hall.
Beyond infrastructure, the Cook is deeply committed to education and community retention while emphasizing the importance of addressing demographic shifts and retaining young families. His initiatives include forming an Economic Development Committee and advocating for a satellite campus of Chesapeake College’s Skilled Trades Program in Rock Hall, focusing initially on marine trades.
The Mayor’s two-pronged approach to community development involves creating affordable housing and facilitating economic growth beyond seasonal activities. By loosening restrictions and encouraging mixed-use developments, the new Mayor aims to make Rock Hall an attractive place for both living and working.
The Spy recently interviewed James Cook to talk about his new role as Rock Hall Mayor and how enthusiasm for leadership roles can contagiously attract and inspire essential contributors.
This video is approximately ten minutes in length.