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As Long as We Remember...

November 5, 2009

Looking Back Going Forward

Michael Kurtianyk

The results are in, and the voters have chosen Randy McClement over Jason Judd in the City of Frederick election. Before getting into the specifics, Congratulations are due both candidates for running a strong, civil race. Despite pressures from others, both men campaigned without slinging mud. Let’s hope the county races next year are run with the same decorum and respect.


But I digress – Mr. McClement’s campaign kicked into high gear the last month of the race. His vision and low-key approach seems to have resonated well with voters. The Republicans in the city, who are outnumbered, came out in force. He did well in the forums and will bring a clear vision to City Hall.


Mr. Judd ran a solid, well organized campaign, and he should be commended for his efforts. Let’s hope he continues to stay involved in the public sector. He has much to offer the city and its citizens. Mr. Judd did well in the primary, and the odds were that he would win the mayoral race, just through sheer numbers. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city. When all the absentee ballots are counted, and the results are analyzed, we will know more.


Mr. McClement will be working with a solid Board of Aldermen….


On the Board of Aldermen:


Karen Young – The leading vote-getter, Mrs. Young has done well to prove to the voters that she is a capable, responsible, thoughtful leader. Her analyses of the buyout and the city budget proved to the voters that she will be an excellent steward of the city’s finances. She worked very hard these last six months or so. Mrs. Young will be an excellent alderman.


Michael O’Connor – From Pressing Issues to city alderman, and a 20-year history of serving Frederick, Mr. O’Connor will bring a multi-faceted approach to each issue that comes up. He ran an excellent race, and maintained a steady, composed campaign. Mr. O’Connor will bring these same sensibilities to Frederick’s City Hall. My prediction is that he will continue his focus on financial accountability and stability.


Shelley Aloi – The lone Republican elected, Ms. Aloi worked very hard, and has been rewarded with a top five finish. She did all the right things: met with local leaders; listened to the citizens; and articulated her positions extremely well. She will bring a zest to the dais and I know she’ll do well. My hope is that her focus will continue to be business development.


Kelly Russell – Ms. Russell’s service to Frederick is unique, and she will bring a lot of experience to the issues. She adds another dimension to the board, one wherein public safety is a primary concern.


Carol Krimm – Mrs. Krimm is the one that brings the most unique experience to the table: her connections at Annapolis. Her work with Galen Clagett and Sue Hecht does not guarantee an open communication line, but at least she has the means. No one else brings this to the table, and this is what I’m excited about.


On the issues…


City Buyout


The three incumbents (Alan Imhoff, Paul Smith, and Donna Kuzemchak) were defeated. I was surprised by this. The issue of the city buyout must have been the most important issue for the voters. I will hastily add that Ms. Kuzemchak was not present at the buyout discussions. So, the voters may have either painted her with the same brush, or liked the other Democrats better. The city loses quite a bit of institutional knowledge with their departure. The new board would do well to learn all they can from these three before they take office.




It turns out that this issue was more important in the days leading up to the election filing deadline and through the primary than on Tuesday. Those who voted for the annexations either did not win, or did not run, but the candidates who ran all agreed that the annexations were good for Frederick City. Only Michael O’Connor stated that he would have looked at the language of the contract with the developers more closely than was done. I believe, like Mr. O’Connor, that stronger negotiations would have tightened up the language and clarified the expectations on both sides.


The final word…


A great campaign – too bad more voters didn’t come out. The ones who didn’t vote don’t get to complain.


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