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November 16, 2009

Putting His Right Foot Forward

Michael Kurtianyk

I must say that I am impressed with the caliber of Mayor-Elect Randy McClement’s transition team. Beginning with Dale Driscoll, whom I admire greatly, and Alderman-Elect Karen Lewis Young, who will be co-chair with Mr. Driscoll.


Mr. McClement has set the tone that his will be a different approach. His flowchart consists of five positions that will report directly to him as mayor: a chief administrative officer (more on this later), and four directors (finance, legal, public works, and public safety).


So, what Mayor-Elect McClement is doing now before the December 10 inauguration, is to ask questions, gather data, and set priorities for the new administration. He has surrounded himself with great people, as can be evidenced by his choices:


A governance and operations division will have Delegate Rick Weldon, former Aldermen Bill Hall and Meta Nash, and Alderwoman-Elect Karen Young;


The technical services division will include Mr. Driscoll; Steve Bamonti, the creative services director at WBAL-TV; and Richard Stup, who used to work on the city's planning commission;


The community services division will include Jacque Brown, COO of Log-In Systems; Seaven Gordon, chairman of the Frederick Community Action Agency board; and Nikki Bamonti, marketing consultant for Clear Channel Communications;


The public safety division will include Bryan Brown, assistant chief of police for Brunswick; Greg Eyler, Thurmont’s police chief; and Tom Chase, a retired Frederick police lieutenant;


The budget and finance division will include Doug Browning, vice president of Frederick Community College; Tim Brown, director of operations for Concurrent Technologies; and Tom Lynch, a lawyer and principal at Miles and Stockbridge.


These sixteen team members will help transition Mayor-Elect McClement from the current city practices into his vision for the city. Of course, if I were mayor-elect, I would have added John Ashbury and Steve Berryman, but then again, I don’t live in the city.


On the Chief Administrative Officer….


I like that for the City of Frederick, Mayor-Elect McClement is creating a chief administrative officer position. Every leader needs a go-to person for all of their administrative needs, and Mr. McClement is right in having someone for this position. Speculation is running rampant that this position will be filled by Del. Rick Weldon. Mr. Weldon would be a fine choice, but many hope he honors his commitment as delegate to his constituents, and that he completes his term.


In one scenario, Mr. Weldon could complete his term as delegate, and the United Way, where he is also currently employed, would have transition time to find a new leader. Mr. Weldon would become chief administrative officer after his term ends as delegate.


It’s a tough decision, and one he’ll need to make with his family. My best wishes go out to him, as he wrestles with this possible opportunity.


On the “Golden Mile Gateway”….


Okay, I’m not sure about the need for another shopping plaza which will likely include a bank. This 2.7 acre site is located on the corner of Baughman’s Lane and US 40, which was the former state police barracks. The city’s Planning Commission approved the site plan last week, and it will include a 16,861 square foot shopping center and a 3,194 square foot bank pad.


I do wish that a police presence there, such as a new headquarters, would have been considered and accomplished. It would send a message to potential robbers and speeders on the Golden Mile. To have a police headquarters there, especially because of its proximity to Routes 15, 70, and 270, would likely deter the criminal elements that see the Golden Mile as a destination.


On the Redskins….


I heard a couple things this week that I thought I’d share about the nation’s capital’s National Football League team:


It hasn’t made the papers yet, but Sheriff Chuck Jenkins has instituted a new speeding ticket policy. If a driver gets caught speeding, he/she will receive, as punishment, two tickets to the next Redskins home game. For a second offense, the driver will receive two tickets to a Washington Nationals game.


What do you call 53 millionaires watching the Super Bowl? The Washington Redskins.


The Washington Redskins have banned fans from bringing signs into FedEx Field because they limit sightlines. At this point, limiting sightlines is the nicest thing the Redskins can do.


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