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As Long as We Remember...

December 14, 2009

A New Beginning…

Michael Kurtianyk

If you weren’t at the City of Frederick’s inaugural celebration at the Weinberg Center last Thursday, you missed a beautiful event. Handled expertly by Master of Ceremonies John Fieseler, executive director of the Tourism Council of Frederick County, the hour-long program ran smoothly.


Highlights for me included the Presentation of the Colors by the Fort Detrick and Frederick Police Department Color Guards, and the singing of “America the Beautiful” by the Frederick Chamber singers.


Randy McClement was sworn in as mayor by Sandra Dalton, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Frederick County, with his wife Maryjane holding the Bible. His address was brief, on point, and emphasized not only an honest look at the challenges ahead, but also an expression of the need to work together in approaching the issues facing the city. His address was a reflection of his personality, and revealed his desire for consensus-building with everyone.


Outgoing Mayor Jeff Holtzinger gave an excellent farewell address. He reminded the audience of the goals he set four years ago, and revealed his pride in accomplishing them. He will be missed, and we wish him all the best in private practice.


It was great seeing the newly-elected aldermen up on stage being sworn in. All five (Carol Krimm, Michael O’Connor, Shelley Aloi, Karen Young, and Kelly Russell) have many formidable challenges facing them, especially with the budget. I do not envy their position, nor do I feel concerned that they won’t do their best to work together with the new mayor.


The funniest moment of the proceedings occurred when Mayor McClement requested a vote on the election of Karen Young as the president pro tem of the Board of Aldermen. When asked for all those in favor, four said “Aye.” The only one who did not was Mrs. Young. When the mayor asked “All those opposed?” Mrs. Young raised her hand, much to the delight of the crowd. Let’s hope that every once in a while we see the board’s humor come out.



On the race for the Board of County Commissioners…


Last week, Commissioner Kai Hagen posted this on his Facebook Page: “filed for re-election today, opened a campaign bank account and got a PO Box! So, I guess I am now officially a candidate for the Frederick County Board of County Commissioners...again.”


So there’s one incumbent who has made the decision to seek re-election. There is much speculation on the others, some of which has already been written about in the local papers. It’s not an easy decision, and with the filing deadline not until next summer, we have a long way to go.


Will the county race feature only one incumbent, or will all five seek to return? What will be the issues, and who will frame them? Will there be a new set of five commissioners, mirroring this year’s city elections, or will there be one or more incumbents returning to office in 2010?


Should be interesting….


Quick Hits…


Tiger Woods is taking an “indefinite break” from golf. A good decision. Let’s hope he can find his way back as a husband and a father again.


President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize last week. Though too early in his administration, he is bringing to world diplomacy more civility than his predecessor.


“Avatar” opens to rave reviews (so far). I hope to get a chance to see this movie. It’s not only the most expensive film ever made, but also the most technologically-advanced film ever made. The director, James Cameron (of “Terminator”, “Aliens”, and “Titanic” fame) built 3D cameras so that he could film scenes in 3D. I wonder what fellow Tentacle columnist Roy Meachum will say about the movie.


And, finally, a correction…


In last week’s column, I wrote that the county withheld the full tax equity payment from Frederick City, which is meant to relieve city residents who pay both city and county taxes. This is not altogether true.


More accurately: The county commissioners did not withhold the full tax equity payment. The commissioners did pass through half the state cut that was intended for the municipalities. If the state cut to the municipalities had not been passed by the General Assembly, there would have been no reduction to tax equity at all.


My apologies for the unintended misinformation.


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