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December 31, 2009

A little advice for a better year…

Joan Marie Aquilino

Not only is this the last day of 2009, but it’s also the last day of a decade. I should be filled with thought provoking, emotional walks-down memory lanes. Nope, not so much this year. I’m one that prefers to learn from my past and steadily move forward.


Words do little to describe the emotions that attack my heart when thinking about the precious families and children literally murdered by one of the two people they trusted most, their fathers. I struggle to understand parents who walk out on their children but, murdering a child is beyond my ability to comprehend. How do you murder your own child? We should be falling to our knees nightly and thanking God we’ve been blessed with children. Please always remember these children and love your own children a little more. If you do nothing else in life, matter to a child.


Not an easy transition, but this moves me to another area. I’ve never been afraid and I can honestly say I’m now fearful of what tomorrow holds. The federal government is promoting dependent not independent people. We won’t be able to fix a meal shortly without government intervention or government issued seasonings.


Funny, you might think, but this is the beginning of socialism. Government is doing nothing but breeding a generation(s) so that when we get in over our heads, we can’t cope. We don’t have the maturity, experience and tools to get ourselves out of mental, emotional, and, of course, financial troubles. Many of our so-called leaders can’t pick themselves up off the floor. How do you expect them to help you.


Here are some recommendations for the coming year.


If you want our vote, be prepared to earn it and prove yourself. Being elected to office is a privilege and an honor and for someone to expect it and claim it as their right is disgusting and I’ve had my fill of ego-centric politicians.


Budgets, at all levels, ZERO them out. You want to go Green, then start with government waste and reduce it. Hold every level of government accountable. It took us a long time to find ourselves in the bowels of financial ruin, so be prepared for the long ride out, but never relax enough to lose sight of the goal.


Your Frederick County Board of Education is the first step. Take the Maintenance-of-Effort money away, not a little away, all of it away. Force a budget that is understandable to all. I’m not saying don’t fund education. I am saying hold them accountable and make them earn it.


This is not a touchy-feely time of life, this is down and dirty; get the job done time because we don’t have excesses. If they can’t, get people who can. Truly make it about the children and teachers and ultimately education, not just lip service.


Demand highly trained well educated teachers who want to teach and pay them well for that privilege, but keep government bureaucracy out of the classroom. Stop allowing the boards of education at all levels to divide and conquer. Learn to stand as one and make children the one and only priority. Stop pitting child against child and using parents and teachers. I don’t want to hear what they can’t do. If the rules are in their way of working, then work to change them. How can we expect our children to be independent thinkers when those teaching aren’t?


The five member board of commissioners has seen its day. This last board has made it abundantly clear. The five member board gives the ability to deflect personal accountability, hiding behind four others skirts or pants. We are starting to settle for not only mediocrity, but also out-and-out incompetence. Only you can demand better.


I want a county executive we can hold up to the rest of the state like we do our sheriff. Our sheriff is doing a great job (whether we agree or not with all his decisions) and I’ve no doubt if that changed we’d be the first to make him abundantly aware of our displeasure.


Until this present board I truly believed the commissioner board worked well for our county. The thing that literally slaps me in the face with this board is not only all five not equally working but the arrogance of members. Arrogance, I can’t think of a better word to describe the overall feeling about this board. They are failing because of their weakest, most arrogant link. That comes from their collective acceptance and our indifference.


Municipalities, you can’t escape. Not even living in one I find myself coming to your defense a lot this past year. You, too, need to show responsibility. You are not an island and what you do within your borders does affect everyone in this county. Take charge of your own destiny and show that leadership. Don’t go to the county or even wait for them. Take the first step and have them coming to you. If you believe you are on equal levels, then behave that way and take equal responsibilities for sharing information.


County and the municipal leaders need to pull up their big girl and boy pants and fix it. Lead or “git out da way.”


*Every action has a consequence.


*You and I must immediately start driving this lesson home to everyone in leadership roles; no more free rides on taxpayers’ dime.


*Hold them accountable, not once but every single occasion.


*Before you vote for anyone, make them earn it and prove themselves.


*No more on-the-job training at our expense. We deserve better.


*Parents, start parenting, so children can be children.


*Citizens, stay aware and active.


My wish for everyone is a happy, safe and healthy New Year and next decade.


…’til next time . . .


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