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January 28, 2010

It’s Tough Tooting Your Own Horn…

Joan Marie Aquilino

What an unusual month this has been. It’s been a whirlwind chain of events for the Republican Party, from Massachusetts to Maryland. My focus is on the Frederick events right now.


Frederick City’s election and the ensuing appointment of Rick Weldon as city manager gave the Frederick County delegation to the General Assembly an empty seat. That seat was filled by Charles Jenkins which gave the county commissioners empty seat at the table. Depending on the outcome of that seat who knows? My speculating days are done, mainly because I'm no darn good at it. Oh yes, I almost forgot they also nominated a judge of The Orphans Court in the midst of all this.


Feels a bit like Frederick does Dominoes 101. Line’em up watch’em drop, hopefully right into place.


My personal journey in this dominion game starts at the vacant county government seat on the five member Board of County Commissioners; these are the five people who see to the running of this county.


Okay, now back to the appointment process that we are delving into right now. I downloaded the application and it was pretty much what I expected: what makes me a good Republican and a better Republican than someone else.


Until this time I never really thought of myself as good or better.  I considered that I was a self-sufficient, conservative, American woman not financially dependent on her government, while making her way in this world and raising her children.


Children raised, check. I am a registered Republican and always have been it is just part and parcel of who and what I am. Similar to being a Redskins fan, there’s no explaining it, you just are. Or better yet, being female and Catholic. We always seem to have this underlying feeling of guilt about something even when there’s no reason for it. It's a Catholic girl thing; some will know exactly what I mean, while others won't have a clue. Ask a Catholic woman, she’ll explain.


So, the application was the Republican version of what have you done for us lately. I'm looking, reading and looking again, saying to myself that this is stupid: who am I and what have I done that's so special?


Only through a dear friend literally dragging things out of me did I realize that my own personal values, beliefs and my efforts on behalf of others did I realize that I am that 'good' Republican they were asking to see. I kept saying, “such‘n'such is no big deal I only do what I do because I want to do it.” She would return with, “Well they want to know exactly what you’ve done.” She made me understand that for others to believe in me I first had to believe in myself. Between the two of us, her pulling and pushing and my waning reluctance we finally got it finished and with a resumé to boot.


There are 14 applicants and by my own efforts and the information I supplied I’d say the Republican Central Committee’s Nominating Committee has many difficult hours in front of them going through all the applications and letters of support. If nothing else, the Republicans should be very pleased with the number of people ready and willing to serve. That truly is something to be proud of in this climate of being anything but pleased with government actions of late.


After all was handed in and on the drive back home I came to realized this is exactly the way and what should be done to anyone wanting an elected office. Require people put into writing their reasons for running, what they have to offer, what makes them qualified and how they expect to follow through on their 'promises.'


I, for one, don't make promises I can't keep. How about you? What I learned was I'm not only a good conservative Republican, I'm an excellent one and I know what I'm getting into and I can do the job. I’ve worked my way up that ladder as an involved taxpaying citizen and community volunteer. I’m doing this for the right reasons and I’ve got a lot to give back. Others have paid forward and now it’s my turn to give back and to be held accountable for my actions.


The first question my daughters asked when I told them what I was planning is, “Mom will you actually get paid for this job?” My answer was yes I will be paid and more than enough for the return I’ll receive. I won’t ask for more money, but I would ask for the voters to consider a change in government style. This is public service which is to give and not a private sector job for profit.


As much as I poured over this application process and, yes, I struggled with it, I realized this is an excellent vetting process. To others, all I can say is follow their rules or change them by running yourself next time.


I've chosen to voice any concerns I had, but ultimately followed the rules and hope to be the one that gets this appointment. Win, lose or draw, I’m glad I put myself out there and it was a journey that opened my eyes as all journeys should. I hope others who have strong feelings on how our government is run will also take the step when it’s right for them to find out first hand instead of doing nothing more than Monday morning quarterbacking.


I could say I wish all the applicants well, but that wouldn’t be honest. This time I want it to be me. It's done, handed in and the waiting has begun. Doris Day and I follow the same train of thought here:

"Que Sera, Sera

Whatever will be, will be,

The future’s not ours to see

Que Sera, Sera ………


. . . ’til next time . . .


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