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As Long as We Remember...

May 17, 2010

Campaign Diary This Balance Thing

Michael Kurtianyk

Monday, May 10, 2010 – Getting It Right


So right now, as I’m going to fundraisers, meeting with leaders, researching, and the like, I see what people mean when they told me the following: it’s the campaigning that is the most difficult part of the process of becoming county commissioner. They cite the time needed to do everything and the endurance to execute all of the commitments.


I don’t know. Upon reflection, I see this time as being both exhilarating and exhausting. However, it’s not so much the fatigue from the campaign work that I’ve felt. It’s the tiredness from balancing family, work, and the campaign. It’s interesting that those candidates past and present, who don’t have a full-time job, or school-age children, have a time advantage than those who have a job. There are times when something has to give: homework with children, a church meeting, a school activity, etc.


It’s this balance thing that is the most stressful part at this point of the campaign. My days are spent with real estate work, meetings, and planning. My nights are spent with family, work, meetings, and campaign commitments. There are also a great deal of invitations, either via Facebook or EVites, that I try to get to, but often can’t. This was the part no one told me about – the schedule juggling.


Wednesday, May 12 – Research


I spent a good part of the day learning about the county employee system and the different divisions within Frederick County. There were many meetings today, and even more phone calls. I had prepared notes for the meetings, and still learned a great deal more from talking to county leaders. I liked the fact that people were so giving of their time and their expertise. There is a great deal of institutional knowledge in many of the areas of our local government.


Today was also spent doing some last-minute preparations for the Frederick County Teachers Association interview.


Thursday, May 13 FCTA Interview


This was the first of many interviews that I will have as a candidate. It began with a questionnaire submitted some weeks ago. I was asked a variety of questions by a team of interviewers representing many aspects of the teachers’ union. My approach on this is what I expect will be on all of these opportunities: answer each questionnaire, and be as prepared as possible.


Friday, May 14 – Golden Mile Survey


I took the Golden Mile Survey online today. There are 16 questions about this retail section of Frederick City, and six other questions about personal information. I felt that it was thorough, with a look at all the aspects I could think of regarding the Golden Mile: crime; traffic; landscaping; and the like.


According to the city’s web site (


Beginning in 2010, the City of Frederick will conduct a collaborative, community-based process to establish a vision for the Golden Mile; identify redevelopment opportunities; spur reinvestment on the corridor; and improve mobility for vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, and transit users. Following a series of community workshops, the Golden Mile Small Area Plan will be presented to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen for adoption.


There will also be a community workshop in June for the public. I like this idea. I give credit to the city’s planning department and its director, Joe Adkins. I like that the city leaders are looking at this area and are seeking public input on improving it. This will be good for job retention and job expansion and serves a model for other jurisdictions to follow. Let’s hope others do, like Frederick County.


Quick Hits….


…Prayers go out to the family of Marine Cpl. Kurt Shea. He gave his life so that we could live ours in peace. Corporal Shea’s father is a member of the Knights of Columbus, as I am. A sad day for us all.


…Kudos to the Frederick County Association of Realtors for completing their annual American Home Month project, where the house of a person in need received exterior work.


…Props to the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick, which – on May 20 – will receive its national charter. Well done.


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