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June 7, 2010


John W. Ashbury

At the request of Rick Weldon I am posting today a statement I received from him regarding an uproar over a column of his posted on Monday May 31, 2010. If you would like to comment on either Mr. Weldon’s statement below, or on the column of May 31, please send them to


In a column last week, I attempted to offer several humorous politically incorrect observations. One, maybe more than one, of those observations have caused a level of hurt and disappointment that goes far beyond my intent. Were I nothing more than an opinion writer, I could sit back and enjoy the fact that my observations have sparked public debate, which is essentially the point of an opinion column.


Unfortunately, I am more than just an occasional opinion writer; I am also an employee of The City of Frederick and a senior policy advisor to the Mayor. In that capacity, my words and actions carry weight far beyond the original intent. In the case at hand, my words have offended both citizens and elected officials whose passionate advocacy was mocked by my sarcasm.


Effective immediately, I am ending my relationship with The, something that has become an important vehicle for self-expression and creativity. That said, I cannot allow my creative hobby to divide and alter the trust relationships that I depend on in my daily work.


I’d like to thank the thousands of readers who have offered encouragement and insight over the years. More importantly, I want to again apologize to the people that found my attempt at humor to be personally hurtful. I have spent decades as both an elected and appointed public servant trying to raise the level of public discourse, yet with a single opinion column, I inadvertently undid all of the work.


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