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July 12, 2010

Campaign Diary A Wild Fourth and Beyond

Michael Kurtianyk

Saturday, July 3 – Anniversary Day


Today is our 16th anniversary, so I thought I’d share with you how I spent this day before The Fourth of July.


9 A.M. – With my wife’s blessing, I went to the monthly breakfast with my colleagues at I am not sure what was in the water, or the coffee, but we were a bit wild this morning. It could have been the more enclosed space, or the fact that it was a holiday weekend, but it felt like Las Vegas: what happened there should stay there.


We were a bit more raucous than usual. I will owe it to the fact that it was the final weekend before the filing deadline for candidates. Everyone was discussing who filed, who won’t, who should, and who shouldn’t have. I am not sure how much will get into print, but I’ll stop here.


12:30 P.M. – Our family went to Carroll Creek in downtown Frederick to decorate a canoe for the annual Great Frederick Float. (When I reread this last sentence, I would never have guessed that I would have ever written a sentence like that.)


Why would I decorate a canoe? I’ve never been in a canoe. Geez, I get seasick in the bathtub (not true). In fact, my wife asked me if I should take Dramamine. Thanks, Brenda!


Last night, I asked my family to pull together anything and everything having to do with 4th of July decorations. My daughters were quite industrious in searching for their contributions, and this afternoon, we had a box full of items. We did well with our canoe, if I do say so myself. From here, we drove back to Middletown.


3:30 P.M. – Our daughters’ dance studio was invited to participate in the annual Independence Day festivities at Middletown Park. The girls performed in three numbers, and I was proud at how well they did, considering that they had not performed their routines since Memorial Day weekend. They danced on the grass next to the stage, and everyone cheered for all of them.


5:30 P.M. – We arrived back at Carroll Creek for the Great Frederick Float. What an exciting time! We could feel the energy from everyone who was there. There was live music, craft tables for children, and boat rentals. Frederick Forum’s Pattee Brown was the master of ceremonies. We had a great time and met many people.


With my co-pilot and close friend Troy Snyder, we went up and down the creek, and I tossed red-white-and-blue Tootsie Rolls to those on shore. I spent part of the time bumping into the Ehrlich boat – accidentally on purpose. Though there were candidates for other offices participating, I was surprised that I was the only county commissioner candidate with a boat. I expected to see more, and wondered why I was the only one.


7 P.M. – We went to dinner at La Paz with my sister-in-laws’s family and Troy and his guest. We sat outside on the patio, capping off a great time in Downtown Frederick. I was reminded of how great an experience it is to be downtown in the summer. Kara Norman, from Downtown Frederick Partnership and her staff and volunteers, worked very hard, and it paid off. Everything went smoothly.


9:30 P.M. – For our last event of the day, we drove back to Middletown to watch the fireworks. What made these unique were the encores. Let me explain: the fireworks began in a typical manner: one at a time, then multiples, then loud booms, then a whole bunch at once. As some prepared to go home, more fireworks went off, enough for a second finalé. We were surprised, and then started to leave. Well, wouldn’t you know, they set off one final blast of fireworks, making a second encore. Very clever. Kudos to everyone in Middletown for their efforts.


Sunday, July 4 – Baker Park


After a private barbecue with family and friends, we made it to Baker Park to watch the fireworks there. These were very impressive and we celebrated all that is great about the City of Frederick by being there. This year’s fireworks were excellent. I was happy to see so many people there.


Monday, July 5 – TV Show

I taped the Michael K Show this morning at My guests this morning were Harby Tran and Pattee Brown, co-publishers of 270INC Magazine. It’s amazing how fast an hour goes by when you’re engaged in a great discussion about a publication dedicated to improving the health of businesses in this area. Harby and Pattee explained how the magazine got started, and what the future holds for them.


Carnival Time – July 5th


Though the filing deadline isn’t until tomorrow, the campaign season really kicks off today with the Walkersville and Middletown carnivals. Doing double duty isn’t hard when our team has volunteers at each location. I was at Walkersville this evening. My goodness, it was hot! I brought my family with me so that they could go on some of the rides, and just spend time with me. Tonight was an example of how the blending of family and campaigning can work. I was able to introduce my family to many of the people who were there, and I met so many new friends.


I was surprised that on the first night, I was the only county commissioner candidate at this carnival. I have to guess that everyone was out of town, or had conflicts. The Republican tent had many of its candidates there, and I was disappointed that only two other candidates (for other offices) were at Walkersville this evening.


Tuesday, July 6 – Hot! Hot! Hot!


From Baltimore’s ABC affiliate online: “FREDERICK, Md. – Triple digits is one thing; the hottest city in the nation is another. That's right, the chart topper goes to Frederick, MD, 106 degrees on Tuesday, hotter than Phoenix and Las Vegas. And for the record, Frederick goes down on this day with Needles, CA, for the hottest in the nation, at 106 degrees.”


It was crazy-hot today. I went to the Middletown carnival and sat with my brothers from the Knights of Columbus. We were selling raffle tickets for a fundraiser. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans had a booth there, and coupled with the stifling heat, there were few people there. However, my daughters had a great time, since they went on many of the rides, and on most, there was no line.


Netherlands beat Uruguay 3-2 to move on to the World Cup Final.


Wednesday, July 7 – More Heat!


Today was the second straight day of the temperature in Frederick reaching 106 degrees. I went to the United Democrats of Frederick County picnic. It seemed well-attended (I was late due to a last-minute conflict) and some of the candidates for offices were there. It was my understanding that of the county commissioner candidates, only one was there (besides me), and that person left early due to another commitment.


When I spoke to the group, I remarked that it was great that this year we had seven candidates that represented our party well with its diversity of talents. I stayed until the end and beyond, talking about the race and the makeup of this year’s election.


Spain beat Germany 1-0 to move on to the World Cup Final.


Thursday, July 8 – Rain! Glorious Rain!


I held my weekly “Coffee with the Candidate.” This week, I was at the Main Cup in Middletown. The discussion today centered on the county-wide APFO, and how it relates to municipal annexations. We also discussed the Board of Education budget and its new building.


Later in the day, just as I was leaving to go to the Walkersville carnival again, thunder and lightning hit our area and didn’t stop for a long time. I decided to play it safe and not drive, to see if the storms would pass. I ended getting caught up on research and talking to specific people about the research I was doing.


Two candidates (one from each party), were asked to withdraw from the race because they were found in violation of the Frederick County Code:


§ 2-2-19. Residency requirements.


(a)     A candidate for county commissioner shall be a resident and registered voter of Frederick County for at least 6 months immediately prior to the date of election.


Thus the field narrowed by one on each side of the aisle.


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