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August 23, 2010

Campaign Diary Answering Questions

Michael Kurtianyk

Monday, August 16 – Chamber Interview


I had my 30-minute interview with the Frederick Chamber of Commerce this morning. It was held at Frederick Community College, and there were four people there reviewing the answers I gave to their questionnaire.


To say that their questionnaire was comprehensive would be an understatement. There were some 20 questions, and they were broad in range: transportation, economic development, etc.


I actually like completing the questionnaires, and don’t find them cumbersome at all. My thinking is this: questionnaires are nothing compared to the workload of a county commissioner; and so, I’m not complaining. If I complained about the number of questionnaires, then what will I say about the workload of a county commissioner if I’m fortunate enough to be elected?


What was unique was that it was an online questionnaire. What I did was cut and paste the online questions onto a WORD document, answer the questions there, then cut and paste my answers back to the online document.


Sounds good, right?


Well, it was brought to my attention this morning that on two consecutive questions, I cut and pasted the same answer. Yikes! I hadn’t expected that, but it was an honest mistake. The chamber representatives understood this also, and I was allowed to resend the answer later today.


Tuesday, Aug. 17 – Three Consecutive Commitments


At 6 P.M. this evening, I arrived at Harry Grove Stadium for a special event. As president of the Board of Trustees for the Frederick County Library System, I had the good fortune to help present the prizes to the winners of the Summer Reading Series. The total number of participants was an impressive 9,859, with this breakdown: 7,619 grade school scholars and 2,240 high school scholars. The winners turned out to have been users of the Urbana Branch Library.


At 7:05 P.M. I arrived at Frederick Community College for the Board of Education Forum. This was sponsored by The Frederick News-Post, WFMD, The League of Women Voters, and Frederick Community College. The moderator was FCC Professor Ken Kerr. I only stayed a half hour, but I was able to hear a few questions and the responses from the candidates. It was good to see the FCC format again, since I will be on that stage next Tuesday.


I left at 7:40 P.M. in order to go to Patrick’s Restaurant downtown. It was there that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley had a fundraiser sponsored by the Democratic Party. There were only a few candidates, and some elected officials, but I had a good time talking to many of the people there. It was the first time I’d heard and watched the governor play a guitar and sing. A good time seemed to be had by all.


Wednesday, Aug. 18 – WTE, DFRS, FOP


In the newspaper this morning, I read that Governor O’Malley supported waste-to-energy facilities. I didn’t go to the Chamber lunch when he spoke there, but the paper did say that the governor traveled to Sweden, where he found out that the country had a zero landfill policy, relying on waste-to-energy trash incineration. His quote was:


"They have come to the conclusion that waste-to-energy is far less damaging to the environment than the sort of emissions that happen over time and the degradation to ground water and the air from landfills.”


Later in the evening, I went to Hollow Creek Golf Course, and spoke with members of the Division of Fire and Rescue Services, and the Fraternal Order of Police. It was a good turnout by the members of those groups. Not every candidate was there, which was surprising. Some sent representatives, which I thought was interesting. There was a Chamber Picnic, and a parade at Rocky Ridge, but I chose to come here this evening. Ever since I decided to run, I met and spoke with people from both of these groups. So, for me, I found the evening more of a culmination of my research rather than a chance for me to learn what their issues were.


What was great was the chance to meet with the people at the front line: the Emergency Medical Technicians, firefighters, and officers who protect the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens. They asked great questions, and I was happy to have met each and every one of them.


Friday, Aug. 20 – Farm Bureau


The commissioner candidates were invited to the Frederick Fairgrounds this morning to listen to representatives from the Farm Bureau, Sustainability Commission, and Office of Economic Development. There were 14 candidates there (five were missing), and for me, like the Wednesday night event at Hollow Creek, it was a refresher course. I’d met with some of the people there already, and met with others during the course of the campaign. The group shared their thoughts on what their issues are and were helpful in presenting supporting data on their issues.


My parents grew up and worked on farms. They left to come here to America, and worked tough jobs in order to provide for me. I appreciate what the members of the Farm Bureau have to go through, and they’re feeling the pinch just like everyone else.


I am having fun, and though there are never enough hours in the day, I know that I am learning a lot and meeting great people.


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