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As Long as We Remember...

September 6, 2010

Campaign Diary Busier Than Usual

Michael Kurtianyk

Sunday, August 29 – House Party


It amazes me how people work to put together a party in a short amount of time. It was only two weeks ago when I spoke with someone who said: “Let’s have a party at my house for you.” I agreed, though I thought that two weeks wasn’t enough time.


It turned out, I was wrong. We had a great turnout, and everyone who attended, many of whom I hadn’t met before, asked great questions during our discussions.


I have found that as it gets closer to the primary, the people I meet are more pointed in their questions; that is, the questions are more specific, and less general. An example is a question I received this evening: “What will you do about the duplication of services between the county and the city, and will you move forward with tax differential, tax equity, or something else entirely?”


It used to be, that at the beginning of the campaign, the questions were more general. I would be asked: “What do you think about the schools here?” Or: “What kind of businesses do you want to see here?” Not anymore. The questions now are drilled down and more specific.


Another change from earlier in the campaign is that I am no longer shy about asking for money. Whereas at the beginning I resisted asking for money, I am at the point now that I have no reservations it. I have spoken to other campaigners, both past and present. They’ve said that this is what happens in every race: you hate asking for money, but you get over it.


Monday, August 30 – NMWDA Public Briefing


I sat in on a public meeting at Frederick Community College this evening. The topic was the Materials Separation Plan, drafted in July 2010, and meant as part of the process to go forward with the waste-to-energy facility. Of the 60 or so people there, about 20 people spoke. Not everyone commented on the topic of the Materials Separation Plan; some chose to use their allotted three minutes to speak for or against the facility. Some spoke about not being able to print the materials from the website for the Northeastern Maryland Waste Disposal Authority ( With written comments being allowed until September 30, I expect that some will submit further comments in that manner.


Tuesday, August 31 – Commissioners Meeting


At Winchester Hall this evening, the Board of County Commissioners heard a presentation by Division of Fire and Rescue Services Director Thomas Owens entitled “Alternative Service Delivery.” It was a comprehensive presentation, produced by a task force which met this summer at the behest of the commissioners. The purpose was to address an anticipated deficit, beginning in FY2012, of $5.6 million, and increasing to an accumulated deficit of $15.1 million in FY2013.


The task force presented four options for the commissioners to consider. Two options involve creating a single fire tax district, and the other two do not. I was impressed by the depth of the report, as were many in the audience. I thought that the task force did a great job identifying the issues, and presenting good solutions. There will be a follow-up meeting at the end of September, and my hope is that even more people will be in attendance then.


Wednesday, September 1 – Library Board Meeting


I was not able to attend the Forum for the Republican candidates for county commissioner at Frederick Community College. I was at the Board of Trustees meeting for the Frederick County Public Library system at C. Burr Artz Library. Since I’m president of that board, I had to run the meeting, and we didn’t finish until about 8:30 P.M. I am continually impressed with the work of the staffs at the regional and branch libraries in our county.


Thursday, September 2 – Endorsements/Supports


I was pleased to have received the endorsement of The Frederick Gazette. They cited me as a “true leader who is willing to build consensus and who is passionate about improving his adopted hometown.” Very kind words indeed. The full article can be found here:


Also today The Chamber of Commerce released its Voter Guide. Based on what was, so far, the longest questionnaire I’d received, and a follow up interview, I was the only Democrat candidate to receive a 100% rating whose responses supported the Chamber’s positions. The full results can be found here:


Finally, I received the highest rating among the Democrats in an online survey initiated by fellow writer “Rocky” Mackintosh. In a candid statement on his site (, he wrote that it was a “very unscientific web-based poll.” There were 135 respondents, and I received 53% of the votes, and Blaine Young, on the Republican side, received 47% of the votes.


Friday, September 3 – Early Voting


Today was the first day of early voting in Frederick County. It’s the first time Maryland has ever held early voting for the primary, and then later, in the general election. I placed two signs at the front edge of the parking lot at the Frederick Senior Center, on Taney Avenue.


I am glad that Maryland is moving forward with this. It will help those who are out of town on September 14.


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