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As Long as We Remember...

October 11, 2010

Voting! Making Up Your Mind

Shawn Burns

There are only 22 days left before the General Election on November 2. Get ready for a deluge of material in your mailbox and on your radios and televisions.


This is the time politicians running locally and nationally will step up their rhetoric. So now, more than ever, it is important for “We the people” to pay close attention to what our aspiring representatives say – or do not say – as they make their final push.


Right or wrong, here are some of the criteria that I will use in making my final decision as I walk into my voting precinct to cast my ballot.


Walt Disney once said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”


It will be important to examine closely which candidates have a proven track record of action verses talking. Which incumbents have backed up their talk with equally motivated votes that are in the best interest of the voters and taxpayers? Which political newcomers have backed up their talk in their personal lives and business ventures with action as opposed to pie-in-the-sky dreams and wishful thinking?


“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do,” said Sarah Ban Breathnach.


Are the people I plan to vote for just dreamers? Or are they dreamers who do?


I’m not interested in candidates who just sit around and come up with ideas; and then want to spend more time talking about the ideas, hold meeting about ideas and then talk some more about ideas. (Like Kai Hagen.)


Frederick County needs doers in office.


We need elected officials who will thoughtfully debate issues and ideas in a timely manner and then make concrete decisions. Especially with the financial predicament we are facing, it will be crucial that we have leaders who will not drag their feet. It will be equally important that we have leaders who are willing to make the tough decisions that will be required.


It has been said many times and in many ways through the ages that, “Men who know little, say much.”


I won’t vote for candidates who think that they know it all. (Like Kai Hagen.) I’ll vote for candidates who actually listen when someone else is speaking. (Unlike Kai Hagen.) I won’t vote for candidates who constantly interrupt and talk over others while they are speaking. (Like Kai Hagen.)


I’ll vote for candidates who readily admit mistakes. And I’ll vote for candidates who aren’t afraid to say “I was wrong.”


I won’t vote for candidates who launch into personal diatribes (a bitter and abusive speech or writing) – aka diarrhea of the mouth. (Kai Hagen is the king of this.)


I’ll vote for candidates who give direct and straightforward answers to questions. (Unlike Kai Hagen.)


The more that you, my dear candidate, ramble on, the more I come to believe that either you don’t know what you’re talking about or that you’re lying. As President Lyndon Johnson once said: “You aren’t learning anything when you’re talking.” Still, a few of our local candidates like nothing more to hear their own voice and they get thoroughly annoyed when anyone else speaks. (Like Kai Hagen.)


I won’t vote for candidates who are dismissive, rude and launch personal attacks against those who disagree with their politics. (Like Kai Hagen.)


I’ll vote for candidates who accept scrutiny and criticism of their votes, politics and policy decisions. That’s a fundamental right and duty of the citizens. It also helps to add another layer of checks and balances. I’ll vote for candidates for whom this simple concept is not beyond their grasp. (Not Kai Hagen.)


Frederick County is in desperate need of leaders who will make decisions and take action.


“We do more talking progress than we do progressing,” said Will Rogers. And he couldn’t be more correct.


The time of endless meetings, unfocused and pointless discussions that have nothing to do with items on the agenda is over.


Frederick County needs leaders who will make difficult decisions and who will bring direction and focus back to our county government.

Frederick County needs leaders who won’t waste time and resources and are moved to action. And I’m not talking about the swift action of the current Board of County Commissioners (including Kai Hagen) who told the permit department to enforce the permit required to replace your dishwasher and your toilet, even if it is to a water-saving one.






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