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February 20, 2012

Final Thoughts, For Now….

Michael Kurtianyk

This will be my final column for a while. I am going on leave for an indeterminate length of time. The increase in my real estate workload has caused me to spend less time on things outside of real estate (and my family). So, I will leave you with some thoughts as I take my sabbatical.


I will miss the monthly breakfasts that bring together columnists. Granted, I haven’t been there in a while, due to my commitment on WFMD930AM Frederick’s Forum. However, I always looked forward to those meals, and I cherished many of the conversations.


I’ve been low-key with my assessment of how local politics is being run these days. There’s no specific reason, except that the voters put into Winchester Hall those they felt would best represent them. You get what you vote for, for better or for worse. Democratic Party voters didn’t come out, and the rest voted in a slate, regardless of the desire of a government running better through balance, rather than a single mindset.


There will be changes in 2014, that much is certain. Two of the commissioners have indicated that they would only sit for one-term (Blaine Young and Kirby Delauter); one is publicly considering a run for Frederick mayor (Billy Shreve); one stays quiet, except when it comes to lawsuits (C. Paul Smith); and one is always outvoted (Gray). If things continue, there may be a whole new team of commissioners; that is, if we stay in the five-commissioner government.


When it comes to the charter form of government, we’ll have to see what happens. The initial drafts that have trickled out have been encouraging, mostly; but there are still many parts which have not been fleshed out.


That’s fine. The committee wants the entire draft ready by July 4, and they have been working hard to keep the public informed every step of the way. The committee’s work on keeping the public informed is to be admired; however, it will all go for naught if the majority of county citizens do not like what this group presents.


In the local congressional races, the Sixth District should be interesting. There are many candidates on the Republican side who are vying to unseat current Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. Who knew that so many Republicans were unhappy with a multi-term representative?


The new redistricting is not a slam-dunk for the Democrats. Their primary winner must stay on message and remind voters that the core values of compassion and fairness can still be exhibited in this district.


Statewide, Gov. Martin O’Malley has done a great deal with selling his proposed 2013 budget. There’s always going to be a perceived spending problem, and a perceived savings problem. This is true in all the state budgets around the country. My concern has to do with the negative rhetoric of both sides in the debate. It gets to be crazy after awhile.


Nationally, it looks more and more than Mitt Romney will be the GOP presidential candidate. This will be good for the Democrats because Mr. Romney’s weaknesses can be counted on many hands. However, lest we forget, Mr. Romney is a Republican Mormon who was the governor of Massachusetts from 2003-2007. It’s not a slam dunk for President Barack Obama, either.


To my fellow writers, keep being honest, and fair.


To our readers: keep reading with a critical eye and thank you. I hope to be back – sooner rather than later.


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