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Advertise on the Tentacle

October 26, 2012

How to Pay More and Like It

Harry M. Covert

All the chatter running amok to create a charter government flies in the face of the alleged desire for less and smaller county-wide rule. This vital proposal comes smack in the middle of the critical national elections.


Charter proposal writers and political movers and shakers used all of their wizardry to place the way Frederick County’s governments operate in an almost win situation.


Under guise of what’s best for the people, the charter movement has slowly picked up steam in these waning campaign days. Let’s not dash off the question that the proposed change is good, bad or just another political effort to reduce leadership and direction of the Board of Commissioners?


Frederick County has the joy of being both urban and suburban with small and large communities that are the joy of residents. History plays a major role in each of the areas where charter supporters want to make political districts instead of maintaining beautiful communities.


Do taxpayers really want to take on more taxes? Do citizens want to become like the Montgomery and/or Prince George’s counties? Because the latter areas have become so heavily populated, crime-infested and expensive, Frederick County voters should be measuring twice before making the cut (vote) to support charter.


Those who think a charter-style government will improve their lifestyles should have other thoughts. A county council will be looking for a county manager or executive and that will not be cheap – not in the least inexpensive. County services will take on an entirely new organizational structure and costs.


Consider law enforcement operations. At least Sheriff Chuck Jenkins has a good hand on policing operations on the many roadways and knows the advantages of maintaining the current structure for commissioners.


Citizens should be concerned, too, that their votes would have a diluted impact and their voices mostly whistling in the winds.


The charter movement is merely another idea for the county manager/executive form, growing government and establishing a council that truly becomes subservient.


Bigger is not always better. It’s been said grass is always greener across the street and “more expensive.” And, “out of the past the future” or “the past is prologue.


When governments increase, citizens have to pay more and in this instance costs will zoom. People will be learning some new words in citizen-speak like gerrymandering, squandering, and “we paid what?” Eventually we’re likely to hear from a toothless district council member, “I’ve made a lot of friends; I’ve made a lot of enemies; and I’ve spent a lot of money.”


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