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February 26, 2013

Mayor, Mayor on the Wall, Who’s the Strongest of Them All?

Earl 'Rocky' Mackintosh

Frederick City’s next mayor needs to bring fiscal order and a commitment to economic development. It appears that the dust has settled enough from the 2012 presidential election…


Maybe not for all; so let's just say that while most are somewhere between fed up and infuriated with all the inside-the-beltway banter, it is time for many to place focus elsewhere.


For nearly 30% of the residents of Frederick County, it is time to start paying attention to the next political drama that is slowly unfolding as I "put pen to paper" for this column...actually to be more precise, I should say "tap fingers to iPad."


Yes, in less time than it takes for a man and woman to conceive a child and bring it into the world, Frederick City voters will have gone to the polls for the 61st time to cast their ballot for a new mayor and Board of Aldermen.


The mayoral race is especially shaping up to be what one current city "alder-person" predicts will be a "blood bath."


Let us consider the announced candidates and those who may well yet throw their hats – and "hand grenades" – into the ring.


On the Republican side, there is current Mayor Randy McClement, who may face immediate past Mayor Jeff Holtzinger, who has told me that he may very well run again.


On the Democratic side, the match-up to watch will be that of current Alderman Karen Young (wife of State Senator and former Mayor Ron Young) versus long-time Maryland House of Delegate member Galen Clagett, who is also a former Frederick County commissioner, as well as a local real estate mogul – of sorts.


Among the yet-to-be-announced, there are strong indications that former Mayor Jennifer Dougherty may jump in for another run as a third-party candidate.


One of the great things about living is a community the size of Frederick County is that if one lives here long enough, he or she can get to know all the candidates very well. In my case, I happen to know all well and consider each one a friend.  And since I live outside the boundaries of the city, I will not have to face that difficult behind-the-curtain decision on Election Day.


Be that as it may, as a 40-year member of this community, and someone who is active in the land and commercial real estate business, I do have a few thoughts on the platforms of whomever seeks the throne at City Hall.


There are three primary issues that I will be looking for on the platforms of these mayoral candidates:


·       serious commitment to – and a plan for – bringing the City of Frederick’s fiscal house to order;

·       a no-holds barred commitment to economic development; and

·       strong leadership qualities along with the courage and willingness to stop “kicking the can” down the road.


In Part II of this column I’ll dig into these three issues in depth, identifying critical areas that could use some attention from the city’s next administration.


Mr. Mackintosh is president of MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. He also writes for his blog MacRo Report and for


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