In the mid-1840s, Frederick erected a girls’ boarding school, which was later used to start a women’s institution, now known as Hood College, before its move out to Rosemount Avenue, its present location. The building, Winchester Hall, is now the county government’s seat.
Behind the brick walls, it’s a teakettle about to blow, according to rumors and The Frederick News-Post; in Saturday’s edition, Bethany Rodgers wrote two front-page stories: the scandal about the fire chief’s hurried resignation and Commissioner David Gray’s promise to run for county executive if and when Commissioners’ President Blaine Young files for the office.
In turn, Mr. Young blows his fellow GOP member off to Ms. Rodgers: “Commissioner Gray is a nice fellow, but he’s a sneaky, snide little man. He will backstab you in a New York second.”
“A nice fellow’s” hostility has existed since November 2012, and will continue until their terms run out next year; they have diametrically opposed personalities. On the other hand, Mr. Gray has served on the Board of County Commissioners since 1990, and was an appointed member of the county planning commission, in 1979 – not long before I moved here from Bethesda. He once held the commissioner’s presidency and was vice president in the past.
Blaine Young I met when he was a teen-ager in Winchester Hall. We were waiting for the votes to be counted in the 1985 Frederick City election: the last term his father served as mayor. All Blaine’s glory came later – WFMD Radio sales director and host of the popular broadcast show. He’s been called the founder of the county Tea Party.
In his decision to resign, the Fire and Rescue Director Thomas Owen took into consideration the harassing questions of Mr. Young and Commissioners Billy Shreve and Kirby Delauter, according to Mr. Gray and the commissioners’ vice president, Paul Smith. “He’s kind of got an impossible task. And that is, how do you rein in the cost of fire and rescue services without cutting services?” Mr. Smith said.
All the commissioners are Republican. They were elected in 2010 when the disenchantment with Democrats was at its height, deepening the county’s reputation as a stronghold for the GOP. Both State’s Attorney Charlie Smith and Sheriff Chuck Jenkins belong to the same party.
The other item from Ms. Rodgers was in front-page headlines: “Commissioner vows to follow colleague to ballot” was about Mr. Gray’s promise to oppose Mr. Young for county executive. The radio show host and co-owner of the local Yellow Cab company would do so only if his plans to run for governor do not pan out. I’ve considered in TheTentacle.com’s columns that they’re beyond reality in Democratic-dominated Maryland.
But the bar comes in the language that the voters approved last November – language mayoral candidate Galen Clagett couldn’t meet – that Mr. Young sells all his businesses to become county executive. He has sworn he will not run again for Winchester Hall – which places him, our classical ancestors recognized, as between Scylla and Charybdis, turbulent Mediterranean whirlpools.
Not a good position.
But Blaine Young possesses a true salesman’s instincts as a pleasant intriguer. He’s capable of charming qualities to avoid any positions. I’ve seen him do that more than once!
But in the short-term: The Frederick News-Post unscientific daily survey shows the commissioners’ president trailing veteran politician Gray, 35-65 per cent.