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July 2, 2013

Just For Whom Do They Work?

Roy Meachum

Of course, “dismayed” was not Kirby Delauter’s word; it came from the headline writer. Frederick News-Post reporter Bethany Rodgers penned “rudeness.”


Ms. Rodgers described the commissioner’s reaction to the crowd that jammed in Frederick Community College’s Jack Kussmaul Theater for the “hearing” on the sale of the facilities and properties for the county’s poor.  The decision had been made in advance. “They acted like a bunch of school kids that were out of control,” she quoted him.


That might aptly fit Mr. Delauter, Billy Shreve and Blaine Young, the president of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners, according to pictures on Facebook that Ms. Rodger cited: “One online photo showed a human pyramid of commissioners in swim trunks, with Delauter and Young as the base, Shreve in the middle, and Young’s young son at the top.


“Another picture was of Delauter and Young holding aloft Shreve as he digs in the sand with a toy shovel.”


Since the three constitutes a majority of the board, the commissioners’ president carefully noted in the byline, they didn’t talk county business. This stems from a WFMD Radio incident that featured two county fathers and a third one called in.


The glaring difference is that Mr. Delauter chided his employers; the commissioners work for the taxpayers and not the other way around. All the board is Republicans; they were elected in 2010, in reaction to the first African American in the White House, which most Frederick residents found anathema. By the way, the county voter registrations are 54,795 Republicans, 60,841 Democrats and some 33,000 independents, according to Stuart Harvey, director of the Frederick County Board of Elections.


In the wake of last year’s presidential election and Maryland redistricting, there is much speculation about Frederick’s political future. There are 36,539 registered voters in the city – 10,749 Republicans, 17,299 Democrats and 8,491 registered as third party or unaffiliated, according to Mr. Harvey. This does mean automatically four more years for incumbent GOP Mayor Randy McClement. (My next column will be on the city election.)


This has been an extraordinarily bad three years for the Board of County Commissioners. Mr. Delauter was up on an ethics charge, first upheld and eventually defeated. Mr. Shreve has advertised himself to the world as neophyte politician; never having held elected office before.


Blaine Young has confused followers, saying he would never run for re-election; but at that time fellow Republican Roscoe Bartlett seemed to own the congressional 6th District for life. Blaine has mounted a gubernatorial campaign that has faltered.


Meanwhile, the man loudly given credit for his family’s political success has weakened. Although they are political enemies, stepmother Karen Young has accrued from Blaine’s strengths. But in a recent News-Post call-in survey, Galen Clagett beat her socks down, almost three times the number phoned for him.


A year from this November will see how many county commissioner incumbents survive. Their outlandish attitude can be summed up in the word: Dismayed! They actually think the voters work for them.


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