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August 8, 2013

Editors on a ‘Snipe’ Hunt

Blaine R. Young

On July 29, The Frederick News Post continued to display its fascination (if not obsession) with the activities of the current Board of County Commissioners.


In an editorial that took up a full half page of the Monday morning mini-paper, the editors decried the fact that during our term of office these commissioners have acted in concert on numerous matters. The fact that Commissioners Billy Shreve, C. Paul Smith, Kirby Delauter and I have agreed on many items over the last 2½ years is, for some reason, a surprise to these editors. It shouldn’t be.


          Apparently the editors have a very short – or even worse – a selective memory. This even extends to things that they have printed on their op-ed page.


Once again I am compelled to remind them of a Letter to the Editor printed September 26, 2010, during the heat of the election campaign, which was signed by the four of us. At the time we were candidates. We thought it important to set out our positions and our policies for all to see.


We were not in the least bit bashful throughout the entire campaign in 2010, telling everyone that if we were elected we would end business as usual, cut back on the infighting, and work together to move the county forward. We ran as a slate. We were overwhelmingly elected in a landslide.


And now, for reasons known only to them, the editors of this august publication express shock and dismay that four people who ran as a slate, and were decisively elected are acting in concert on county policy.


Wake up editors. We said we would work together; we have worked together; and we will continue to work together. If you don’t like our policies, that is your right, and you certainly are not hesitant to speak up when you disagree with us. But don’t take some phony, contrived high road to criticize us for having told the truth about how we would govern. When in the world did keeping our word to the voters become a heinous act?


And one other item in this editorial merits clarification. The News-Post’s editors make it sound like it was this Board of County Commissioners that approved the waste-to-energy facility and put the agreements into place. In fact, that decision was made by the previous board and was voted for by Commissioners John L. (Lennie) Thompson, Jan Gardner and David Gray. It has been left to the current commissioners to deal with the ramifications of that decision and do our best to ensure that the county meets the commitments that were made by the prior board. We are doing our best, and we will continue to do so.


The editorial did get one thing right. In November of 2014 the voters will once again have the right and privilege to determine who will govern the county for the next four years. Whoever that may be, my most ardent wish for them will be to be free of the constant sniping and attacks from the editors of a publication that holds a monopoly on the daily printed word in this county, and to be respected, not abused, for keeping their word.


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