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January 21, 2014

Frederick and a Monarchy?

Harry M. Covert

Hoopdorff, The Netherlands – A few days in this quaint town just kilometers from Amsterdam, is a recharging experience. Here, in the midst of a charity conference, plans have been made for more educational supplies, more hygienic facilities and reports on the success of providing milk cows for villages.


Visitors hear locals praising their king and queen en masse without equivocation. Riding from Schiphol Airport to a delightful family-owned hotel, the taxi driver couldn't stop bragging on the monarchy, especially "our beautiful queen Maxima," wife of King Willem-Alexander.


It was rather refreshing to see smiles on faces of the Dutch when talking about their leaders, "who're always available to us."


That being said I took a break from the Emerge Kinder Fonds trustee meetings to take a look on line on activities from Frederick. Of course, pictures showed County Commissioners' President Blaine Young in a commanding photo during a Monrovia hearing.


Then reading all of the comments how Mr. Young wasn't being "transparent." He acknowledged dining with the attorney for the opposition, who just happened to be a personal and professional acquaintance. Why not?


How in the world can office holders ever get things done without knowing everyone in the communities – country and city? It occurs during this timeout in the Keystone Constituency conference room that opposers always want to accuse their leaders of backhanded or underhanded dealings. In reality, the officials have to hear all sides of everything and read all those interminable memos and pages upon pages.


I thought I probably don't know all of the facts involving county growth. I do know building new homes, improving the landscaping throughout the magnificent land and have others enjoying life in the county ought to be a truly progressive stance.


What's wrong with more business, homes, schools, churches and youth sporting facilities? Not a thing. Allowing land to remain stagnant is not good, like leaving your mind closed and not energetic.


Back to the business of Emerge Kinder Fonds. This charity headquartered in The Netherlands is a decade-plus old and continues to grow. The Dutch people believe in feeding hungry people, providing school supplies and facilities and various forms of food and medical supplies.


Areas of work are in the African nations of Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan and also helping out in Haiti and the Philippines. People in Frederick County have been involved in humanitarian and church work all over the Caribbean and other areas. In fact, churches of all denominations have not kept their "lights under a bush." This is great, too.


It tickles me to see citizens turn out to complain about county growth and comment as to why it shouldn't happen. Then turn around raise funds to help alleviate world hunger, world ignorance and medical treatments.


Or to hear our neighbors in Frederick bellyache about providing food stamps for local hungry and homeless people. I've heard all of the war stories of food stamp abuses. Most are plain silly and wrong.


The thing about leadership is simple. Lead. Why stick your finger in the air to determine which way the wind blows? To be leaders, elected officials must have a plan and stick to it. Somebody is going to complain but doers simply have to do things and don't prevaricate or delay and make up excuses.


My colleagues at Emerge Kinder Fonds have been superb the past few days. The people of The Netherlands have answered appeals. The result: Emerge Kinder Fonds is able to begin building outdoor toilet facilities, something we take for granted in Frederick and the rest of the state and nation.


The trustees have been providing cows for families. Cows? Yes, in Bujumbura, Burundi. They get up early in the morning, milk the bovines and take the product to their village outdoor markets. Sales are good and families benefit.


One report is the families earn more money than the school teachers. We're trying to help in this area.


There are lots of milk producers in Frederick County. The work is difficult but, thankfully, the good farmers stay on the job. Milk makes a difference not only in the Free State but around the nation and the world.


It would be fun for a few days to hear people at large in Frederick laud elected officials. I understand the party system, but there are fine leaders who dedicate their time and talents for the public good.


Political wonks can have a good time and partisan maneuvers are always entertaining, informative and, in a vast majority of time and reports, the facts aren't accurate. Anti’s on either side of the spectrum can find areas of criticism.


It would be a good thing if political officials of all stripes – and the campaigners, too – to required to swear an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Just like in court. It won't happen.


Listen to all the people who think the USA is going broke. Well, after three decades in international relief projects, such thoughts are not only incongruous but dead wrong.


There are lots of dollars and Euros out there. Just as no American in any city should go hungry or be homeless, the wealth around the world proves the same – world hunger, disease and medical programs should be – and could be – eradicated.


Think you might have it bad? Just consider for a moment. Better yet, Google or Bing for a second and pick any peoples on the Dark Continent, the Caribbean or Asia. You'll see some nice cities but millions upon millions are starving, living in squalid conditions and can't read or write.


My break is over. Back to the business of shipping food and medical supplies. I'm still concerned about South Sudan. Perhaps the fighting and destruction will end so the displaced people can be helped with some type of housing, food and water.


Frederick isn't so bad after all. The electeds deserve better, even though there is no monarchy and some opposers might want to say otherwise.



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