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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

November 25, 2014

Titillating Days for Frederick

Harry M. Covert

No matter where life takes us, there’s no uncertainty politics will always play a major role, whether good and bad, up or down, in or out. Everywhere, at city halls, town halls, county seats, civic clubs and churches of all persuasions.


Even though the art of compromise sounds good, it affects those who have had their oxes (properly oxen) gored. Joy and happiness and wins or losses get in the way, and there is always a snake-in-the-grass to let everyone know policy-making continues as do disagreements. Fisticuffs or threats thereof often are considered. Most of the time peace breaks out even though the losers are still angry.


Political shenanigans are not missing in Frederick. In the middle of writing some nice words about the joys of this holiday week, Thanksgiving to be sure, news arrived that the outgoing Board of County Commissioners appointed their president to the county’s Planning and Zoning board. This was in a last minute and final decision.


This maneuver was a slick one. In fact I sort of thought President Blaine Young, defeated in his bruising battle for county executive, would latch on to a cushy state cabinet post with the incoming Republican governor. He still may.


Mr. Young is a wise politician. He had been the commissioner’s representative to the planning commission. In Monday’s last session of the commissioners, he resigned from that position. Then he was appointed to a five-year term on the board. This ploy denies a personal choice of the new and first county executive, Jan Gardner.


A poke in the eye and a gotcha always brings about hot news and a booming reminder that the next few years will be newsy, exciting and titillating.


Earlier in the primary campaign season various interesting rumors circulated. This was especially running rampant during the Democratic Party nomination process for sheriff. The word erupted early that whoever won the party choice would support the other, and if one of them won the seat, the other would get a top job.


To be frank, this is not unusual in the game. On the national level several people who wanted to be president became secretaries of state and one became the vice president. Go back to the days when initials took notice, JFK had to take LBJ as his No. 2. We know the history on this and JFK’s brother RFK could not abide the Texan. There are some treacheries on this period, but they’re only activities of critics and money-grabbers.


Years ago it was suggested that a president have the right to hang his losing opponent to curb continued sniping. Herbert Hoover had several candidates for the honor.


Everybody in the game, on the surface, wants to appear playing nice. There are lots who always want to get even. They will some time that is sure.


Stories abound of political victors who flat out get even. Watching the presidential news conference on the departure of the defense secretary brought to mind when the American Caesar butted heads with the civilian commander-in-chief.


A number of soldiers over the years have been executed for disobeying orders. Here I think of five-star General Douglas MacArthur. He wasn’t shot but he got his comeuppance defying Mr. Truman, the “buck stops here” man. My. how commanders-in-chief have evolved in recent years.


I’m well aware of the thought “to the victors go the spoils. “But I’ve never understood why the experience and talents of those leaving elected positions can’t be incorporated in new administrations.


So, while the public at large may be gasping in every form about Mr. Young’s continuing involvement with county planning, he has a lot to keep giving. Jan Gardner could have an asset she never expected.


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