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


As Long as We Remember...

May 26, 2015

Bud Otisí Flailing Presidency

Harry M. Covert

When all else fails, at least in the political arena, take a poll. In this stage pollsters often become polecats no matter which side they take.

There can be lots of fun taking opinions. Usually those voting for and against, or no opinion, find it easier to express themselves – particularly if they don’t have to give their names.

Regarding the ongoing fight (it’s not a spat) involving Frederick County’s elected leadership makes interesting reading and from all that’s being said in public and private there is no end in sight.

Some conversations have been welcomed for one of the elected officials to resign. The non-scientific polling coming this way isn’t about quitting by a Thurmont council member. Instead, it is about the vacating of the Republican Party by the County Council president, identified as Bud Otis.

Just listen, please. Calls are growing louder by the day that Mr. Otis must abandon his GOP membership for the liberals now in charge as Democrats. At the moment the council presider seems to have fallen in deep trouble with his former friends and supporters. The clamor is growing whether he realizes it or not.

Reports keep coming that those who supported Mr. Otis have taken to fully expressing to his face their displeasure at his politics. At this early stage of the first Charter form of government in Frederick County, partisan feelings appear in a booming rage.

Party members and leaders who sided with the president are truly shaken, embarrassed and burnishing at the thought of drumming him out and guaranteeing status “a man without a party.”

Personal ambition is important in all lives, especially politicians. The stage is being set for a broad public division in county politics, probably not seen for many decades. There are always disagreements and differences in developing leadership. To turn on your colleagues is inexcusable and voters don’t forget.

The county executive, a Democrat, managed to ensconce an ally, supposedly a political opposite, as the council president. There are some interesting questions as to how she persuaded Mr. Otis to forsake his GOP colleagues. But, she pulled off a coup and perhaps deserves credit for her acumen.

The hubbub over ethics and executive orders and a fierce changing of the guard is real and borders on the disgraceful. Yes, it is true to the victor goes the spoil. Shouldn’t there be some class in winning?

There seems no end to the ongoing animosity from the county executive toward council members, and vice versa, especially those who served in the previous Board of County Commissioners.

If the current leadership cares at all about Frederick County citizens and productive government, there is no reason to think that being first among equals is equivalent to a czar or dictator.

Time has come for courtesy and common sense to come to the fore. Talk about ethics and honesty and veracity. There is every need to halt bad manners and ill-speaking before higher authorities get involved. What?

Political types are always criticizing courts for allegedly making laws. On the local level do the electeds want the county’s circuit court judges to step in and rule by fiat? Or, for that matter, would they prefer a federal court take jurisdiction over local affairs?

This is not a laughing matter. Courts don’t like to involve themselves in the election process unless there are matters of civil rights violations and criminal activities. It could happen in Frederick if the county executive and council don’t smooth out their differences in a dignified and professional matter.

Legal minds are locally available to test the waters. Polltakers could be busy asking opinions and some attorneys could prepare some mighty good arguments and good fees to catch voter’s eyes and ears.

The county need not become a Third World entity.


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