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The Tentacle


January 12, 2017

Merge the City and County?

Harry M. Covert

Have you heard the good news? I mean the news on the local level where many old names and a slew of new ones are movin' and groovin' to see if they can honestly make any differences in governance.

 

It is always good news to find new blood – to locate those women and men who never before considered public office is underway.

 

Questions come as to why anyone would place themselves in public scrutiny? For certain their hopes and ideas will be subject to ridicule far more than support. Even with the best of intentions, honest to goodness politicking can get waylaid.

 

Enough of that preamble. It is true, though.

 

The Frederick race for mayor and the Board of Aldermen and the coming competition for county executive is picking up steam. May the Lord help us.

 

Maybe some good things will develop. Some fresh faces will be welcomed. We can expect some mischievous questions and answers.

 

For sure, the new gang of candidates will have to be Republicans or Democrats. No independents. Don't waste time to any who may be considering solo runs. Save your money, give donors a break from wishful thinking.

 

Breezing down Market Street, I wondered why the City of Frederick and Frederick County shouldn’t consolidate. Has anyone ever considered such action? If not, why not?

 

A Frederick historian just laughed at my suggestion. He coughed, almost choked wiping tears from his eyes.

 

"Be careful how you bring up such a thing. There would be a real revolution."

 

Sure seems like a lot of duplication in governing. I know the answer: "It's always been done that way."

 

I know the old line from Miss Marple: "Old sins cast long shadows." How true. Sins are still around.

 

Further, I heard the Frederick County School Board (to the less knowledgeable it’s Frederick County Public Schools) has come up with an $80 billion proposed salary increases over the next four years.

 

How can these people pull that off? Homeowners and business taxpayers will be losing their minds.

 

There is no way that taxing authority be given to such a public entity. If this idea gains any momentum, there will be, and should be, a vicious fight. It would have to have a voter referendum. A revolution or rebellion.

 

Current administrators of city and county governments here must get a grip. All these things will face any and all candidates.

 

There is so much at stake. Another example of committee overreach is the city's Historic Preservation Commission. These “commissioners” always seem to overstep reasonable bounds when old dilapidated buildings need to be razed – knocked down.

 

Other interesting suggestions are still on the city agenda, like a downtown convention center. This is important and will cost lots of money.

 

The coming election in the fall is going to be a taxpayer's nightmare. Where will all the dollars come from for new schools, a convention facility, and all other overwhelming projects?

 

Other money guzzling efforts will be in developing stages.

 

Now, the good news is this...governing localities is not for sissies, similar to the bumper sticker for seniors. To be fair, the elder community has the responsibility to keep life on an even keel.

 

Like it or not, governments – as we know – will be taking on new looks on noon in seven days. Talk about trickling down, the old political landscape will crumble in all probability.

 

Someone once said "a new broom sweeps clean, but an old broom knows every corner."

 

Before fact checkers horn in, the broom quote is an old Rastafarian proverb.

 

I can see changes coming.

 

hmcovert@gmail.com

 



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