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June 27, 2017

Make Frederick Great Again? The Saga Set

Harry M. Covert

The beat goes on. Attention can now be shifted back to where it has always been the most important, to the highways and byways of localities.


Sounds rather simple. Factually the face of real politics is rearing and ready to go on local fronts. Faces of candidates of all persuasions will become familiar.


Now in the middle of summer, give or take a few weeks, campaigners are lining up. This is good. Now it will be seen quickly if the national babble will make any difference on local fronts.


Who is going to come up with another slogan like “Make Frederick County and Frederick City Great Again?” Or, something along the lines of "drain the swamp" at the county's Winchester Hall and city government offices on downtown's West Patrick Street and City Hall Square, a title revising history again. That space in front of City Hall was for nearly 250 years as Courthouse Square.


At this point, where the cast of candidates and characters is taking shape, there has been no chatter to get rid of the county's Charter-style government.


Through an astounding move, the Frederick County Commissioner form was dropped on December 1, 2014.


In actuality this move literally made county council membership a waste of time and effort.


The winner is the person who captures the county executive (CE) position. The CE could well be the best elected job and gives incredible authority to run county affairs at will. Magnificent for victor.


Why spend a cent to get a council seat? No evidence that the Charter-style government will change any time soon. Maybe county councilmen ought to just stand aside and schedule sessions only when annual budgets come up for automatic acquiescence.


At the risk of being unkind, I respect office seekers and holders. But, the current governing style does not benefit the public. As a French saying puts it, "c'est le vie." In other words "bob's your uncle" or "so what?"


Several names have jumped into the race for county executive. So far these are for the Republican nomination. Councilman Kirby Delauter is busy preparing and is popular. He's joined by Regina Williams, a first time candidate and former county budget officer.


Delegate Kathy Afzali has announced she won't run for another term and is teasing she wants to be the GOP nominee to face incumbent CE Jan Gardner, of the Democratic variety.


This CE competition will be a rather stimulating encounter, likely no holds barred and worth considerable media attention.


The battle for Frederick City mayor could be a race to watch. Incumbent chief executive Randy McClement will be seeking his third term. He is popular and will be tough to unseat.


Hayden Duke is in the race for alderman. An educator who is extremely popular with his students, is a formidable candidate. He has a great opportunity for success.


There will also be some extraordinary interest in the race for State Senate. Craig Giangrande, a popular and successful Frederick businessman, is seeking the GOP nomination for Senate in District 3.


Political enthusiasts can hardly wait for the rest of the candidates to sign up. The slogans will be good, along with the issues, suggestions and would-be solutions.


Primary Election Day in the city is September 12, with the general voting set for November 7.


More about other candidates coming soon.


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