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October 24, 2017

Alright, All Politics is Local

Harry M. Covert

I’m counting the days to November 7. It’s exciting for citizens. It’s a must day. It’s always a new day and rather surprising that an overwhelming number of taxpayers, actually all residents, don’t just flock to polling stations and mark ballots for their favorite candidate(s).


In the City of Frederick, MD, the mayorship is up for grabs as are five seats on the Board of Aldermen. The future of Maryland’s second largest city is at stake.


Of course it’s rather easy to jump on non-voters for failing to exercise the sacred and cherished right of casting ballots. But that’s not necessary here because we always promote voting as a key to good citizenship.


Those who step forward to seek public office deserve great credit. Campaigning is a tough business. And wanting to serve their community is not merely an ego trip. No matter which side of the political spectrum candidates may proffer, it’s not fun to constantly face criticism of one sort or another. That seems to be today’s style.


Slogans are prominent and sometimes clever. The personal touch is the key to winning elections. Knocking on doors is vital for each hopeful. How often do we hear that old saw “all politics is local?” It’s true.


Popular two-term Mayor Randy McClement, a Republican, has two opponents. Alderman Michael O’Connor, a Democrat, is in the race for the top job. A third candidate, Shelley Aloi, former member of the aldermanic board, is working for a write-in vote. She lost in the GOP’s primary election. She still wants to serve.


There are 10 candidates, five Republicans and five Democrats seeking five seats on the Board of Aldermen.


One of the more interesting candidates is Democrat Roger Wilson. He’s giving local officials some heartburn. The reason is that he’s a political appointee for the Frederick County government. He wants to keep his job hustling for County Executive Jan Gardner’s administration. The county attorney gave him the okay to run. The city’s ethics commission ruled he would have to recuse himself, if elected, from any votes involving county work with the city.


Hayden Duke is a Republican candidate for the board. He’s knocked on almost every door in the city – and those he has missed he will address in the next two weeks. His energy level has been impressive.


The field:


Republicans: Katie Bowersox, Bryan Chaney, Hayden Duke, Alan E. Imhoff and Nate Power.


Democrats: Donna Kuzemchak, Ben MacShane, Kelly Russell, Derek Shackelford and Roger Wilson.


Elections are extremely important for all. Despite shenanigans by opponents, campaigns are fun and enlightening. Residents have the right to not register and pick favorites. Let me point out Australia’s law requires everyone to participate in elections or else be fined.


Now, I don’t dare suggest imposing fines on non-voters, but that could be a way to increase city, county and state coffers. Previously I’ve noted in times past that poll taxes were required to mark ballots. This kept so many individuals from expressing their political views. It’s not funny when people don’t go to the polls.


Election judges and campaign workers perform their jobs exquisitely. They are a joy to meet and deserve compliments for doing their civic duty.


I’ll not look into a crystal ball to predict the top vote-getters. I do hope that the vast majority of residents take the time to make their opinions count.


Okay, please don’t forget November 7. It’s easy.


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