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As Long as We Remember...

March 14, 2018

Explanation of Methodology

Guest Columnist

Harold “Bud” Otis

I’d like to share a story. In a country, far, far away, there lies a kingdom ruled by a powerful monarch. This monarch has become more and more infatuated with this own reflection.


The above allows for a spoiling of the mind. The mind becomes consumed by words in the air which are spoken by only those allowed to voice the opinion of the monarch.


What if there is no one left to speak the truth? What will become of the kingdom? What becomes of the country? It leads one to reflect on the importance and critical need for checks and balances.


Think of Washington, D.C. It seems to be ruled by a wayward monarch, who doesn’t always listen to advice other than words which are feedback of his own position.


Do you feel empowered when you are wrongly accused or judged by others? Hmmm, me neither! I like for the truth to be the judge.


At the county level, I’ve worked with outside attorneys and subject matter experts when crafting proposed legislation.


I’ve been accused basically of consorting with the enemy – the developers and builders. This is ridiculous! Would you make a decision based solely on one person’s viewpoint? I don’t. I like research and will continue to do so as I see it as my responsibility as a council member, and as council president.


I enjoy bringing various groups to the table to negotiate legislation.  This is part of my responsibility to understand the subject as president of Frederick County Council.


Convening a work group to discuss issues is not a back room deal. It is part of the work in progress – trying to fully flush out both the pros and cons. Once this is done, then it hits the public process. I truly believe this is an open and transparent way of doing business.


Let me ask a question. Would you express your concerns and opposition to an idea if you have a different opinion than your boss – on camera? Of course not. You’d be very cautious in what you are saying, or may opt not to offer your incredibly valuable advice. This is why I hold meetings. To listen to the real opinions and expertise of others.


Again – I value negotiation and compromise to come to a reasoned and well developed conclusion. Both sides are rarely fully happy. That’s okay! We need the middle ground.


On another note – I don’t voice my disagreements with others in public. I have private conversations. I don’t use the press as an avenue to make accusations or conclusions about the motives of others. Said another way, I chose to respect the stance taken by others whether I agree or disagree.


Let’s work together. Let’s respect each other. Given the chance, let’s dig deeper into issues rather than accuse people of nefarious intent, especially those who have proved to be moderate and contemplative in their decision making process.


I’m here to listen.


My email is


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