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As Long as We Remember...

Joan Marie Aquilino

December 27, 2012
A BIG Christmas Wish
Joan Marie Aquilino

As I sit here writing this week, it is Christmas Eve and my world is covered in fresh fallen snow. It’s a little difficult to keep an eye on the trouble our world is in. My girls are due to arrive any moment; and; for me, all won’t be right until they are here and safe.

December 13, 2012
Paradoxical Information From Our School System
Joan Marie Aquilino

Recently an article was printed in The Frederick News-Post referencing the many homeless students within the Frederick County Public School System. The report stated that there were 458 students that our school system puts under the category of homeless.

November 29, 2012
Giving ’Til It Hurts
Joan Marie Aquilino

Christmas Cash for Kids is in full swing and gaining support from our entire community and many outside the immediate area. This event – and this time of year – always seems to be just what I need to revive my faith in man and womankind.

November 15, 2012
Creating Christmas Morning Smiles
Joan Marie Aquilino

It’s that special time of year when once again we feel the reason, in our hearts and souls, why we are so very lucky to live in a county such as Frederick. There is no place like our county when it comes to giving and helping those less fortunate.

November 1, 2012
Charter: It’s Closer to the People
Joan Marie Aquilino

In just a few days, I will either be crying in my beer or raising a glass of champagne. There will be many reasons for both or either; but for me personally and 11 others, it’s all about an Up vote on Charter Home Rule, Question A on your ballot.

October 18, 2012
The Buck Doesn’t Stop on Obama’s Desk
Joan Marie Aquilino

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is taking the 5th bullet from the Benghazi, 9/11 anniversary terrorism attack. It will be only a flesh wound because, if you notice, she takes responsibility but she doesn’t take blame.

October 4, 2012
Charter: It’s The Right Way To Go
Joan Marie Aquilino

Election Day is but a month away and it’s so very important that we all educate ourselves and make our date to cast out ballots. “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” are words not spoken lightly.

September 20, 2012
Insanity or Common Sense: Which Will It Be?
Joan Marie Aquilino

The Frederick County Board of Education is walking a very thin line with the ‘new,’ ‘revised,’ ‘enlightened’ talk of liquor policy off school grounds, the less than open and transparent Social Studies Alive diabolical decision; and, last, but not least, their desire to gag the Board of County Commissioners liaison.

September 6, 2012
Another Look At Charter’s Antagonists
Joan Marie Aquilino

Having just read recent articles concerning Charter Home Rule and having been a member of the Charter Writing Committee, I feel compelled to address some of the opinions expressed.

August 23, 2012
Costly With Few Benefits
Joan Marie Aquilino

This has been a whirlwind few weeks; the special session of The General Assembly put everything back an extra week. I spent nearly a week in Annapolis on the hurry-up-and-wait, ever non-productive schedule of our state government.

August 9, 2012
It’s Your Charter and Decision Now
Joan Marie Aquilino

This is going to be a pretty short and sweet this week. The Charter Board officially completed its task Tuesday evening by handing over the charter document to the county commissioners, who will advertise it, as is, and post it in the local newspapers prior to the November 6 election.

July 26, 2012
Educating Our Children – Problems and Solutions
Joan Marie Aquilino

The recent debates about the Board of Education elections have reached a new low. Why, you may ask. Well, I ask myself the same thing.

July 12, 2012
Manners and Courage – Inseparable
Joan Marie Aquilino

I’ve had my fill of late from people who make promises and can’t keep them, or those who swear your secret is safe and then make a beeline to ‘share’ it. Then there is the topper of all idiots.

June 28, 2012
Nearing The End
Joan Marie Aquilino

As you read this, the Frederick County Charter Writing Board will have just completed its last formal public hearing in the process of offering the voters a new form of government.

June 14, 2012
Hot Topics in Proposed Charter
Joan Marie Aquilino

We are coming down to the wire. We don’t have a hard date yet, but the next couple of Charter Writing Board meetings will produce the final document to present to the voters of Frederick County.

May 31, 2012
Wants v. Needs? The Victor Isn’t Predictable!
Joan Marie Aquilino

Dear Frederick County Board of Education members: Please start explaining your thinking to the taxpayers of this jurisdiction. You spend our money with reckless abandon, and we deserve – at the very least – to know on the record why you are doing it that way.

May 17, 2012
Hand-in-Hand: Hypocrisy and Taxes
Joan Marie Aquilino

The G-8 is coming, no federal money following, money from your pockets is going, going, gone. Taxes are rising. Maryland ranks 40th in the country for places to run a business. Gay marriage proponents got the high five from President Barack Obama with little to nothing else.

May 3, 2012
Teachers need to think outside the “box”
Joan Marie Aquilino

In response to a letter to the editor recently that listed what two teachers in Frederick claim to do each day, yet are living in Montgomery – and I think – Washington County ... it’s their choice to live and teach where they do; so much of what they listed was lost on me.

April 20, 2012
Wrapping Up The Session – Part 2
Joan Marie Aquilino

In yesterday column we discussed some of what has taken place during the just concluded 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly. We continued with that today.

April 19, 2012
Wrapping Up The Session – Part 1
Joan Marie Aquilino

Much of what follows is be bits and pieces from those I trust to help me share some of what has taken place in the General Assembly during this just concluded 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly.

April 5, 2012
Turnout, Nasty Campaigning and A Thank You
Joan Marie Aquilino

The presidential primary elections are now over in Maryland and my level of disappointment and disgust has risen in so many areas. Let me count the ways.

March 22, 2012
An Honorable Profession…But…
Joan Marie Aquilino

Another year, another marathon whine fest. It doesn’t matter if they get a step increase, a raise, a bonus or a COLA, it just doesn’t matter; they’ll whine that it’s still not enough.

March 8, 2012
Official English: The Bad and The Good
Joan Marie Aquilino

I’ve given a lot of thought to the recent passage of an ordinance making English as the official language of Frederick County. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it at first, but I knew my gut was telling me I also wasn’t against it, either.

February 23, 2012
Citizens – Look Out. They’re After You
Joan Marie Aquilino

What a whirlwind Annapolis is, nothing unusual for this time of year; but, never the less, it always surprises me that the more I learn the less I know.

February 9, 2012
Questioning the Liquor Board Request to Raise Fees
Joan Marie Aquilino

After reading a recent article titled, “Frederick police chief wants second liquor inspector” by Katherine Heerbrandt in The Gazette, it just made me wonder if we’ll ever get the full story from the Frederick Liquor Board.

January 26, 2012
Elected Officials Should Get A Set
Joan Marie Aquilino

Pet peeves, we all have them. This week something has just been driven home with me and I can’t ignore it, or sweep it under the carpet any longer.

January 12, 2012
Parties, Events and (ugh) Work
Joan Marie Aquilino

Well, we are bringing in the New Year on full throttle – elections, taxes, property rights, work place fraud. The list doesn’t end there.

December 15, 2011
Misdirection and Confusion
Joan Marie Aquilino

Plan-Not-Maryland, rather than PlanMaryland, certainly seems to be a better name for this controversial proposal. I came away from a Monday rally in Annapolis clearer on some aspects and more confused on others. The confusion lies with what the state doesn’t say.

December 1, 2011
From the Heart … For A Child
Joan Marie Aquilino

As you read these words you’ll find yourself in the last few hours of Christmas Cash for Kids on WFMD 9:30AM. Tomorrow it’s all over and you can either be a part of a marvelous Frederick Tradition that reaches back 36 years…..or


October 20, 2011
A Recipe for Recovery
Joan Marie Aquilino

Seems that very little else is happening this week except discontent on all sides. Being from the conservative side of my brain, I just don’t get how anyone can fall for the all the rhetoric being shoveled about spending more to save more.

October 6, 2011
Helping: One Child at a Time
Joan Marie Aquilino

Well, I’ve found yet another private organization that steps up and has been stepping up for nearly 100 years. I joined the Kiwanis Club of Frederick this past week and am so honored to have been accepted.

September 22, 2011
Have your Prozac at the ready!
Joan Marie Aquilino

What is happening in Maryland and in Washington is so depressing that it deserves an apology from columnists before one begins to read what they have written about it. It’s that depressing. But we can’t afford to ignore what our politicians are doing to us.

September 8, 2011
Bad News and More of the Same…
Joan Marie Aquilino

The news is so glum, the outlook so negative, and the day-to-day stories of so many are so very sad and depressing that it’s difficult to even write about them anymore.

August 25, 2011
Did you know…..
Joan Marie Aquilino

Did you know: That a teachers union in a nearby county is handing out postcards to send to the state demanding they fund – and more – the Maintenance of Effort budget for the school system when, in my last recollection there wasn't any money left to be had.

July 28, 2011
“My Way, Or the Highway”
Joan Marie Aquilino

From unchecked growth to taxpayer-signed blank checks, our president, and his dwindling band of cronies, seems hell bent on bringing the American public to its knees and breaking our will, as well as our finances and our future.

July 14, 2011
Take the bull by the horns…
Joan Marie Aquilino

Marylanders stand up now – or drown in a tsunami of never-ending tax increases. Wait and see approach doesn’t work. History has proven tax increases happen in the blink of an eye. Taxes can’t be taken to referendum; when it’s done, it’s done and you are stuck. No do-overs!

June 30, 2011
Windfall Befalls State’s Labor Union
Joan Marie Aquilino

How much more blatant does it get than Maryland’s very own Gov. Martin O’Malley using his weight to bully and force state employees to join his unions? He gives no options, you will join and you will pay. Beginning tomorrow, dues will be automatically removed from your paychecks like it or not.

June 16, 2011
Miss Manners, I’m not, but….
Joan Marie Aquilino

My intent is not to call anyone in particular out but rather raise an awareness that I hope others will note and change. There has been a steady decline in the decorum being presented in our county meetings.

June 2, 2011
From Lowering Fees to Roasting Adam
Joan Marie Aquilino

The Dog Days of Summer arrived a bit before any of us wanted them. I don’t know about the rest of you but my concentration waves just like the heat during this time of year. I don’t want to concentrate but since I have to on a daily basis unfortunately I tend to do it in dribs and drabs between the heat waves.

May 19, 2011
Enough is enough is enough is enough is…
Joan Marie Aquilino

How much further can the average, law abiding, taxpaying citizen bend over? This article may seem totally out there to some, but I’m betting the people that read on a regular basis will know exactly what I’m talking about.

April 21, 2011
Life’s Luxury: A Boss Who Cares
Joan Marie Aquilino

Well, Annapolis closed the books on yet another legislative session. But the work doesn’t stop there for Del. Kelly Schulz (R., Frederick 4-A). She won her election last November and dove in fearlessly.

March 24, 2011
Gray’s Juxtaposition(s)
Joan Marie Aquilino

After reading a recent article about County Commissioner David Gray’s frustrations, I was left with some frustrations of my own. I’m at a loss as to his reasoning. All of his frustrations were addressed and are contradicted by his previous statements about doing too much and not being paid well enough.

February 24, 2011
Wrong – On So Many Levels
Joan Marie Aquilino

There are more important issues facing us today but something has been gnawing at me since the day I became one of those stay-at-home, non-paid, working mothers.

February 10, 2011
Stop The Nonsense – Cooperate
Joan Marie Aquilino

Same ole song, different year! Will there ever be a new tune? After 20 years of the same, I seriously doubt it. Pick a year and run a continuous loop and no one would know the difference except for graying hair and different styles.

January 27, 2011
Getting the Job Done
Joan Marie Aquilino

I haven't bought a new vehicle in so many years I can’t even remember, maybe the 90's sometime. I'm not really all that impressed by new vehicles. Sweating that first door ding or scratch doesn't make sense to me. I use them to get from point A to point B and if I can do that with a used one, I'm good with that.

December 30, 2010
Hectic 2010 Remains So…
Joan Marie Aquilino

Do I wind up 2010 or predict 2011, how about a little of each? This has been one whirlwind of a year for my daughters and me.

December 16, 2010
The 12 Topics of December
Joan Marie Aquilino

As the end of the year approaches decisions are being made which portend an exciting year ahead. Here are some of the issues that struck my fancy over the past few weeks.

December 2, 2010
A New Era Begins…
Joan Marie Aquilino

The election is over, the newly elected Board of County Commissioners was sworn into office yesterday and things move on. You’d think it would be that simple, it was simple last time and the times prior; but this outgoing board just seems to feel the county can’t continue without them.

November 18, 2010
Around the corner – Christmas Cash for Kids
Joan Marie Aquilino

What says Christmas is coming to Frederick more than Bob Miller, a bevy of volunteers, WFMD owners and staff, visiting DJ’s from across the country and You, all gearing up for ‘Christmas Cash for Kids.’

November 4, 2010
Post Analysis and Instructions…
Joan Marie Aquilino

Wow, what an election that was; and now the difficult part for me, putting it into a few words to share with you without sounding bitter or overly happy.

October 21, 2010
A Smorgasbord on Election Eve
Joan Marie Aquilino

Well, it's almost over, that is if You, the citizen, taxpaying resident gets yourself to the polls and vote November 2! Stop the whining, belly aching and excuses; just pay attention, learn and VOTE!!! You’ve even have a choice of methods so the most common excuse used, “I forgot” or “had to work,” are false, wrong and worthless.

October 7, 2010
It’s Up To YOU…
Joan Marie Aquilino

To slate or not to slate, that is the question – with apologies to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

September 23, 2010
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall . . . . Now what?
Joan Marie Aquilino

Who to Vote For? That’s the question we are all asking. This isn’t a popularity contest; we can’t afford to elect just friends. Get down to the nitty-gritty, make some tough choices on quality and substance, not rhetoric and empty promises.

September 9, 2010
Unethical, or just plain dumb?
Joan Marie Aquilino

You may ask why in the world when I'm a Republican I would pick on my own central committee. The answer is very simple. I believe in exposing the warts wherever they hide. I’m not blinded by the light just because it says, ‘hey, trust me, I’m a Republican.’ Does “Trust but verify” ring a bell with anyone?

August 26, 2010
Larry, Moe and Curly…
Joan Marie Aquilino

The column is so easy it almost writes itself. It happens that way sometimes, but it always comes as a surprise.

August 12, 2010
A County Embarrassment
Joan Marie Aquilino

My first election prediction is: The highly respected, knowledgeable, Michael Marschner, director of the Frederick County Division of Utilities and Solid Waste, will resign if Commissioner Kai Hagen is returned to office.

July 29, 2010
Candidate Interviews – One-On-One
Joan Marie Aquilino

Join me on the Joan McIntyre Show live and unfiltered tomorrow morning. We will be conducting interviews of Frederick County Board of Education candidates on the web – interviews that will be equally live and unfiltered.

July 15, 2010
“Our” Children at Play…
Joan Marie Aquilino

The Board of County Commissioners has moved into the top spot for arrogance of the week. Over the past four years they’ve done these over-the- top, "I'm boss of you” moves; but now that election time is bearing down on us, they are ramping it up.

July 1, 2010
Don’t Just Complain, Do Something!
Joan Marie Aquilino

Last call, there are three days left to file for elected office for this year’s elections. I think this may possibly be the most unusual and, in many ways, exciting election cycle many will see in their lifetime. The Republicans got their rear quarters handed to them in the 2008 elections. Incumbents are gunning for you this time around. No one is safe, and this as it should be.

June 17, 2010
Life Changing Events…
Joan Marie Aquilino

Take a deep breath and relax, there isn’t a bumpy ride in sight this week, that is unless you consider my daughters’ taxi rides in India, of course. That comment will become perfectly clear to you once you visit her blog.

June 3, 2010
“Trust but verify!” It’s your duty!
Joan Marie Aquilino

I've been watching with interest, slight amusement and a tad bit of annoyance the letters, editorials and blogs discussing the city’s annexations of the Crum and Thatcher farms. The same claims rehashed nothing new, just more emotional rhetoric at this point.

May 20, 2010
Making Choices!
Joan Marie Aquilino

The latest is that three county commissioners cut funding to most nonprofit organizations. Bravo, about time they got serious about cuts. I seriously doubt any of these groups is not worthy; that is not the issue.

May 6, 2010
Varied and Consistent Praise
Joan Marie Aquilino

This past weekend many of us attended Del. Charles Jenkins’ event at the Cracked Claw in Urbana. It was refreshing to see not only familiar faces but just as many new ones.

April 22, 2010
Stop The Bleeding…etcetera
Joan Marie Aquilino

I had an article that never even mentioned the Frederick County Board of Education prepared for today. It was all about the county’s new comprehensive plan. But, after watching the tearful superintendent of schools, Linda Burgee, and the robotic elected members of the school board, that all changed.

April 8, 2010
Budgets and Bravado
Joan Marie Aquilino

Campaigning is in full swing and any and all comments, votes, and discussions by incumbents are veiled in campaign promises, so know that going in. You need to be prepared for lies, half truths and falsehoods anything needed to get the liberal left elected again.

April 1, 2010
Another dip into taxpayers’ pockets…
Joan Marie Aquilino

When have you ever seen government get involved in anything and it not cost more money? Obamacare passed with no answers. Next is the local Trashcare bill making its way through the General Assembly.

March 25, 2010
There are solutions!
Joan Marie Aquilino

What is the real definition of the word budget? Is it to decide what government wants and then find the money or tax to pay for it? Or is it to figure out exactly what government needs to do for basic services and then find the money to cover that.

March 11, 2010
Strip Bare – Without The Tease
Joan Marie Aquilino

I am sick and tired of writing articles on Waste – Solid or otherwise – and the Frederick County Board of Education – waste, solid or otherwise. If they gave out Oscars for whining, this school board would win hands down.

February 25, 2010
It's time for a BUDGET Revolt
Joan Marie Aquilino

The Frederick County Board of Education was offered a solution to overcrowded schools and they refused it. It even went so far as to sidestep any meaningful conversation, citing a lack of agenda notice and preparation.

February 11, 2010
Are Taxpayers Really That Stupid?
Joan Marie Aquilino

Many moons ago I suggested that the Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) lease out the top floor of the new central office building to pay for the rest of it rather than stealing money from the children and the operating portion of the budget. However, it was told that couldn't happen 'because' FCPS can't 'make' money.

January 28, 2010
It’s Tough Tooting Your Own Horn…
Joan Marie Aquilino

What an unusual month this has been. It’s been a whirlwind chain of events for the Republican Party, from Massachusetts to Maryland. My focus is on the Frederick events right now.


January 14, 2010
Keeping A Watchful Eye…
Joan Marie Aquilino

Do I write yet another article about the Frederick County Board Of Education spending, begging for and wasting our money? Seeing as they still spend, beg, and waste, I’m still writing.

December 31, 2009
A little advice for a better year…
Joan Marie Aquilino

Not only is this the last day of 2009, but it’s also the last day of a decade. I should be filled with thought provoking, emotional walks-down memory lanes. Nope, not so much this year. I’m one that prefers to learn from my past and steadily move forward.

December 17, 2009
Fuel for the Election Fires
Joan Marie Aquilino

The week before Christmas and all is good with the world; well, not so much. We’ve got nothing much changing in the economy except the imaginary grading system President Barack Obama has in his own mind. I’m good, I’m special and – doggonit – I’m worth it. Voters’ remorse is apparent and becoming louder by the day.

December 3, 2009
Dig Deep for Christmas Cash for Kids
Joan Marie Aquilino

Here comes my annual plea for those who have a heart, love a child, have a dollar, or just for anyone that cares. It's Christmas Cash for Kids time, a 34-year charity for and about the children in Frederick County.

November 19, 2009
Kicking the Winning Field Goal…
Joan Marie Aquilino

I've had the honor of doing my best to help out a couple friends this past week. Randy McClement is the man of the moment; but I have to brag on his wife and business partner.

October 22, 2009
Considering a Painful Wish List
Joan Marie Aquilino

The public hearings on the 2010 legislative package began Tuesday evening with the local items. This evening the county commissioners will entertain items more state and federally directed.

October 8, 2009
The Good and The Helpful
Joan Marie Aquilino

The poor, picked on Frederick County Board of Education does something that appears to be a good idea and might actually help – and save money to boot – and here I go just raining on its parade. Before I tell you why, let me say I'm actually glad to hear of their plans. I also hope it catches on and becomes a norm for all administrative staff.

September 24, 2009
Random thoughts:
Joan Marie Aquilino



Chip away at the items one by one. Stop forcing insurance companies to have mandated coverage outside normal everyday items. IVF (In vitro fertilization) is one example. Do a basic coverage; with wellness visits and then, if you must, do an a-la-carte menu for the rest.

September 10, 2009
Two for the Money – I Mean – City
Joan Marie Aquilino

There is no excuse good enough to NOT VOTE!!! It is a privilege and honor to have – and use – that single vote that belongs only to you. Your vote does make a difference.

August 27, 2009
School Board’s Myriad Problems
Joan Marie Aquilino

We are a few shows into the Board of Educations’ ‘Board Chat’ program. It's already been nicknamed “Bored Chat.” Why, isn't that rather mean, you might ask?

August 13, 2009
Too Many Adventures and Then Some
Joan Marie Aquilino

Let’s hope my daughters don't read this article. They hate when I talk about them. But, isn't that a mother’s prerogative in some twisted way. Don’t labor pains equate to the right to use your children for article material. Okay, so maybe that isn't an exact interpretation, but work with me here, please.

July 2, 2009
The Doers and the Talkers
Joan Marie Aquilino

Will this subject ever die, ever be solved? No! As long as there are people, there will be waste and, of course, opinions aplenty on its disposal. There are those who do and those who just yammer about what others should do. Those who do, finally make a decision; those who talk, are still talking.

June 18, 2009
What A The Week That Was
Joan Marie Aquilino

What a week it has been. Commissioner Charles Jenkins put the Waste-to-Energy plant back on the table. Anti incinerator proponents have gone into over drive, again in a panic.

June 4, 2009
A Lexicon for Future Reference
Joan Marie Aquilino

Below you'll find numerous links covering the past several weeks noting much of the displeasure with our Frederick County Board of Education. This is more of a keep and reference piece than a quick read. Only if you are truly interested in how Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) is being run and where your tax money is actually going will this interest you.

May 22, 2009
Squirreling Away – Part 2
Joan Marie Aquilino

Yesterday I started this conversation about how elitist I believe our Frederick County Board of Education and the administration of Frederick County Public Schools have become. Today, I continue in that same vein with the hopes of stirring your emotions to do something. To put your foot down and scream “Enough is Enough.”

May 21, 2009
Squirreling Away – Part 1
Joan Marie Aquilino

The Board of Education seems to have "found" a $4.1 million surplus from the current year. It saved so much money from conserving things such as electricity, by turning off the lights, that we now have an excess. They are having a little trouble remembering to whom the money actually belongs.

May 7, 2009
Rumpelstilskin and Hagen’s Hypocrisy
Joan Marie Aquilino

I will be the first to admit that I could be wrong, but I think I see a method to the madness of Commissioner Charles Jenkins’s recent actions on waste-to-energy (WTE). When final votes were cast, I was less than happy. A decision needed to be made and it wasn’t. Mr. Jenkins threw us a curve.

April 23, 2009
You’ve Found Your Voice. Use it!
Joan Marie Aquilino

I’m guessing that by the time this article makes it to print there will others already out there about the Tea Party. I also suspect there will be as many different angles to that day as there will be stories.

April 9, 2009
Enough with the Threats
Joan Marie Aquilino

We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it any more. Don’t believe me; take a look at the Letters to the Editors, forums, radio, and other columnists for yourself.

March 26, 2009
Answers, Please!!
Joan Marie Aquilino

The trash wars that now plague our county are out of control. Ignoring them would be easier because the personal attacks get very gender specific and personal, calling women trash bags, dumb blondes, depicting them as stupid and overly emotional to name a few.

March 12, 2009
Waking Up The Populace
Joan Marie Aquilino

Are we about to see cracks in the glass ceiling in the world of our Frederick County Board of Education and Frederick County Public Schools? Will the Sacred Cow called the public schools system be held accountable?

February 26, 2009
Git ‘er Done…
Joan Marie Aquilino

Come on people, where do we live, what are we? We live in America, we are American's. We have survived more and much worse in our history, and we are stronger than what our government is dishing out.

February 12, 2009
Get to Work? Don’t Talk It to Death!
Joan Marie Aquilino

For nearly a month I fielded questions from the public on all sorts of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) issues and solid waste in general and found answers for them. Equal cooperation is not forthcoming from the other side of this issue.

January 29, 2009
Living Like The Rest of Us
Joan Marie Aquilino

I caught the Board of County Commissioners meeting that was held on Tuesday. Ron Hart, the county manager, was singing the commissioners’ praises for saving the county $12,000 to $15,000 by not filling their receptionist position.

January 15, 2009
The Reality of Trust
Joan Marie Aquilino

Trust a word with a million personal definitions. Here is just one: "assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something."

December 18, 2008
Life’s Little Lesson…
Joan Marie Aquilino

Today is a special day for at least two people in Frederick. Commissioner Charles Jenkins is celebrating his birthday today. So in honor of his very special day, we'll keep this light and positive. Happy Birthday, Charles.

December 4, 2008
Open Your Hearts – and Your Wallets
Joan Marie Aquilino

Christmas Cash for Kids is winding up, but it‘s not over yet. If you haven't heard of this fabulous program hosted by our very own Bob Miller, hordes of volunteers, and WFMD (930 AM), then all I can say is you don't really live in Frederick County; or your cave doesn't get a radio signal.

November 20, 2008
The Good, The Bad and The Hopeful
Joan Marie Aquilino

Ever have one of those times where you just can't shake that feeling of dread? I normally have an uncanny ability to find good in just about every situation. It's not happening this time.

November 17, 2008
Landfill & Waste-to-Energy Q & A
Joan Marie Aquilino

My last column (from November 6) generated many questions. Trash in Frederick County certainly seems to be the hot topic. Trash is a given and we need to get out of our holding pattern. So, here I've done my best to address many of your questions.

November 6, 2008
Landfill & Waste-to-Energy Facts
Joan Marie Aquilino

In the words of Joe Friday, Jack Webb's on Dragnet: “Just the facts ma'am." That's what you are about to get – facts and more facts.

October 23, 2008
Teaching Teachers A Little Respect
Joan Marie Aquilino

Teachers, what do I say? I'm sorry you didn't get everything you wanted? I'm sorry you didn't get it the way you wanted? At this point, not so much anymore.

October 9, 2008
Wasting Taxpayers Time
Joan Marie Aquilino

Anyone looking in on Frederick from the outside on Tuesday would have thought “what a bunch of idiots.” Taking a moment in time to look at us would not bode well. But follow the path backwards for a bit and you will find the same common denominator at the beginning of just about every drama that has gone on in our county over the past two years. One person.

September 25, 2008
Struggling Citizens = Pay Hike?
Joan Marie Aquilino

In the legislative package that is just now being developed for the upcoming session, Commissioner David Gray put a proposal on the table for not only a raise for the Board of County Commissioners but a raise of huge proportions and with no reasoning other than it makes sense to him. How could you argue with that?


September 11, 2008
What’s The Difference?
Joan Marie Aquilino

A community activist, a freshman senator, with a huge resume of “present, yep I’m here” votes. What do you do, wake up one morning and say I’m a little bored today so – BAM – I think I’ll go run for president?


August 28, 2008
Simple v. Complicated
Joan Marie Aquilino

I read an article the other day and had to reread it several times. I’m still not sure I got it all. The author seemed to think solutions can't be simple but rather must follow a long, convoluted process of open, supposedly thoughtful, honest and sometimes meandering directions. Many times the long way around the block just confuses and gives more opportunities for false information to funnel through.


August 14, 2008
A Prime Rib Sandwich
Joan Marie Aquilino

Do the terms Generation X or Y, or Baby Boomers mean a thing to you? Didn't mean much to me until I realized I could be the poster child for the thing they call The Sandwich Generation.


August 5, 2008
One’s Inexperience and Immaturity
Joan Marie Aquilino

Those aspiring to elected office need to learn before applying that it's a tough job and requires an equally tough skin. Do you question why I use the phase "applying?"


July 31, 2008
Trashing Trash
Joan Marie Aquilino

The 2008 trash discussions have turned into nothing but garbage. No reusing, no recycling and definitely no reduction in the verbal waste being thrown around, and very little, if any, accountability.


July 17, 2008
The Implications of Illegal Immigration
Joan Marie Aquilino

There are so many hot issues to talk about this week, such as Waste To Energy (WTE), the economy, gas prices, housing foreclosures, car sales, layoffs and many more. But one, which seems to be slipping from the Number One spot it used to fill, needs to be brought back to the forefront again.


July 3, 2008
Hail and Farewell…
Joan Marie Aquilino

What do I say? I’m done; finished, doing a Happy Dance. Nope, not at all, I want to thank this county for the honor of serving on our Planning Commission for the past 10 years.


June 19, 2008
The Death Toll for the DRRA
Joan Marie Aquilino


Well, it seems the Developers Rights and Responsibility Agreement (DRRA), is about to receive last rites. The county is trying to give it CPR but the family, Land Stewards, has said pull the plug, there are no signs of life. It’s heading to the incinerator; this isn’t recyclable.


June 5, 2008
Getting Other to Do Your Dirty Work…
Joan Marie Aquilino

The 800 lb. gorilla sitting front and center in the hearing room at Winchester Hall now is the Developers Rights and Responsibility Agreement (DRRA) for the remainder of Lake Linganore development.

May 22, 2008
End The Charade; Open The Books
Joan Marie Aquilino

The Board of Education Budget Begging Parade is nearly completed for yet another year. When is this humiliating practice of parading parents, students and teachers before the public - begging for funds - going to stop? Are we just so used to it that we don't even notice anymore?

May 8, 2008
Take Up The Challenge
Joan Marie Aquilino

Why is the crack down on criminal illegal immigration any different from any other crackdown on any other crime? We have come down on speeding, drugs, rape, child abuse, spousal abuse, just about every crime. So why is it different – or wrong – when an illegal immigrant commits yet another crime on top of their first one?

April 24, 2008
Order from The Smorgasbord
Joan Marie Aquilino

The newest trend is mini burgers. I’m going one better and giving you four mini-articles this week. Would you like bacon, or cheese, or fries on the side?

April 10, 2008
An Open Letter to the Commissioners
Joan Marie Aquilino

I want to thank you in advance of the adoption of next year’s budget. I do this primarily because I know this may well be the most difficult budget year in many of your careers. There will be very little thanks in this particular portion of your job.

March 27, 2008
Consequences of Irresponsibility
Joan Marie Aquilino

Before it's too late and you and I are left holding the entire bag, do something for me, please. Start screaming; make it so loud that the local, state and federal governments finally hear you.

March 13, 2008
“Sing A Song Of Sixpence…”
Joan Marie Aquilino

Perceptions.................. what are they and how do they develop?

My perception is that our government spends too much of our money.

February 28, 2008
Take a Closer Look….
Joan Marie Aquilino

Budget time is here. Moratorium is in the works. Last year was spent nickel and dime-ing the property owners, fighting with municipalities and the delegation. So many issues, so little time, what’s a commissioner to do? I’ve got the answer. Say no to out of control budget requests. Stop the “tax-n-spend” mentality.

February 14, 2008
Some Background for Stepping Up To The Plate
Joan Marie Aquilino
I’m continuing on the subject of the Frederick County Planning Commission for the moment. One, because I’ll be leaving it soon after 10 years; and, two, because I want to spark interest in others joining.

January 31, 2008
Step Up To The Plate…
Joan Marie Aquilino
Okay! This is a first for me, so bear with me and I'll do my best to keep you informed in a fair and balanced way. Yeah, right! Like I don't have any opinions. That will be the day. Those who know me are now spitting out coffee all over their computer. Those that don’t will learn soon I’m not shy about opinions.

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