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As Long as We Remember...

Issues, not Egos

November 7, 2005

City elections are over and normalcy has returned. Normalcy, I said. Not civility, not respect, but normalcy.

Civility and respect are minimum, normal, everyday requirements, not only for government, but for every walk of life. Much has been said about how Jeffrey Holtzinger and Ron Young conducted themselves and that they should both be commended.

I don't understand that comment and, from what I have seen between the two of them, neither do they. The way they handled themselves is the minimum requirement, and both candidates understand that they did what was expected.

Just the fact that each of them has expressed the value of the other as Frederick moves forward is a clear indication of their individual abilities to put the city first.

I believe it is important to address the beginning of this return to normalcy. It was started by Joe Baldi.

When Joe announced his candidacy for mayor, he took some misguided advice and came out wearing boxing gloves. That weighed heavily on Joe. That is not Joe's style; Gentlemen Joe has a 12-year body of work to back that up. Gentlemen Joe worked hard to remove partisan politics from city government, even offering a proposal to do so.

Gentlemen Joe also took the city on his shoulders with many votes these last four years. He was the only voice of compromise in a totally divided city administration.

On many issues, from the Ten Commandments, to aldermanic salary raises, to residence requirements, to the budget, Gentlemen Joe, much like Sandra Day O 'Connor, was the swing vote. Joe did not always follow the party line; he always did what he thought was best for the city. Some call this waffling. I call it intestinal fortitude.

During his primary campaign, Joe and I had multiple discussions about how to approach campaigning against Mr. Holtzinger. Gentlemen Joe felt it was best to only focus on one candidate, himself, and let the voters decide.

He was pushed to get aggressive with Mr. Holtzinger, to which Gentlemen Joe always refused. I'm not 100% sure, but Joe might have been the only one in his camp that knew - after 12 years of faithful service to this city - his run had ended. It was hard on the good gentlemen, but Joe was there after the primary absentee count, on the phone with Mr. Holtzinger asking what he needed. Gentlemen Joe was there stating, unlike the Democrat primary, the GOP was about "Issues, not Egos."

"Issues, not Egos," that was the theme of this election. The voters of Frederick picked issues over egos in this general election.

One thing I believe everyone can attest to is that Gentlemen Joe always checked his ego at the door and put the city first. He trusted the city voter even when they told him his time had come.

As a city resident, and friend, I would like to thank Gentlemen Joe for taking the high, hard road every time no matter the party affiliation; for being the catalyst to normalcy; and for having my interests, my families interests and the city's interests in his heart at all times.

Many pundits are pontificating on who won and why, so I will throw my two cents in also. One of the reasons Jeff Holtzinger is the new mayor is because the senior elected official, with 12 consecutive years, made - no, willed - this 2005 city election to be about "Issues, not Egos." Thank you, Gentlemen Joe, and God Bless.

Dale Driscoll Frederick

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