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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Frederick County Political Buzz

George Wenschhof

Harry Grove Stadium Lease Update -
Jack Lavoie, managing member of Frederick Atlantic, L.L.C. has been busy of late. He is waging a one man public relations blitz as the date nears when the Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are due.

He has been sending emails and writing letters to the editor explaining the who, what, and where of the Atlantic League and why they will be best for The City of Frederick. He made sure everyone knew when Dan Leatherman, a left handed pitcher and a Walkersville native, signed with the Somerset, N.J. Patriots - a team in the Atlantic League.

Whether Lavoie is behind it or not, the rumor persists the Frederick Keys are for sale. Even though, Keys management insists they are here for the long term.

Let's see what the RFPs contain when they are received. At present, support for a change by a majority of aldermen is not there.


Elections Have Consequences -
the county elections last year resulted in five Republicans being elected, four of them, closely aligned.

The act of politics and governing is often described as the management of scarce resources. That is, the amount of revenue received (taxes and fees) and how it is then allocated among various programs and departments.

Board president Blaine Young, with total support of three of the commissioners has been able to move quickly with the changes they have wanted.

In balancing the budget, the popular and successful Head Start program was cut in half and non profits have felt the brunt of the budget balancing act.

In addition, a contract has been approved to investigate the privatization of government services provided by the county.

Ron Tobin, best known for his "Darth Vader" label he earned while working for several City of Frederick Republican mayors, has surfaced in a contacted position within the county economic development department.

And, yesterday a press release was sent by the county highlighting 200 rules and regulations identified for review and possible change.

Appointing a charter writing board was also accomplished. While, a petition effort is underway to force an election for board members, the process is underway for a charter to be written and for the voters to decide in the 2012 general election. One caveat to the date the voters weigh in is that the date could change if there is significant change to the charter writing board due to an election. The charter writing board can determine the date it goes to election.

So, the twenty year back and forth political swing of county commissioners continue to haunt Frederick county residents.

The current board of commissioners, perhaps not David Gray, believe government should be run more like a business and are going about doing just that.

Others, including myself, believe government is of, by and for the people. That government is not a business and should not be referred to or run as such.

And, that is why there are elections. Stay tuned...


Delegate District 3-a 2014 election -
not too early to begin to pass along speculation and gossip. Galen Claggett (D) has said this is his last term. Who would be a good choice to replace him? How about Carol Krimm, first term city alderman who has been a long time aide to first, delegate Sue Hecht and then, Galen Clagett.

Who will the Democrats run against Patrick Hogan? How about Ryan Trout, who ran for delegate in 4-a last year. He is now working for first term state senator Ron Young and speculation is he will move to the City of Frederick to be eligible to run in the 3-a race.


Envision Frederick County kick-off -
a reported crowd of close to 200 attended to listen to what the group intends to do.

My observation from reading their Facebook page is they have focused on what the current board of commissioners have been up to which has served as a sounding board for those opposed to the current board.

Which is democracy in action and is a good thing. However, they will have to pay close attention to their non-profit status. Politics and non-profits do not mix according to the Federal Elections Commission.

All Envision Frederick County would need to do if legal questions were to arise, is switch to a political action committee, and there is nothing wrong with that.


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