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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Russell Wants Higher Funding for City Police

George Wenschhof
When I sat down to discuss the proposed City of Frederick budget with Alderman Kelly Russell (D), she was quick to point out funding for police continues to fall below the level called for in a strategic plan.

The former police officer, said while the budget proposed by Mayor Randy McClement (R) provides for an additional five officers for a total of 138, the five year plan called for a total of 145.
She acknowledged no formal approval had been taken on the strategic plan by the mayor and board, but felt it was a relevant guide to follow in determining funding for city police.

Overall, Russell felt the process undertaken by the mayor in preparing his proposed budget was a good one which allowed for community and aldermen input.
She was pleased her request for $100,000 for capital improvements for sidewalk improvements along Stadium Drive had been included in the budget.  The funds will go toward building a handicapped access sidewalk from S. Market along Stadium Drive, which she felt had gone too long without it.

As to the underfunded Pension and Other Post Employee Benefits (OPEB), the alderman wanted to see a balanced approach taken.  She added she was looking forward to hearing suggestions from the committee recently appointed by the mayor.
Kelly also hoped $20,000 would be forthcoming for the city ad hoc bicycle committee, on which she serve as alderman liaison.  The mayor had offered to match up to $20,000 in funds the committee had raised and she would like to see the mayor accept over $20,000 of in-kind contributions for the match.

She was pleased a $60,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation is forthcoming which will help complete the bicycle pathway along 7th Street from Fort Detrick to East Street, furthering her goal to make Frederick a bicycle friendly community.
The mayor and board are scheduled to set the tax rate and approve the budget on May 17.

Below are the remaining scheduled public meeting dates of the mayor and board on the budget.  Plan to watch live on local channel 99 or online at
April 25th – 7:00 p.m.

Economic Development
Weinberg Center


Community Action Agency

May 2nd – 7:00 p.m.

Parks & Recreation

Capital Improvements Program (CIP)
May 9th – 7:00 p.m.

Mayor’s Office

Human Resources



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