Democratic Maryland state
delegate Galen Clagett (district 3-a) wants to add mayor of The City of
Frederick to a long list of accomplishments in his life.
stressed to me during our ninety minute interview, he has the experience and
vision to grow the city in a responsible manner and ensure a quality of life.
pointed to his 26 years as a business owner combined with his 20 years of being
an elected official and 13 year as an educator. He feels this puts him in a
unique position compared to any of the other candidates running for mayor.
added “when it comes to preparing operating budgets, he has more experience
than all of the other candidates combined.”
Clagett’s favorite quotes comes from President Harry Truman who once said “the
worst decision is no decision”.Galen
said he has lived his life in business and in politics following this
philosophy; by making decisions and moving forward.
When I asked
him why he was running for mayor, Galen said during his 11+ years as a state
legislator, he has supported a lot of programs in the city. He intends to see these through fruition,
adding he lives, works and is invested in the city.
off his efforts to support a downtown hotel/conference center, his efforts to
secure state funding for the construction of Frederick High School, the Rt.
15/Monocacy Interchange, his support of development of the city airport, the
Carroll Creek project and his desire to put the Hargett farm to a reasonable
use for the city.
me, “His work model is not to wait and see, but to weigh in and get the job
my interview with the delegate, at a downtown restaurant, people would routinely
stop and say hello. Frederick native Tena Meadows O'Rear shared with me
"Frederick is in a position to benefit from the long term commitment Galen
has shown for our city."
said his first action as mayor would be to assemble his management team to
develop short and long term plans for the city capital and operating
budgets.This would include a 90 day, 6
month, one year and five year plan.
comes to public safety, Galen told me he had met with city police Chief Thomas
Ledwell and looked forward to working with him.Galen informed me current city funding authorized 141 police officers,
but only 119 were filled.To help
rectify this, he would provide “bulge funding” to ensure police officers were
addition, Clagett would support a full time police academy to serve all western Maryland municipalities.He
believes the ability to train officers for others in western Maryland would be
a showcase for the city.
wants to see a new police headquarters built.He would first task the police department with providing a plan for the
build out and acreage needed for the facility.Again, Galen stressed he would follow with an action model by appointing
a work group to “find site, find funds and get it done.”
to the subject of job creation, Clagett shared with me the city was short on
options to encourage economic development and that he would move “to add tools
in their toolbox.”He elaborated further
by saying a few he would like to provide options for include; Tax Incentive
Financing (TIF), public/private partnerships, and a tax free zone or tax credit
during the period of construction of a project.
response to my inquiry about developing a strong and cooperative city/county/state
relationship, Galen said “my hope is with a county executive and a proactive
mayor, they can work hand in hand to grow in a responsible manner and in the
process promote a jobs program that is attainable.”
In concluding the interview, I
mentioned the city underfunded employee pension and other post employment
benefit plans (OPEB). Galen said he was concerned more has not been done.As mayor, he would create a retirement board
that would include members who are in the plans.Clagett was particularly concerned about the
yield on investment and felt an oversight board was needed.
of Frederick primary election will be held on September 10.The Democrats running for mayor are Maryland
state delegate Galen Clagett, city alderman Karen Young and Carol Hirsch.
Republicans running for mayor are incumbent mayor Randy McClement, former mayor
Jeff Holtzinger and city alderman Shelley Aloi.
mayor Jennifer Dougherty is running as an unaffiliated candidate and will not participate
in the primary election, facing the winners of the Democratic and Republican primaries
in the general election held November 5.
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