asked Republican Mayor Randy McClement “what he saw as his most significant
achievement(s) during his first term in office and what he would like to
accomplish if reelected?” he spoke of keeping taxes level without sacrificing
the first four years as mayor of The City of Frederick, his number one issue
was balancing a budget when faced with a significant deficit.His first year, the city faced a $6 million
deficit, followed by $8 million, $12 million and $9 million over the next three
me he changed the process to zero based budgets and as a result, every year the
city came under budget.During tough
economic times, the mayor said city staff did an excellent job.
said that while there are some indicators the economy is improving, he believes
his focus, if reelected, will continue to be on the financial health of the
city.Randy noted that city housing
permits were up by 800 and he was hopeful that next year state real estate tax
assessments will increase, resulting in added revenue for the city. He told me
the city was $6-8 million behind in road repair projects, that he would like to
he was still concerned of the ripple effect the 20% federal government cut resulting
from sequestration will have on the local economy.
facebook page, I mentioned I was interviewing the mayor and asked for questions.
One question came from city resident Ed Hinde who asked: "What's his Vision
for the city, and how does he intend to bring that to reality?"
Randy answered that vision and reality were two
things.The mayor added he wanted to
maintain the charm and character of the town which were main reasons people
visit and live here.
He also wants to keep moving forward with building
economic vitality throughout the city and referenced the development of the
small area plan for the Golden Mile and the East Frederick Rising plan on the
to the nearly $200 million underfunded city pension and other post employment
benefits programs (OPEB), the mayor said he had created a citizens task force
and a city employee task force to provide recommendations.
recommendations that have been implemented will result in a goal of 80% funding
for the programs within 20 years, which will be an increase from the current
50% funding level.Randy said there was
still more that can be done and he was considering additional changes.
economic development, McClement said completing phase II of the Carroll Creek
project was a priority.Randy was
pleased to tell me the city obtained a $3 million federal grant, the city
matched with all but $700,000 coming from the city with in kind services provided
by city employees.
pointed out that when phase I of the Carroll creek project was completed it was
estimated the economic growth benefit to the city was $50-51 million.
came to public safety Mayor McClement said he was pleased with his selection of
Police Chief Thomas Ledwell.When I
asked him what he was doing to reach the funding level of 141 officers, he said
the 2014 budget included funding for two academy trainings.Current police levels are at 119.
to the need to build a new police headquarters, the mayor told me due to
changes in technology, he would rather have more officers than a new
Randy said they have a study on what was needed and are always looking for a
place to go.
they are currently evaluating the feasibility of consolidating some offices on
an infill lot the city purchased from the Board of Education on Haywood Road.
question I received on my Facebook page came from Vanessa Rini-Lopez who asked:
"As a fiscal conservative, how does he reconcile his support of a
McClement told me he has never taken a position on the
decision by the Frederick Board of County Commissioners to build an incinerator
to handle waste disposal.He added there
would be a need to come up with an option other than trucking waste out of
During his term in office, Randy said the city has
increased recycling and is moving to once a week trash pick-up for city
point during my interview, I asked the mayor what he attributed to the large
field of candidates running against him for mayor.A total of six candidates are vying to
replace Randy McClement as mayor; including two former mayors, two aldermen and
one state delegate.
it was probably the largest field of candidates running for mayor in a city
election and could not say why so many were running other than it was probably
different reasons for different candidates.
hour interview went by quickly with many questions remaining to be asked.The mayor has agreed to meet with me
throughout the campaign.
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