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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Karen Young Readies for Next Step

George Wenschhof
Karen Young
Running for Maryland state delegate in district 3-a in 2014 is seriously being considered by former city alderman Karen Young.  Both seats in district 3-a will be open seats with incumbents Democrat Galen Clagett and Republican Patrick Hogan announcing they will not be running for reelection.
Karen Young told me she has spoken to former long term Democratic state delegate Sue Hecht who suggested she run and offered her support.   
Karen added as a state delegate she would also be able to continue her efforts toward fiscal sustainability, economic development, education, transportation planning and environmental sustainability that she focused on as a city alderman.
Days after the new mayor and board of aldermen of The City of Frederick were sworn in I sat down with former alderman and mayoral candidate Karen Young. I wanted to know what her plans were for the future and I wanted her to share what she felt were her accomplishments during her term in office.
She was very relaxed and spoke easily following her loss for mayor.  A race that saw her first beat Maryland state delegate Galen Clagett convincingly in a heavily contested and expensive Democratic primary.  Then, lose to incumbent Republican mayor Randy McClement in the first ever three way contest for mayor in The City of Frederick general election.
Former Democrat and one term mayor Jennifer Dougherty would once again prove to be the spoiler to a Democratic mayor being elected.  The third election in a row she has split the Democratic vote.  This time, running as an unaffiliated candidate she received 19 per cent of the vote.  Combined with the vote received by Karen Young and Young would have been elected with a majority vote.  Something, the city does not require for a mayor and McClement, who was elected with a plurality, fell short of receiving when elected.
Karen told me following the election on November 5 she has had more time to spend with her grandson and family.  She has stayed involved in the community through her work with The Rotary Club of Frederick and serving on the board of The Frederick Community Action Agency. She was especially excited about her role as chair of her rotary club’s “Smiles Program” that will provide dental care to those who need it and cannot afford it.
When we spoke about her accomplishments during her term as city alderman, she first spoke of her efforts to move the city to become more financially sustainable.  Changes made to pension and benefits to new employees as well as the way the pension was managed were both areas she was proud of.  The selection of Pierce Park Group to advise the city on the management of the pension fund and the creation of an oversight committee and policy guidelines were both advocated by Karen Young and she feels the city will be better off financially as a result.
Karen added she was pleased with her efforts to make Frederick become more of a regional player through her involvement with the Maryland Municipal League and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
She also pointed out her lobbying efforts in the area of transportation resulting in the return of highway user funds and securing funding for the Monocacy Boulevard/Route 15 interchange and the last section of Monocacy Boulevard.
Her work emphasizing the importance of environmental sustainability for the city was another area Karen was pleased with as we finished our conversation on her accomplishments as alderman.
Karen Young concluded the interview by saying as Maryland state delegate she would be able to continue her efforts in these areas and continue to serve the interests of the residents of The City of Frederick.
When I asked her when she would make her final decision on running for state delegate, she said she plans to make an announcement early next month.
Stay tuned.
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