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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hirsch Focused on the Environment

George Wenschhof

Carol Hirsch (Middle)
My interview by phone, of Carol Hirsch; Democratic candidate for mayor of The City of Frederick, was a first for me.

Carol, who is deaf, quickly corrected me via the interpreter and asked that I refer to her as an ASL User (American Sign Language User).

I had meet Carol twice briefly, and found her to have an engaging personality. The opportunity to discuss her race for mayor was intriguing to me.

I began by asking her a little about herself and she told me she had lived in New York City, has three children and after divorce, was a single mom.  One of her children Cj, I met at the Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) candidate forum held earlier in the week.

Her education included media technology and she liked film and video.  She added she has been working at Wal-Mart for the last nine years.  Interestingly, several friends of mine, when hearing I was interviewing Carol, were quick to say they knew her from shopping at the Rt. 26 store and always found her fun and friendly when they went through her line to check out.

When I asked her why she was running for mayor, Carol quickly answered with “why not? I have strong leadership skills, strong organization background and I’m good at politics.”

The area Carol mentioned she was most interested in was environmental issues and spoke of the need for recycling to become more standardized.

When I asked her if she supported Frederick County government building an incinerator to handle solid waste disposal, she referred to the Al Gore movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and said “a better understanding and more facts were needed before proceeding.”

To help promote environmental awareness, she would propose not using electricity for five minutes one day.

I also asked Carol about blighted properties in the city and she said “the mayor’s task force was a good start and she would want a strong focus on this and get it resolved.”

In regard to a downtown hotel/conference center, she felt government did not have money to help with this now and she would not support any government funding for the project.  She asked “Why do we need it?” She added “there are many other things to work at before this.”

In closing my interview, I informed Carol I had noticed she had not filed the first candidate campaign finance report due on August 12.  She said there had been some confusion and she would get it in on October 7 when the next report is due.

I thanked her for taking the time to interview with me and I also thank the interpreter services who were very helpful throughout the entire interview.

The three Democratic candidates for mayor are Maryland state delegate Galen Clagett, city alderman Karen Young and Carol Hirsch.

The three Republican candidates for mayor are incumbent Randy McClement, city alderman Shelley Aloi and former mayor Jeff Holtzinger.

Jennifer Dougherty, who does not face a primary opponent, is a unaffiliated candidate for mayor.

The City of Frederick primary election is September 10.

Stay tuned.
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