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From the Desk of
County Commissioner Blaine Young
& State Senator Ronald N. Young

In support of Charter Government

(11/2012) While we are from different political parties and have very different political philosophies and perspectives there is one thing we strongly agree on and that is Charter Government. We have each served in legislative and executive positions in either government or private positions and we recognize that having an executive and a board or legislative body operating under a Charter, Constitution or by-laws is the most effective and efficient way to do business. Charter Government provides the checks and balances that are essential to good government. This Charter also gives you the right to petition for referendum.

The present Commissioner form of government is antiquated and cannot be as responsive as Charter Government with home rule. The proposal allowing districts also assures more geographic representation. In short, it will be more representative and should promote better participation in our elections and in our government. We recognize that the debate is heated about increasing from 5 to 7 County Council members and in creating districts. This debate pales in relation to the need for a County Executive.

The Charter committee has done an excellent job of outreach and in keeping the Charter short and easy to read. We urge you to read it! It is only 25 pages and takes about 30 minutes to read. We also urge you to not look for one thing about it to use as an excuse not to vote for it. Just as our Constitution has been amended the Charter can be changed in the future if necessary. The City of Frederick is presently discussing making changes to their Charter.

Your decision should not be based on who might run in the next election or on the false allegation that Charter Government costs more. The Charter is about the future and the best form of government for that future. Candidates for the positions will come and go but a better form of government should stand for years to come. The cost of government strictly depends on the spending policies of who you elect, not the form of government. We would also like to point out that neither of us has any intention of running for County Executive or County Council.

Both forms of government have their pros and cons and neither is perfect. Frederick County is at a cross roads, and a more modern and efficient form of government is sorely needed. Charter has worked well in all of our 12 municipalities in Frederick County with no major problems. As a matter of fact, the only public corruption by an elected official that has occurred, in recent memory, was in the Commissioner form of government several decades ago.

Charter Government will provide clear leadership and vision with an executive, separation of powers, better representation, stronger accountability and increased citizen participation. We strongly urge you to read it and vote yes on Question A supporting Charter Home Rule on November 6th. We can then join Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Dorchester, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, Talbot, and Wicomico Counties with a more effective, efficient and responsive form of government.

Read other articles from Frederick County Commissioners