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From the Desk of Thurmont Town
Commissioner Marty Burns

(2/2014) I want to take this opportunity to welcome our newest elected official Mr. Wes Hamrick who was elected as to the Thurmont Board Of Commissioners on January 7, 2014. Commissioner Hamrick was sworn in at the town hall by Mayor Kinnaird as the first order of business at the January 14th town meeting. Wes is a long time resident, deeply rooted in our town, and has a true passion for service to our community. Please reach out to Commissioner Hamrick at whamrick@thurmont.com with any comments and concerns you may have regarding the town operations. Welcome aboard Wes.

I also want to thank those residents who came out to cast your vote in this special election. Mayor Kinnaird vacated his Commissioner seat when he was elected mayor, and that left approximately 2 years left on his term. Commissioner Hamrick will serve the remainder of his term which will expire in 2015.

For a special election, with cold temperatures the turnout was ok. I hate to say that a turnout was ok with only 16.8% of the registered voters turning out but it's the sad reality we live in. At the local level we have the ability to directly affect your daily lives with decisions we make, good and bad, and you'd think that would cause a greater turnout, but after 14 years and multiple elections I'm disappointingly resigning myself to accept the fact that the majority of our neighbors feel voting is a burden. I believe our founding fathers would be saddened to see that what they fought and died for is being taken for granted.

The County Council race is heating up and at this writing I've heard of two candidates so far who will attempt to win a seat to represent northern Frederick county. One is current County Commissioner Kirby DeLauter, and the other is Mr. Mark Long. It's extremely important that you educate yourselves on their individual positions and stances on subjects that will surely impact all of us.

No one can argue that the current BOCC cut staff, retracted funding for non-profits, cut many fees. I'm surprised though that anyone is shocked at what they have done. They simply did what they said they'd do. The question now is, do you agree with what they've done? I can guarantee you this, if you vote for candidates that don't agree with the current BOCC then I expect to see huge increases to our tax bills if they decide to reverse those decisions.

I can certainly tell you this, we need to find a balance between the left and the right. For instance, is there a time to keep the school Board funded at current levels? Yes, but there is also a time to increase their funding levels from the previous year. Finding a balance between the two, a true compromise is what I believe the majority of county residents want to see in their elected officials.

Iím fearful though that if the voters decide to reverse course with the current positions of this BOCC that the new County council and County Executive will swing far left, and that is not good either. Time will tell, but until then please be a responsible voter and research the issues. Please donít rely on newspaper stories to get your information. I think youíll find that the truth is somewhere in the middle of any given issue.

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