Frederick’s race begins in earnest

Frederick News Post
07/08/2013
The field is locked down and -- if you’ll forgive us the cliché -- the race to lead the city of Frederick for the next four years is on. The primary has a swathe of candidates -- 21 in total. All told, 12 and one independent will go through to the General Election on Nov. 5. It’s inspiring, given Independence Day was less than a week ago, that so many want to stand up and be counted and do their civic duty. The primary is Sept. 10, so party voters have only two months to familiarize themselves with a lot of political wannabes; and those wannabes, those of them who aren’t incumbents with a degree of name recognition, will have their work cut out raising their profiles with voters. All 21 will be scrambling for a cut of the pathetic number of people who generally come out for the city election. Barely one in five of Frederick’s registered voters came to the polls for the Sept. 15, 2009, primary.

Prepping For The Primaries – The Faces Behind Frederick’s Political Landscape

Frederick Gorilla
Emily Holland
07/03/2013
The filing deadline for candidates in Frederick’s primary election has passed, and Fredericktonians will be faced with more than a dozen names of candidates. For the aspiring-to-be-informed citizen, there’s a lot of homework involved. But don’t be afraid just yet: Frederick Gorilla is making the task easier with a preliminary, informative kick start guide to the candidates and the election itself: The Lay of the Land: Six candidates are vying for the mayor’s seat in the primaries, with a breakdown of three Republicans, two Democrats and one unaffiliated. The competition includes an unusual mix: two former mayors, one incumbent, two current aldermen and one current delegate. Seven Republicans and eight Democrats are in the race for five aldermen seats. Eleven of those candidates have never held an elected office, while two are former aldermen and an additional two are incumbents.

Six former or current politicians, one resident run for Frederick mayor

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
07/03/2013
One familiar face and one newcomer to Frederick's political scene filed to run for mayor Tuesday, the last day for candidates to file in this year's election. Alderwoman Shelley Aloi (R) and resident Carol A. Hirsch (D) will have their names on the Sept. 10 primary election ballots. Aloi announced her bid in front of family and friends on the steps of City Hall. Hirsch slipped into City Hall to file without a public announcement. Hirsch, who lives on Madison Street, has never run for office in Frederick. She did not respond Tuesday to an email request for comment. She will take on District 3A Delegate Galen Clagett and Alderwoman Karen Young in the Democratic primary. Aloi, 52, will challenge Mayor Randy McClement and former Mayor Jeff Holtzinger in the primary. Former Mayor Jennifer Dougherty is running unaffiliated and will compete only in the general election Nov. 5.

Two former mayors now in running for Frederick's top spot

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
06/28/2013
Frederick’s last two mayors and current mayor are now in the running to lead the city for the next four years. Jeff Holtzinger, who was mayor from 2005 to 2009, filed Wednesday to run against Mayor Randy McClement in the Sept. 10 Republican primary election. Jennifer Dougherty, who was mayor before Holtzinger, is also in the running. She has registered as an unaffiliated candidate and will compete in the general election Nov. 5. State Delegate Galen Clagett, D-District 3A, and Alderwoman Karen Young have also filed to run for mayor. They will square off in a Democratic primary. Candidates have until July 2 to file for the primary.

Two former mayors now in running for Frederick’s top spot

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
06/28/2013
Frederick’s last two mayors and current mayor are now in the running to lead the city for the next four years. Jeff Holtzinger, who was mayor from 2005 to 2009, filed Wednesday to run against Mayor Randy McClement in the Sept. 10 Republican primary election. Jennifer Dougherty, who was mayor before Holtzinger, is also in the running. She has registered as an unaffiliated candidate and will compete in the general election Nov. 5. State Delegate Galen Clagett, D-District 3A, and Alderwoman Karen Young have also filed to run for mayor. They will square off in a Democratic primary. Candidates have until July 2 to file for the primary.

Holtzinger announces candidacy for mayor

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
06/27/2013
Former Frederick mayor Jeff Holtzinger has filed to run for the city's top spot again. Holtzinger (R) filed Wednesday to run for mayor in the city's Nov. 5 general election. He served as Frederick's mayor from 2005 to 2009. When he left office in 2009, Holtzinger said he did not expect to run again.

When Ideology Trumps Reasonable Representation, Bad Things Happen….

Frederick Politics
George Wenschhof
06/23/2013
The proposed sale of the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Care facilities, illustrates the latest example of Frederick County government behaving badly. Immediately following the 2010 election, new board of county commissioners’ president Blaine Young (R) proclaimed Frederick County “Open for Business”. Joining Young as newly elected Republicans on the five member board were Kirby Delauter, Billy Shreve and Paul Smith, who I quickly dubbed with the moniker; “Blaine and Company”. The moniker resulting from their like ideology and the carte blanche votes Delauter, Shreve and Smith gave to Young on anything Young would propose. Fueled by the “tea party” fervor, prevalent across the nation, that promoted less government and less spending, Blaine and Company wasted no time in promoting these ideals, a disturbing pattern of governing that clearly illustrates how following ideology often trumps reasonable representation.

Frederick Zoning Board of Appeals member files to run for alderman

Dacey: ‘I want to see the right kind of growth when it comes to Frederick’
Gazette
Tripp Laino
05/09/2013
Frederick Zoning Board of Appeals member Philip Dacey has joined the expanding list of candidates vying for a spot on Frederick’s Board of Aldermen. Dacey, 34, a Republican, said he grew up in Frederick, graduating from Gov. Thomas Johnson High School in 1996. He is currently director of external affairs at the Motor Vehicle Administration, and is formerly a lawyer. He said his primary reason for running for the board was concern over the city’s growth, and making sure that the city grows responsibly.

Former Frederick planning commissioner files for aldermen

Democrat Josh Bokee, 39, joins nine others as field grows for city board race
Gazette
Tripp Laino
05/03/2013
Former city planning commission member Josh Bokee has joined a growing field of candidates vying for a seat on the five-member Frederick Board of Aldermen. Bokee, 39, a Democrat who has lived in the city for nine years, said his experience as a member of the Frederick Planning Commission would aid him in his run for alderman.

Bill limiting appeals of Frederick County developer pacts passes

Opponents must now take cases directly to court instead of appeals board
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
04/18/2013
A bill making it more difficult to undo binding agreements between developers and the Frederick County Board of Commissioners that will allow construction of hundreds of new homes and businesses passed the Maryland General Assembly minutes before the legislative session ended April 8.

Bill limiting appeals of Frederick County developer pacts passes

Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
04/18/2013
A bill making it more difficult to undo binding agreements between developers and the Frederick County Board of Commissioners that will allow construction of hundreds of new homes and businesses passed the Maryland General Assembly minutes before the legislative session ended April 8. The bill, proposed by Del. Galen R. Clagett (Dist. 3A) of Frederick, will prevent opponents from asking the five-member Frederick Board of Appeals to overturn what are known as Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreements, or DRRAs, signed between the commissioners and a builder. Currently, the law allows opponents of an agreement to take their case to the appeals board for an administrative review and decision. If the appeals board votes to stand by the agreement, opponents can take their case to Frederick County Circuit Court. The new bill, which is expected to go into effect Oct. 1, now forces opponents to go directly to a circuit court judge.

Environmentalists urge Frederick delegate to switch ‘black liquor’ vote

County delegate says he won’t back bill to halt paper mill energy credits
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
04/04/2013
Despite pressure from a local global-warming group, Del. Galen Clagett of Frederick said he has no intention of changing his vote on a bill to stop financial rewards for paper mills that burn a tar-like substance called “black liquor” to generate power. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network is working feverishly to convince Clagett (D-Dist. 3A) to change his vote before the Maryland General Assembly adjourns its legislative session Monday night. “There is still time for him to change his mind,” said James McGarry, the network’s policy analyst, at a news conference Wednesday afternoon in Frederick. “I hope he will change his mind.”

Clagett announces run for mayor of Frederick

Delegate has served 11 years in the House, eight as county commissioner
Gazette
Tripp Laino
02/28/2013
State Del. Galen Clagett is hoping to trade his post in Annapolis for one closer to his hometown as mayor of Frederick. “I’ve got a real investment in the city and what goes on in Frederick city,” said Clagett (D-Dist. 3A). “Without sounding too egotistical, I’m going to bring a lot to the table. I have a huge history in public and private life; I have good contacts at the state level and can work with a new county executive. All of that can help us build a great city.” Frederick County will shift from a board of commissioners to a voter-approved charter government in 2014, with a county executive and council.

Frederick lawmaker pushes bill to limit appeals of developer pacts

Anti-growth group calls proposal ‘outrageous’ attempt to negate safeguard
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
02/19/2013
A state legislative committee could make a decision as early as this week on a bill that would make it more difficult to undo binding agreements between developers and the Frederick Board of County Commissioners to build hundreds of new homes and businesses. The bill, proposed by Del. Galen R. Clagett (D-Dist. 3A) of Frederick, had its first hearing on Feb. 14 before the 24-member House Environmental Matters Committee in Annapolis. Clagett presented the bill to the panel, explaining that, if passed, the measure would prevent opponents from asking the five-member Frederick County Board of Appeals to overturn what are known as Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreements signed between the commissioners and a builder.

Frederick lawmaker’s bill would limit challenges to developer pacts

Opponents couldn’t take cases to appeals board under Clagett’s proposal
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
02/05/2013
A state delegate wants to make it more difficult to undo binding agreements between developers and the Frederick Board of County Commissioners to build hundreds of new homes and businesses. Del. Galen R. Clagett (D-Dist. 3A) of Frederick has introduced a bill in the Maryland General Assembly that would prevent opponents from asking the five-member Frederick County Board of Appeals to overturn what are known as a Developers Rights and Responsibilities Agreements, signed between the commissioners and a builder.

Incinerator support divides delegation

Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
01/23/2013
Five members of the Frederick County delegation to the General Assembly have written to state officials in support of the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority's application to build and operate a waste-to-energy incinerator in the county. The Friday letter to the Maryland Department of the Environment supported the plan to build the facility at the McKinney Industrial Park. The department's administrations for management of air and radiation, land and water are to hold a Jan. 30 public hearing on permit applications from the authority. The delegation encouraged the department to act expeditiously in the permitting phase of the project. The letter was signed by Sen. David Brinkley, chairman of the delegation; Delegate Galen Clagett, vice chairman; and delegates Donald Elliott, Patrick Hogan and Kelly Schulz. "We support this sustainable, environmentally-sound and economically viable waste management project that will promote waste reduction, recycling, renewable energy and landfill diversion," they wrote.

Clagett questions state on land use

Involvement in local growth a concern
Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers and Pete McCarthy
07/05/2012
A late May letter from the Maryland Department of Planning -- which took issue with Frederick County officials for not giving the public enough time to digest proposed changes to the county's comprehensive plan -- spurred Delegate Galen Clagett to jump into the mix. In June, he met with the letter writer and another state planning official in Frederick to question them about their typical procedure for getting involved in local matters, especially hotly debated ones like the plan rewrite.

Frederick delegate angry about state’s criticism of county’s land use plans

Young, Hagen spar in regard letter from state
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
06/21/2012
Del. Galen Clagett was expected to meet with a Maryland Department of Planning official Wednesday about a letter the state sent to the Frederick Board of County Commissioners concerning their plan to develop 8,824 acres of farmland.

Alternative to impact fee considered

Frederick News Post
Clifford Cumber
11/11/2005
Thursday’s snowy morning may end up a boon to affordable housing throughout the state and end a conflict over how to help low-income workers afford to live in Frederick County. If 5 or 6 inches of snow hadn’t hit the region, local Realtor Billy Shreve might not have sat down and drafted his alternative to Commissioner Jan Gardner’s proposal to change the county’s impact fee to an impact tax, he said Saturday. Ms. Gardner’s proposal would allow the county to create waivers for cheaper housing and a sliding scale in which larger homes would be charged a greater tax than smaller homes, based on a square-foot assessment. Mr. Shreve’s proposal would allow Maryland’s 23 counties to draft ordinances that would allow waivers for impact fees on a case-by-case basis. Affordable-housing advocates would go before county-appointed boards to seek a special waiver for their projects, Mr. Shreve said.