Frederick city officials limit LLC campaign donations

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
11/08/2013
Business owners will now all be limited to the same standard when they make donations to candidates in city of Frederick elections, whether they own corporations or LLCs. The Frederick Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance Thursday that limits the amount of money an owner of multiple business entities may donate to a mayoral or aldermanic candidate. The limit is the same as it is for individuals and corporations that donate: $2,500 to an individual mayoral candidate, and $1,000 to an individual aldermanic candidate. The change comes after owners of multiple LLCs used the LLCs to donate beyond the maximum corporate donation to two mayoral candidates, Delegate Galen Clagett and Alderwoman Karen Young. When noticing the donations, the city's Board of Supervisors of Elections and the aldermen asked city staff to draft an ordinance, calling it a loophole in the law. When drafting the ordinance, the city's legal department mirrored the language in a new state law. The General Assembly passed a law this year that limits the owners' donations. It takes effect in 2015. The city decided Thursday expand the law even further than the state, at the suggestion of Alderman Michael O'Connor.

McClement, Young clinch mayoral nominations

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
09/11/2013
Mayor Randy McClement and Alderwoman Karen Young each clinched their party’s nomination Tuesday and will move on to the Nov. 5 general election, according to unofficial election results. In the Republican race, McClement defeated Alderwoman Shelley Aloi and former Mayor Jeff Holtzinger. He brought in 49 percent of the total with 808 votes; Aloi had 32 percent with 534 votes; and Holtzinger had 19 percent with 317 votes. In the Democratic race, Alderwoman Karen Young defeated Delegate Galen Clagett and newcomer Carol Hirsch. Young brought in 50 percent of the total with 1,168 votes; Clagett had 40 percent with 925 votes; and Hirsch had 10 percent with 237 votes.

Roundtable Discussion with Frederick’s Mayoral Candidates (VIDEOS)

Frederick Gorilla
08/01/2013
On July 8 Frederick Gorilla and WFMD Radio, assisted by the Young Democrats and Young Republican clubs of Frederick County, kicked off the contest for City Hall’s top office by hosting a roundtable with the candidates for Frederick’s mayor. Candidates who participated included Randy McClement, Shelley Aloi, William J. (Jeff) Holtzinger, Galen Clagett, Karen Lewis and Jennifer Dougherty. Of note, Carol A. Hirsch, who is deaf and also running for mayor was unable to participate in the roundtable due to a last-minute cancellation of her interpreter. The forum was moderated by Pattee Brown.

Mayor: City has done more with less

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
07/30/2013
Mayor Randy McClement characterized his administration Monday as one that has managed to do more with less. McClement used his State of the City address as an opportunity to highlight his administration’s work on maintaining Frederick’s fiscal health, pushing forward road and public work projects, and helping spur commercial development — all during the recession. The mayor, whose first term ends this year, focused on the city’s current state, rather than giving specifics for what should happen in the future. “It was important to me that we not reduce service levels or increase taxes, but be more creative and do more with less,” he said. “I feel that with the passage of the fiscal year 2014 budget, the aldermen and I have done just that.” In the speech at City Hall, McClement addressed ongoing issues such as the second phase of Carroll Creek Linear Park, the city’s unfunded pension and other post-employment benefits, the downtown hotel and conference center project, and blighted and vacant properties.

Frederick residents mixed on mall's decided fate

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
07/20/2013
When envisioning the future of the abandoned Frederick Towne Mall site on U.S. 40, residents focused on opportunity. They imagined a place where they could live, work and play. They saw themselves walking down winding sidewalks to mom-and-pop shops, like in Bowie or Rockville. Some may not have pictured what the land may now become — home to Frederick's third Wal-Mart. Residents have mixed thoughts about the Board of Aldermen's unanimous decision Thursday to rezone the property from mixed use to general commercial, which will allow developer Rockwood Capital to continue drafting plans for a Wal-Mart on the site.

Frederick residents mixed on mall’s decided fate

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
07/20/2013
When envisioning the future of the abandoned Frederick Towne Mall site on U.S. 40, residents focused on opportunity. They imagined a place where they could live, work and play. They saw themselves walking down winding sidewalks to mom-and-pop shops, like in Bowie or Rockville. Some may not have pictured what the land may now become — home to Frederick's third Wal-Mart. Residents have mixed thoughts about the Board of Aldermen's unanimous decision Thursday to rezone the property from mixed use to general commercial, which will allow developer Rockwood Capital to continue drafting plans for a Wal-Mart on the site.

Will Wal-Mart Vote Impact City Election?

Frederick Politicis
George Wenschhof
07/19/2013
Redevelopment of areas of cities affected by economic and social demographic changes will always be a challenge for city planners and elected officials. Looking outward to discover what other cities across the country have done successfully in similar circumstances is a must. Having the courage and conviction to develop a vision and implement it is paramount. It remains to be seen if the Wal-Mart will be built and if so, what long term impact it will have on the area. Meanwhile, the city election nears, with two of the current aldermen; Kelly Russell (D) and Michael O'Connor (D) running for reelection, two running for mayor; Karen Young (D) and Shelley Aloi (R) and one; Carol Krimm (D) intending to run for Maryland state delegate next year. Will their vote on this issue influence voters when they go to the polls this Fall?

Mayoral candidates say city needs to act on big issues

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
07/09/2013
Candidates for mayor in this year’s election have their disagreements, but there is one thing they agree upon — there needs to be more movement on the city’s big issues. Blighted and vacant properties, Hargett Farm, Carroll Creek redevelopment, Frederick Towne Mall, and plans for a hotel conference center downtown were all discussed Monday night at the first forum for mayoral candidates. Six of the seven residents running faced off in the forum, hosted by Frederick Gorilla and WFMD radio at The Faux School. The only candidate who did not participate was Carol A. Hirsch. Hirsch is deaf and was not able to obtain an interpreter in time.

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.

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 More File for Alderman as City of Frederick Candidate Deadline Nears

Frederick Politics
George Wenschhof
06/29/2013
With The City of Frederick candidate July 2 filing deadline only days away, two more filed for the board of alderman. Former, one term alderman, Republican Alan Imhoff and Democrat Kevin Greene made their entry into the race official on Friday. Imhoff’s entry makes it six Republican candidates, ensuring a contested primary for Republican voters, who will choose five to move on to the General election. Greene is the eighth Democratic candidate to file for alderman. At the time of publication, Geene had not responded to my inquiry as to why he was running for office.

Holtzinger Files for Mayor

Frederick Politics
George Wenschhof
06/27/2013
The long anticipated entry into the City of Frederick mayoral race by Jeff Holtzinger is now official with his filing for the office at city hall. The former one term mayor will face incumbent Randy McClement in the Republican primary. The race for mayor promises to be the one to watch in the city election where voters will elect a mayor and a five member board of aldermen. Already in the race for mayor, are Delegate Galen Clagett and alderwoman Karen Young who will face each other in the Democratic primary. Rounding out the familiar faces is former Democrat Jennifer Dougherty, another one term mayor, who on her fifth run for the office, has filed as an unaffiliated candidate. The Republican and Democratic primaries will be held on September 10 and Dougherty, who will not have a primary, receives a free pass to the General Election to be held on November 5.

Wal-Mart, zoning and blight among topics pondered by city officials

Frederick News Post
Ed Waters Jr.
06/15/2013
ssues ranging from a proposed downtown hotel to a Wal-Mart on the Golden Mile were informally discussed Friday by Frederick's mayor and aldermen at a meeting with the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. "If the same plan came in without the Wal-Mart name, people would support it," said Alderwoman Shelley Aloi of a proposal to put the big-box store at the former Frederick Towne Mall site on the west side of the city. "It is not our decision to say who goes into a property, it is up to the property owner and the market," Aloi said. "Is the best use for the property residential? No. There is already dense residential use in that area." Alderman Michael O'Connor and others moved to dispel the notion that all businesses on the Golden Mile stretch of U.S. 40 are hurting."Just go out there and see the traffic and the businesses," O'Connor said.

[City of Frederick Planning] Commission to review Wal-Mart proposal

Frederick News Post
06/09/2013
Wal-Mart's proposal for the Frederick Towne Mall property gets another review Monday. The Frederick Planning Commission, with a packed agenda, will consider Wal-Mart's proposal to tear down the mall at 1301 W. Patrick St., leave Boscov's, Ollie's Bargain Outlet and Home Depot as they are, and build a Wal-Mart on the north side of the 40-acre site. The commission meets at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Board Room at 101 N. Court St.

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.

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.