They all promise to work together, despite differences of opinion.
Frederick, Md (KM) Swearing-in ceremonies took place on Monday for Frederick County elected officials, with each promising to work together, even though they may have differences of opinion.
County Executive Jan Gardner took the oath of office for a second term. In comments to the audience at the Weinberg Center in Frederick, Gardner touted her accomplishments during her first term, including the establishment of a new form of government, enacting a strong ethics law, delivering outstanding schools and safe communities, and saving Citizen’s Care and Rehabilitation and Montevue Assisted Living Centers from being sold to the private sector. “But maybe most important, we’ve set a positive tone for county government, embraced and engaged the public and have been honest and forthright in our daily activities at work,” she said. “We can be proud, all of us, that Frederick County has a reputation for responsive and transparent government, a thriving economy, and an award-winning school system.”
During her next four years, Gardner said she will continue working on education, jobs, community needs and senior citizen concerns. “I look forward to working with our fabulous new County Council. who will bring both experience and continuity as well new energy and new ideas,” she says. “Each and everyone is committed to working together, to being fair and honest and to treating people with dignity and respect.”
Members of the Council said they too were willing to work together with each other for the good of the county. One of them was newcomer Phil Dacey (R), who said it’s time to put partisanship aside. “We won’t always agree with each other. That is democracy. That’s why there’s seven of us up here, each with our opinions, our own visions and unique voice,” he said. “But while I won’t always agree, I will pledge that I will always bring my honest opinion forward. I will serve with integrity, and I will engage civilly with my colleagues and the public.”
Incumbent Jerry Donald (D) had similar comments. “We all want to move Frederick County forward. Maybe we look at things in different ways., but that’s a goal for everybody, I think,” he said. “And we’ll work together, and we’ll reason together. And I think four years from now, Frederick County will be an even better place.”
Incoming Councilman Michael Blue (R) also talked about working together with his colleagues. “I know that we will have some challenges, and we won’t agree on all the issues. But we will work together in a courteous and respectful manner,” he said.
Jessica Fitzwater (D), returning for a second term, urge the public to stay involved with local issues. “Now that the election is over, don’t go away. Please stay involved and stay in touch with us, and make sure you send us e-mails, come to our meetings, let us know what your priorities are. Our decisions will be so much better if we hear from you and we’re able to consider all your viewpoints as we make those decisions moving forward.”
The new Council will hold its first meeting Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 to elect a new President and Vice President, schedule future meetings and decide on board and commission assignments.
By Kevin McManus