Frederick County Executive Defends Equity & Inclusion Policies for County Staff

County Executive Jan Gardner

She says the county still looks for the best applicants for job openings.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – Trying to make sure Frederick County Government is as diverse as the community; that’s the goal of the County’s equity and inclusion policies, according to County Executive Jan Gardner, who was a guest Wednesday on WFMD”s “Morning News Express.”

But host Bob Miller had this question. “What were we  doing beforehand that was so wrong,” he asked. “You’re talking about the diverse workforce: are we looking for the best and the brightest or are we looking to put a name tag  or an inclusion tag on somebody being hired? I always want the best person.”

Gardner said the County always looks for the :”best and the brightest” for its workforce, and striving for diversity doesn’t change that. “We’re trying to go out and make sure that we have a diverse pool of qualified applicants. We certainly want to hire qualified people and that hasn’t changed at all,” she responded.

She also said the County’s Equity and Inclusion Officer, Michael Hughes, has been making recommendations when it comes to recruitment, interviewing and hiring candidates for Frederick County Government positions.  “I think you’re misrepresenting what we’re actually trying to do. We always want to qualified people for the job,”: Gardner told Miller. “How am I misrepresenting,” He responded.

Gardner also had this comeback. “You’re suggesting—You pretty much said it–that if we look for diversity and inclusion in our workforce, that we’re somehow not hiring the best and brightest people,” she said. “That’s what you said.”

She also went on to say that the County needs to have a welcoming environment for everyone whose hired, and that pertains to all employees.

By Kevin McManus