YOUR VOTE COUNTS

Tomorrow is Primary Day. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Willie J. Mahone, President of the the Frederick County Branch of the NAACP, recognizes the important role every voter plays in the election process. "It's important for all of us to understand the impact we can have on local politics if we exercise our right to vote. While we do not endorse one candidate over another, we feel that it's important voters are aware of key issues in this upcoming primary that may influence their choices." 

The Government and Political Affairs Committee of the Frederick Branch recently prepared a list of questions, listed below, for the candidates running for the Board of Education and the County Council.



Although several requests have been made, there has been no information regarding the participation of ethnic minorities and women in contracting by the Frederick County government. Do you think that such information is important and what actions would you take to actively support the involvement of ethnic minorities and women in Frederick County contracting.

The County Council has no authority over contracts. Under the Charter, all contracts are under the authority of the County Executive.  The responsibilities of both branches of government are clearly spelled out in the Charter, and the Council can only advocate with the County Executive to ensure that minorities and women are treated fairly when it comes to competing for contracts.

The City of Frederick has agreed to eliminate "check the box" on applications for employment in city government. Would you support doing the same in Frederick County government?

I do not know what “check the box” on an application for employment in Frederick City means, therefore I am unable to answer this question.  

In other jurisdictions in the State of Maryland have statutes giving specific protections to women, ethnic minorities, and LGBT individuals. Would you support such legislation in Frederick County? 

We already have local laws in Frederick County that protect people from discrimination in housing, employment, and accommodation based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity.  This could be improved and there could be additions to include the protection of LBGT individuals, but that is not in the current local law. We have had discussions as individual members about attempting to move legislation to do this, but given the current make up of the people on the Council, it was decided that now would not be an optimal time. 

What will you do to facilitate involvement of ethnic minorities in the hotel/conference center construction and operation?

Again, you are asking me as someone running for the office of the County Council.  The County Council has no authority nor any role in the construction or operation of the downtown hotel and conference center. The City is the lead on this project, with the contract being between the City and the developer. The County is not a party to this contract.  

Government has a bad track record when it comes to investing in conference centers and hotels. In a June 7, 2017 article, the Baltimore Sun noted the Baltimore city owned Hilton Baltimore Convention Center had an accumulated deficit of nearly $85 million. The same financing model is being used for the hotel/conference development in Frederick. What will you do to protect County taxpayers from the burden of paying for this project?

Frederick County taxpayers are not being asked to pay for any of this project. The County is not involved in owning or operating this complex. The taxpayers of the County are not at any risk.     

With the passing of the gambling revenue bill in 2008, money was to be put in a lockbox for funding our schools, yet portable classrooms predominate every campus in the county. What would you do to ensure that revenue from gambling goes toward educating our children? 

This is a decision that is up to our delegation. As a Council member, I will continue to advocate with the members of our delegation for funding for our schools, as I have done for the past four years as a member of the Council, and as I did as a PTA member and a parent of children in our school system for more than twenty years before that.  

Do you support a living wage and family leave for Frederick County? 

Again, this is an issue that is decided at the state level.  Frederick County Council has no role in determining the minimum wage for workers in the state of Maryland.

Do you support funding universal pre-kindergarten?
 
I support the concept of universal pre-kindergarten, but there is more to this issue that simply funding the concept. Instituting universal pre-K will cause an even greater strain to our already over stressed school system.  We will need additional space in all of our elementary schools many of which are already over capacity.  We will need additional teachers and staff.  There is even talk of needed specialized buses to more safely transport these young children to school.  While I believe we all want to provide the benefit of this kind of early childhood educational opportunities, I think we need to get a realistic cost estimate before we proceed too far down this path.
            





M.C. Keegan-Ayer
Candidate for County Council
District 3

Candidates for County Council

Shannon Bohrer
Galen Clagett
Jessica Fitzwater
Justin Kiska
Mark Long
M.C. Keegan-Ayer
​Susan Reeder Jessee

Candidates for the Board of Education

Jonah Eisenberg
Marie Fischer
Edison Hatter
Jay Mason
Bud Otis
Camden Raynor
Cindy Rose
Masai Troutman
Brad Young

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