With the transition from the Commission form of government to that of charter for Frederick County, who is the best person among the 7 council members-elect to preside over our first county council? Give us your opinion!
Well, Frederick is only two weeks away from the inauguration day of its new Charter Government!
While many of our regular visitors to the MacRo Report Blog are real estate investors, developers and even commercial real estate brokers, many tune in to get our insight on the real estate market and on the political happenings and goings-on that impact Frederick. For those of you in the latter group, you have obviously read the thousands of words I have devoted to the reasons why I have been an advocate to change our form of government to a Charter structure. Such a transition from centuries of a board of county commissioner format is not necessarily one that will be smooth.
As a matter of fact, as I wrote last March, if our new County Executive and the County Council don’t get off on the right foot, things could potentially go nuclear … which would likely set the tone for a rabidly partisan relationship between the two branches of government once the council members transact their first order of business on December 1, 2014.
It could be as simple as who the council members select as their President.
Yes, Frederick County government will finally have a President … of sorts.
Consider Section 210 of the adopted Charter:
At the first scheduled meeting of the Council in December following an election and biennially thereafter, the Council shall elect from among its members a President and Vice President of the Council. The President, or in the absence of the President, the Vice President, shall preside over meetings of the Council. The Council may provide for the selection of other officers as the Council may deem desirable for the exercise of its powers.
What will be the responsibilities of the Council President, you ask?
Simply put, the President of the Frederick County Council will likely be the face of and spokesperson for the council in public, but with the County Executive as well. He (or she) will preside over council meetings and will be responsible for scheduling public hearings on legislation (bills) that the body passes.
So who, you ask, is the odds on favorite to be selected for the top seat on the council?
Well, one would think that with the Republican members holding a simple majority of four members over the three held by the Democrats, that the four GOPer’s could rule the day and pick their man.
But not so fast! Let’s look carefully at the ruling party’s members, and I’ll let you be the judge by taking our unscientific poll of who you think is best suited for the Presidential seat.
The challenge for this group is not just to secure a Republican President for the county council, but even more so to set a new bipartisan tone in county government. This may be hard for some, as egos and political aspirations may overrule a desire to place the “common good” front and center.
Much work has to be done in the first year of charter government – well beyond the typical cycle of working to overturn the actions of the previous administration. The common goal for all of our elected officials in this new format is to put policies and procedures in place and develop a working relationship that will actually set the tone for future administrations to work together amicably.
So, please take our survey and give us your opinion on which Republican would make the best President of the first County Council for Frederick County.
Thanks … and we will publish our results!
The author: Rocky Mackintosh, President, MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. He has been an active member of the Frederick, Maryland community for over four decades. He has served as chairman of the board of Frederick Memorial Hospital and as a member of the Frederick County Charter Board from 2010 to 2012, to name a few.