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In Response to “Pomposity” Comments — Continuing the Conversation

There has been such a terrific exchange of posted comments to our last post (Results of Frederick’s City-County Meeting: A Tale of Pomposity), I felt that it best to bring it forward to another post of its own.

More on Pomposity

If you haven’t read it, please take the time to do so … ALL Great Comments … thank you!  Many others have emailed me with their comments, wishing to remain anonymous  … hmm, I wonder why?

So to Commissioners Kai Hagen and Jan Gardner, Joan, Farrell, Adam, etc … here are some further thoughts and responses to consider:

While the tone of sarcasm displayed in the last post from the Anonymous Donor is a bit over the edge in places, the core of the exchange was exactly as  Farrell stated: The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) did essentially argue with the City against its own (BOCC’s) requirements.  The major point that I want to get across is that it is clear from this meeting that the BOCC process of comprehensive planning is far from comprehensive.  I have spoken with members of at least 4 municipalities, and I get the same answer from each:  At best there is minimal cooperation and participation.

Kai can say all that he wants about me trying to fabricate “discord and dysfunction … even when it isn’t there to see at all,”  but it is there!  Current and past Aldermen including other staff members have told me that there has not been a feeling of collaboration, it’s been dictatorial.  The success of Frederick County’s Comp Plan is all about the ability of each of its municipalities to succeed.  That requires collaboration and support from the BOCC, not parental oversight!!!

For the BOCC this attitude has been going on so long that they don’t get it or see it.  And as for most folks who are in government and have to deal with government … they aren’t going to speak up about this.  They understandably just bite their tongue and deal with it.

My vision is that the county should look at each municipality as important economic and growth centers within the county, and the BOCC should be engaged with them continuously;  always asking: “How can WE help you to fulfill your part of our collective strategic objectives?”  That is the farthest thing from what happens now.  This kind of relationship among what I currently see as 13 fiefdoms, who are always engaged in turf wars, is destructive and costs this county millions of dollars in precious tax revenue and wastes valuable human energy.  All of our municipalities, not to mention our citizens, are experiencing very tough financial times … Imagine how a truly collaborative relationship could allow these bodies to talk about how they could combine or merge duplicate services and focus on saving tax dollars for our citizens … and so much more!!!

I have no hidden agenda here for those in my industry as Kai implies … far from it!  What you read here and see is what you get!  My hope is that we need to acknowledge this long standing elephant in the room, as it has affected the culture within county government for way too long — many many years.  This HIGH and MIGHTY attitude does exist, and it has got to stop.  As I have exchanged with Kai and others, I don’t so much blame the current BOCC for this problem within Winchester Hall, as they are a product of their own environment … but if we acknowledge it and accept that this dysfunctional culture is there, maybe the next board (no matter who they are) will find the political will to fix it.

So am I dreaming here, or is this reality?

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