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The Intelligence of Blaine Young. Really?

Putting focus on individuals who influence the value of land and commercial real estate in Frederick County, Maryland.

The-Intelligence-of-Blaine-Young-ReallyFrederick County Commissioner President Blaine Young has been a hot topic lately, capturing what seems to be an unceasing flow of headlines in both the Gazette and Frederick News Post.

In the 54 days since taking the oath of office, Young along with fellow board members Kirby DelauterC. Paul Smith and Billy Shreve are making a serious dent in fulfilling campaign promises that the Editors at the News Post recently called an ambitious agenda for someone [Young] pledging to serve a single four-year term.”

Other than a bumpy start with an unsuccessful proposal by Smith to repeal the 2007 amendment to the state ethics law, Young has kept his board laser focused on changing county government and its budgetary burdens without increasing taxes.  More so than the objectives of the board it”s the style and the person that has opened some eyes to Young.

Just consider the headlines of the last couple of weeks:

  1. Blaine Young delivers new management style – Patti Borda, News Post, January 12th
  2. Young’s presidency takes Frederick County government by storm – Sherry Greenfield, Gazette, January 12th
  3. One and Done – Editors, News Post, January 17th
  4. Frederick County, town leaders work out compromises – Katherine Heerbrandt, Gazette, January 21st

Ten months ago in one of the first posts of the MacRo Report Blog, I asked the question “… please tell me why it always seems to be about Blaine Young?”  At that time, Young was the newly appointed replacement for the vacancy left by former commissioner Charles Jenkins, who was appointed to fill a state delegate vacancy.

The presence of the well known outspoken conservative talk radio host on the board brought on a new kind of tension for then Commissioner President Jan Gardner and her board.  Therefore I chose to defer the reply to my own question to see how others defined him.

Well, now more so than ever, it seems that it is all about Blaine again.  While I have known his “other side” for a number of years — that of the family and businessman — it was almost humorous to read the News Post Editors express that “… we were surprised by the presentation of the man in front of us. This was not the strident, mouthy, word-butchering radio personality we were familiar with. Instead, we heard a thoughtful and intelligent recounting of problems Frederick County government is facing…”

This statement may very well have sent tingles up the spine of former commissioners Gardner and Hagen, but the fact is that Young, Delauter, Smith and Shreve are approaching their new jobs in an intelligent manner, by running county government as it was originally designed.   They bring back something has not been seen for decades:  a group of full time successful independent business people who consider their elected offices as part-time positions.

In her article Patti Borda states that Young brings a new management style to his office: He gets consensus from other commissioners and sets County Manager Barry Stanton loose to implement the board”s wishes.”

This of course is nothing new, but after years of being dysfunctionally micromanaged, many members of staff in county government are very excited about the benefits and efficiencies that this traditional administrative style will bring over that of committee rule.

Gardner is quoted by Sherry Greenfield, as stating that she does not believe that the commissioner form of government provides for county staff to make decisions “… a commissioner form of government is set up to run like a committee.” 

One hundred years ago, American writer, capitalist and philosopher Elbert Hubbard (1856 – 1915) defined a committee as “a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour.”<lt;/em>  

By my calculations, if Mr. Hubbard was correct, the one term “and done” Young with his delegation style of management should be able to accomplish in 6.9 months what may have taken four years under previous boards!  If the results of the recent County/Town meeting that Ms. Heerbrandt writes about is an example, maybe we ain”t seen nothing yet!

That may very well be too ambitious to assume, but for sure, Frederick County citizens will have an opportunity to see firsthand how this “new” management style will set the framework for a much more efficiently run county government.  One that will, in and of itself, save tax payers money and yield faster results of county goals — all by a bunch of part time public servants.

Now that is intelligent!

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The author: Rocky Mackintosh, President, MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland.  He also writes for  where this article also appears.

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