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The Tentacle


July 22, 2002

Park Ground Breaking Should Have Been About Children

Blaine R. Young

A week or so ago, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and her running mate came to Frederick to attend the groundbreaking for a new city park in the Hillcrest area.

Instead of spotlighting children and others who will benefit from this worthy city project, the alderman, and others, were instead confronted with large banners and placards urging everyone in attendance to support and vote for Mrs. Townsend for Governor of the State of Maryland.

Being someone that was very involved in this project, I would like to say thank you to the Frederick County Government for helping the city get the project open space money from the state. The state gives the money to the county and the county gives the money to the municipalities to divvy up among themselves once a year.

I would also like to thank all the municipalities of Frederick County for recognizing that this was a regional park that will benefit all of Frederick County and for agreeing to let the City of Frederick have so much of the project open space money that is meant for everyone. The citizens of the Hillcrest area should also be thanked for helping to design the park.

The mayor has the right to make political endorsements as she sees fit. The alderman have the right to participate in city functions, activities and business. Some alderman are virtually ignored when it comes to city announcements and events, and the new mayor seems to think that the alderman may participate in such things only upon her invitation.

The mayor does not have the right to confuse endorsements with city business, and it was wholly inappropriate to turn this groundbreaking for a city park into a "Townsend for Governor" event. If the Republicans did this, there would one heck of a stink made about it and local and state wide press would have picked it up.

Probably some Democrats would have called for the City Ethics Commission to determine weather or not it was inappropriate to mix a park ground breaking with a political endorsement.

The sad thing is that the whole event should have been about the kids and families who will use this much needed city park. This got lost because the event was made political.

And I'm sure that Lt. Gov. Townsend was so involved in getting money for this project that she didn't need directions to the groundbreaking. YEA! RIGHT!



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