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December 11, 2006
by Jack Lynch
I believe in winning fairly and losing gracefully. I honor the service and respect the position of elected officials, even once they’ve been proven not to represent the will of the community and its best interests. So at the recent swearing in of the new Board of County Commissioners, I had the chance to shake the hands of Lovell and Reeder and to say thank you to them. And I had no problem doing so, nor any desire to gloat at the win for my perspective, and the loss of their power.
But it was with great relief that I saw the change in positions and did not have to face another term of any of my three unbridled growth opponents.
I do understand how crushing it truly must be for Cady to lose. He’s a proud man and boasts a more than healthy ego. He certainly served his interest and position well. But the voters have spoken, and it’s time to move on. There will be time for him to review his past place and watch throughout the next four years with an eye to challenge again. I just hope that that hope to be resurrected on his part is utter folly.
His recent communication to supporters demonstrates that he knows he lost on substance and in the voters minds, but still resists fully accepting that defeat, and attempts to blame voters as being swayed by ‘misleading and untruthful’ media campaigns. Say it ain’t so, Mike! It was about your actions and decisions, and voter’s feelings about your ethical stance. It was about your coziness with development interests. You knew it and still did it. You lost public approval.
But Cady still hopes to fight the same tired old battle over the next four years.
Cady still believes that he was right.
We can hope that the positive results of the next term makes these old arguments falter, and that the agenda changes to better serve the community as a whole. Our new Board shows every sign of accepting that mantle and responsibility. It is their mission.
My challenges to those who thought differently about our county’s direction are three:
1.) Give us a vision for the ultimate build out of the county based on land use and water resources. Then show us how you would accomplish this by using progressive development practices that use less land and impact our waters least.
2.) Show us how you plan to build homes of an average affordability for those who do actually work in the county at average jobs and wages and not ever more expensive and unaffordable mansions.
3.) Point out how we can reach a point in growth where the debt and services of the county are balanced by the revenue from the housing and business base, so that catching up on past costs of infrastructure are covered, and the costs associated with servicing new homes is met by the revenue generated by their construction and tax base without violating the principle of my second challenge. And so that we end the cycle of mortgaging old growth with new growth as our needs and debts grow larger.
The way we are going to build our community in the fullest sense is to convene our various interests, find a consensus position, and then live with that compromise as it is in the best interests of all citizens and businesses.
Part of that solution will be the lessening of the partisan stridency in local matters. This was part of the message of the electorate in giving us a bipartisan slate of slower growth candidates this time around. It was rather a different message than the usual, pro versus slow growth swings of Frederick County. It was a crossing of lines to find a common ground and common sense. Cady and the partisan players still lack that personal growth and vision.