Ahead of this spring’s municipal elections, the Carroll County Times has asked candidates to provide information on themselves and their priorities. Their responses are listed here in full.
Taneytown City Councilman Donald C. Frazier is running for Taneytown mayor, against Mayor James L. McCarron, current Councilman Bradley Wantz and former Councilman Paul Chamberlain. Here are Frazier’s responses.
I am the proud Dad of three lovely girls, a nice young son-in-law and grandson Trace.I have been married this year for 35 years to Robin Bartlett Frazier, my bride.
I am a machinist by trade, but called into the ministry in 2000 at which time I began to prepare.Attending college, I became ordained in 2002 and served as the Outreach Pastor in Glen Burnie MD during the time my wife served in the Ehrlich Administration.Much of my time now and since 2010 is spent serving in Agora Evangelism Ministries, Inc. as the Executive Director; our headquarters being located at 211 East Baltimore Street in Taneytown. I am the Vice President of Frazier Machine Company, Inc.
I am a 1977 graduate of Westminster High School, and am looking forward to graduating with my Master’s Degree in Ministries this May from Loan Star Baptist College in Texas.
I registered as a Republican in 1978 and joined the Tri-District Republican Club. I have held many positions in the Club through-out the years including, President, Vice President, Treasurer and Corresponding Secretary.In 2009, the Tri-District Club aligned it’s three Districts with the Commissioner District One as it had done at its founding in 1964. The Club now represents Manchester, Myers and Taneytown.I currently serve as Treasurer.
I received some awards and appointments during the 1980s including the William PACA Award for being the Outstanding Republican Youth for the state of Maryland,served on the Central Maryland Health Systems Agency where I worked with Senator Charles Smelser on the Long View Nursing Home expansion and Fairhaven in Sykesville to get certificates of need for more beds in Carroll County so that Carroll County loved ones could stay in Carroll and not have to travel to Baltimore or Pennsylvania.I served on the Carroll County Hospital Board, the Maryland Home Improvement Commission appointed for 4 years by Governor Harry Hughes and worked on many campaigns, including Commissioner Lauterbach, Senator Raymond Beck and Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, and served as an election judge or poll watcher Woolery’s District during those years.
In the 1990’s my wife Robin and I flipped a coin, so to speak, to see who would run for the Central Committee and who would be the President of the Tri-District Republican Club.I’m not sure who won, but she was elected to the Central Committee and I became President of Tri-District.During this time, I worked on campaigns including Senator Larry Haines, Commissioner Donald Dell and Delegate Joseph Getty.I served on a Committee to study forms of government that concluded five (5) Commissioners elected Countywide would be good representation for Carroll, and Charter Government gave too much power to one individual.
In 2000, Robin was in the middle of her term as Carroll County Commissioner and I was called into the ministry.My focus was more on my studies and I drove a school bus for Rill’s in the morning and afternoon.We still always worked on campaigns of those that would best represent us.Again, we supported Congressman Roscoe Bartlett and Governor Bob Ehrlich, working a Baltimore Precinct on election day.Moving to Glen Burnie, we were neighbors with Democratic headquarters it seemed, Senator Ed DeGrange; a good neighbor who invited us at times to meet his friends.I remain a member of the District 32 Republican Club.I worked on the Senator Bryan Simonaire campaign in his first run and he was elected to represent Anne Arundel County and still does.
I moved back to Carroll in 2009 and bought my current home in Taneytown. As Executive Director, I opened the Agora Ministries American Headquarters in 2014.I campaigned for Robin Bartlett Frazier for Commissioner; the first Commissioner elected in the new District One.In 2015 I ran for the Taneytown Council and won.The Tri-District Club has been active in Taneytown politics and the Voter Turn-out has increased dramatically.
In 2017 I received the Diogenes Award, Looking for an honest man, stating: “Presented to Donald Frazier, Council member; Taneytown, MD for exemplary honesty and diligence in pursuit of lawful government; standing firm against corruption in local government.”
Other organizations for which I am currently a member include:Carroll and Taneytown Chambers of Commerce, Taneytown Rod and Gun Club, The American Legion Hesson-Snyder Post 120, Defend Life and The American Heritage Foundation.
I enjoy serving and being what, my friend, Franklyn Miller called a “People Helper.”
Why do you want to serve in this role?
I simply want to FIX IT. A Councilman for the past 4 years, I have asked questions that were unwelcomed, but what all citizens would want to know.Learning more about the budget and town issues, I have been vocal to expose some things.For an example: $11 million sitting around in the bank account, $329,000.00 shifted to the utility fund and water/sewer rates raised to cover it, (essentially raising taxes without raising the tax rate but the water/sewer rate instead), that the Mayor and Council wrote letters of support to bring in a Pot Grower and looked the other way as the Planning Commission that Councilman Wantz sits on transferred an approved site plan to a new company without the proper process, AND I have opposed some things like going into closed secret meetings to discuss topics that should be discussed in open session for the citizens to observe, opposed raising taxes and sewer rates, opposed passing unconstitutional ordinances, opposed eliminating the ability for all folks to vote by absentee ballot, opposed having a petition process with no deadline for getting the signatures in, and many more.
As I prayerfully considered running in 2019; I was encouraged to run for Mayor.The Mayor has much authority over the agenda, citizen participation, the budget and each expenditure, hiring, firing and filling appointed positions.As one vote on the Council I was often the minority opposing view and sometimes could not even get a 2nd so that an issue could be discussed for the public to observe.As Mayor, with the knowledge I have gained during my term as Councilman, I can FIX IT.
I WANT TO SERVE AS MAYOR TO GIVE THE TOWN BACK TO THE PEOPLE! by welcoming their input, and making the Town’s activities transparent for the people to observe and weigh in on.As Mayor, I will increase public participation in the workshop meetings, voting sessions and special meetings. I want to know their concerns and complaints, their desires and dreams.This is necessary for me to serve the citizens well and protect their rights.
The Mayor controls the Agenda and whether a closed meeting is scheduled.I will stop the illegal secret meetings so the citizens can observe their representatives debate and discuss issues and keep them accountable.No more discussions behind closed doors.
I want to serve as Mayor to correct the mistake that was made that is oppressing the people of Taneytown with outrageously high sewer rates.I presented a plan two years ago that can still be adopted that will allow the sewer rates to be cut by 50%.The numbers are coming in and the plan works.The water/sewer rates can be reduced.I will FIX IT.
I want to serve as Mayor to stop the corruption.FBI Investigations and ATF raids on the Police Department and in the homes of some employees need to be handled wisely and openly so the citizens can know the problems have been fixed.Illegal activities must stop:Illegal secret meetings, Illegal Emergency passage of legislation, Questionable election processes that are under investigation, false criminal charges against citizens that speak up, and targeted violations, fines and notices for citizens with opposing views; shutting down free speech, spending thousands of dollars on studies used to campaign against the opposition and support incumbents in 2017, and the list goes on.It must stop, and I pledge to FIX IT!
How do you plan to represent your municipality’s interests in the county government?
After 40 years of being involved in Carroll politics, I have a good understand of how County government works and still have many connections and resources both at the State and County level.
The County used to have joint meetings with the municipalities and that is why issues like stormwater management have been discussed and mutually beneficial permitting and financing has been established.I will advocate to re-establish those regular talks.The County resources are just a call away and we should use more of the resources that the county provides including bonding through the county if needed; they have offered it.The state is also a great resource for the appropriate issues and again I have made many friends and connections along the way.
Politics is like any other business; good relationships can help make things happen.Such connections and relationships have helped me as a Council Member be able to put forth the Frazier Cut Sewer Rates 50% Plan, which is proving out with the great volume of new housing units paying fees; with passing the No Sanctuary for illegals Resolution, in boosting voter turn-out, and in helping citizens look into and solve stormwater and traffic matters.
Mayor McCarron, Bradley Wantz and others refuse to reach out to the County Comptroller, Economic Development Director and others that can help.That is wrong; it is foolish not to reach out to all available resources and I can FIX IT!
Name something you would begin working to accomplish as soon as your first week on the job.
Welcoming More Citizen Input and participation to make City Government more open and transparent!
Mayor McCarron, Councilman Wantz and the other Council, have made it increasingly difficult for citizens to share their thoughts, ask questions, state their concerns or articulate their dreams.New rules infringe on citizen’s first amendment rights, disallowing signs to be held during the meetings, passing a “No Citizens Questions” rule and limiting comments to 3 minutes sharp.
In a representative form of government, which we are in America, every effort is to be made to allow citizens to observe their representatives debate and make decisions.This is how they can tell if their representative does actually represent them and to keep them accountable.This is the reason for the Open Meetings Act, governing all open and closed meetings of elected officials.This Mayor, Wantz and the other council members continue to have illegal secret meetings which deprive the citizens their right to observe even after the Court found they had 5 violations of the Act.Two issues were appealed, and the higher court overturned the lower court ruling that they had held an open meeting before the closed meeting, stating the evidence proved they had NOT held a legal open meeting.
Mayor McCarron and the other Council Members even went so far as to have their police department press criminal charges against a citizen who spoke to object to the closing of a meeting in accordance with the Open Meetings Act, when no police were even in attendance at the meeting. The Mayor and Council are not to rule over the people, but to protect their God given rights, such as freedom of speech. Other citizens have received multiple violations and fines when they speak up at the meetings and citizens in Taneytown fear retaliation.
This is wrong, it is un-American and as Mayor, who has authority in matters of citizen input, I will FIX IT!
What skills do you have to offer constituents that other candidates might not?
Forty years of getting to know people at all levels of government is a plus when getting information and solving problems.As a business owner and executive director of a non-profit, I know how important it is to be frugal and to set priorities.I know how difficult it is when the government passes unnecessary and costly regulations.
Building a $400,000.00-dollar road connection that benefits no-one is not a priority, and ignoring the cries of the people suffering under the “crazy conservative” measures citizens are taking with water use (as one citizen put it) and still unable to pay their quarterly bills, is not setting priorities correctly, especially when the Town has the means to lower the rates.
Not a skill, but something that seems to be missing in Taneytown government is integrity.The Mayor and the Council have sworn an oath of office to uphold the Constitution and protect the rights of the citizens, but I have opposed the passing of totally unconstitutional ordinances that lack separation of powers, due process and equal justice under the law. They retaliate against those that oppose them with targeted violations and unfair fines, even press false criminal charges against some people.They are under investigation by Maryland 20/20 for questionable election practices and potentially faulty elections, were under investigation by the FBI resulting in an ATF Raid of the police department and some employees, and are under investigation of the Open Meetings Compliance Board for complaints filed regarding illegally closed meetings.All of these things and others, I have exposed, opposed and as Mayor hope to dispose of.I have the knowledge and skills, and I will FIX IT!
My greatest advantage though, is my competent, creative, caring help-meet and mother of my children, that is an able and willing encourager and resource; Robin Bartlett Frazier.I thank God for this blessing every day!I want to shout out right here – God bless you Moms who work so hard to do the most important job of raising up the good citizens of the next generation!Mother’s Day is coming; don’t forget to honor your Mom.
What one thing would you most like to see changed?
Sewer Rates must be cut, the citizens need relief.I understand the numbers and as Mayor, I will FIX IT!
Citizens have been carrying the debt for a pumping station that was to be the developers’ responsibility.That 360-home project is now taking off and the hook-up fees are coming in strong.I presented a plan to cut sewer rates in half using the growth of this development (hook-up fees) to pay off this pumping station debt.The numbers are coming in and the Plan will work if implemented.I have also proposed, since the Mayor, Wantz and other council have made the decision to restrict those hook-up fees to future projects instead of prioritizing relief for the citizens, a 9% reduction.Davenport stated $120,000 is equal to about a 3% reduction and based on numbers in this years’ budget that either increase revenues or decrease expenditures, 9% looks like a reasonable reduction even without the hook-up fees.
For an example, a couple years ago the Mayor and other Council Members raised taxes by shifting employee expenses from the general government funds into the utility funds and increasing water/sewer rates to pay for the extra expense.No tax refunds were given; the newly freed up $329,000.00 was simply spent; that’s a tax increase.Each year since then, percentages of wages have been shifted back to the general funds.This year about $127,000,00 of employee wages is taken from the utility fund to the general fund. That is an on-going reduction to the utility fund and therefore the rates should be reduced to give the citizens their money back.
What are your campaign priorities?
- Cut Sewer Rates, 2. Secure Citizen Input, and 3. Nail Corruption
- I reiterate, current numbers support the Frazier Plan to cut sewer rates by 50%. I will be able to have access to all the numbers without double talk to make clear the simple fact that the developer’s fees that are beginning to pour in should be used to pay for the debt service on the pumping station the citizens are paying for in the increased sewer rate. The facts back up the Plan. I will FIX IT.
- The town has not been transparent and has shut down free speech with fear tactics, ridicule, and intimidation. The Mayor controls citizen participation. Unconstitutional rules that trample 1st amendment rights will be lifted and all forms of retaliation will stop. I will FIX IT.
- Corruption abounds in Taneytown. FBI/ATF Police raids, investigations on fair elections, investigations on secret meetings, fake emergencies called to ram legislation through, thousands of taxpayers’ dollars spent to campaign for the incumbents and the list goes on! The Mayor has been quoted as saying, “If we have done it wrong for thirty years, then I guess we will just do it wrong again;” Wantz and the other council members not objecting. I say, let’s do it right! I will FIX IT!
What is your position on the currently vacant Taneytown police chief position?
In the secret meeting, Feb 9th, I voted against, but attended so that I wouldn’t be in the dark with the rest of the citizens I represent, Mayor McCarron and the Council discussed this issue.I think the citizens had the right to hear this debate.
I voted to get an unbiased outsider as Chief who wouldn’t know where the “dead bodies” are, so to speak, in order that the citizens could feel confident there was no type of cover up.This is not a personal indictment of anyone, just a practical and wise direction for moving forward.The letter from the concerned policeman stated that the Chief ruled by fear and false promises and that Lt. Etzler was clearly being groomed for his position.The letter stated that with Lt. Etzler as Chief, “nothing would change.”The letter also stated that many of the policeman knew of the use and sales of property from the Police Property Room and “joked about it.”The FBI Investigation led to an ATF raid on the police station and some employee’s homes. There are too many potential insiders here and we don’t yet know the extent of it.
A Chief from the outside is the only way to be sure of cleaning things up properly and insuring that no cover-up will take place.Already the town attorney has been talking about what items are in the property room.Why does he have access to it?I wonder who else does?I think the room should have been locked up only for the auditors to view. I am skeptical we will ever get a report we can trust.
This is not the only corrupt situation Taneytown is involved in.I have spoken against the illegal secret meetings, fake emergencies to ram through laws, targeting of citizens with violations and fines, jacking up of water/sewer bills with estimated bills, playing shell games to raise taxes but claiming taxes have not been raised, suspicious election processes under investigation, Kangaroo Court rulings that announce illegal censures with no due process, and unconstitutional laws to deter citizen participation and discourage folks from running for office.I have exposed it, opposed it and as Mayor, I will FIX IT!
What is your position on the Civil War memorial proposed for Taneytown?
In general, a national Civil War memorial in Taneytown could be very beneficial to bringing in some economic growth through tourism.Our proximity to Gettysburg makes it an even better draw for visitors.Establishments like the Antrim, Georges on York Bed and Breakfast and local restaurants and main street stores would surely get a boost.
Other Parks and Recs projects could be planned considering the impact of the memorial.Let’s look at the Lions Club proposed use of the Creamery Building for a sports complex which I support selling them the property for one dollar.Such a complex down town could work hand in glove with the new tourism draw of a Civil War memorial if structured with that in mind.It might help get funds to accelerate a parking garage for an example.
As all things, the devil is in the details, and the details have been far from fleshed out, but certainly worth pursuing.Questions like where? What road improvements are necessary and possible?What exactly will be featured and written into the memorial? What are the expenses of the extra traffic and maintenance and who covers that?What do the final numbers look like?
We are in need of educating our citizens about the good, the bad and the ugly truth of our history.The truths about the Civil War have not all been captured in the history we teach today.We need to teach all of the truth so we do not repeat the things in history some would rather not remember, but all need to know, so that our history is not twisted over time to erase what actually took place and why.
Should Americans memorialize the good, the bad and the ugly characters and events in her history for future generations?I think so.