The bets are in. Most readers will have little interest in this piece of work. Why? It only involves the most southwest jurisdiction in the county. We are so far to the southwest that about half of our town extends into Frederick County. I want to chat a bit about the May 6 election in our Town of Mount Airy for those who are concerned.

There are a couple of issues that have been noticed in Mount Airy elections involving the campaigning prior to election day. The practices which have caught my attention are those of supporters and not the candidates themselves.


For those interested, Mount Airy will vote to fill three town council seats on May 6. Of the four running, the only incumbent is Jason Poirier. The other three candidates are Pamela Reed, Karl Munder and John Stuehmeier. I do not intend to dwell on the candidates, but instead look at some campaigning practices.

A few elections ago, I read a supporter’s letter to the editor regarding a candidate for mayor. That supporter found it acceptable to make clear what church that candidate attended. We all know that religious affiliation has nothing to do with public office. It was apparent that the mention was made to appeal to an emotional factor for some readers — most likely to inspire the members of that church. Clearly this emotional appeal had nothing to do with qualifications.

In our current campaign, a supporter wrote an online endorsement as well as a letter to the editor. In both writings, the supporter saw fit to mention workplace heroics of a candidate — none of which were even remotely related to the candidate’s ability to perform in the job he seeks. Also prominently mentioned, was the candidate’s work experience. That work experience, itself, will add little toward the candidate’s ability to serve on our town council.

The point of relating these two sets of circumstances is to call attention to the use of emotion as opposed to rational thought when some are campaigning for their favorites. Again, it is reassuring that it seems to be only the supporters engaging in such and not the candidates themselves. Emotional responses seem to be a goal in politics today. In a local zoning-related action a few years back, an opponent of the applicant lied publicly. When challenged about the lie, he told me “You have to get the people emotionally involved.” Sad. This fella didn’t bother to deny the lie, nor did he seem to be remotely apologetic. He simply stated the fact as he saw it. The end justifies the means. I guess that I’m just too old-fashioned. Are morality and honor now dead?

The last issue is an elected official who puts his/her official title on written endorsements of a candidate or slate. Almost everyone will agree that every individual has the right to support the candidate of their choice — even elected officials. An elected official can write anything they want in support of those running for office — but they shouldn’t be putting their official title on such endorsement. In such matters, they do not speak or act for the town. Unseemly seems to be an appropriate description of such action. They should know better. What would Maryland Municipal League say?

Again, we all need to apply rational thought to the election process. Emotion has no place in choosing those who will be making decisions about the distribution of millions of taxpayer dollars among other major decisions. Supporters should stick to logical arguments and relevant facts in order to elect the most effective people.

Ultimately, it’s only the candidate’s own words that matter. Overly enthusiastic supporters who promise the world will not, after all, be around after election day. Let the candidates speak for themselves and take with a grain of salt the words of supporters — regardless of who they may be.

Lastly, after the election we will have a town council with the least cumulative experience (less than seven years) of any council in my 15 years in town. This will be a fresh start. The new council will require patience and help when they request it. Let’s be prepared to pitch in should the need be there.

With all that said, my preferred candidates are Poirier, Reed and Munder.