I am pleasantly surprised and heartened by the declaration by some members of the new Board of County Commissioners, including at least one holdover from the previous board, that they are interested in at least discussing the possibility of installing some form of charter government in the county. After the shenanigans by a certain cadre of county politicos the last time it was proposed, the result was the current five-member arrangement. I'm of the strong opinion that it's about time.
Carroll is no longer the sparsely populated, primarily farming county that it was. We're a growing and more diverse area with new and varied businesses and residential communities springing up seemingly weekly. It's time to bring our county into the 21st century with an elected full-time executive to oversee the day-to-day operations of the county government. Although they all put in many hours a week, the office of commissioner is essentially supposed to be a part-time position. The commissioners should legislate, and not be bogged down with the administrative duties. Frederick County realized that they had outgrown the commissioner form of government and elected a county executive. Now it's our turn.
Zoning changes in Westminster and the Hampstead area have been proposed with hearings either scheduled or having been held. One deals with allowable businesses in the downtown sector of Westminster and the other with a proposed residential community near Hampstead. Both will require some more study by all concerned before final decisions are made. Both sound to me, at this point, like positives for the respective areas.
After seeing some of the TV coverage of the meeting at the White House between Sen. Chuck Schumer, the former and probably next Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and President Trump that exhibited much sound and fury and settled nothing, I'm afraid that there will be total gridlock in Washington, and I'm not talking about the traffic. The three interrupted one another, led by Trump, failed to actually listen to one another, and showed boorish behavior unbecoming of people in their positions.
I find the President's position that he will shut down portions of the government if Congress doesn't provide the funds for his border wall to be short-sighted at the least and definitely un-presidential. Why would the leader of any country put government employees out of work in retaliation for the failure of the legislative body to submit to an unpopular demand? Trump is acting like a petulant child who is throwing a tantrum if he doesn't get what he wants, and taking great glee in doing it. Although there is need for reform of our immigration policies, his fear mongering about illegal aliens “invading” our country is becoming tiresome and has no basis in fact.
Occasionally, Trump does do something positive for the country. His support and signing of the new law that makes changes in the sentencing of certain non-violent offenders was welcomed by those involved in law enforcement and the judiciary all across the nation. The measure will reduce serious overcrowding in the prisons and may provide rehabilitative services to those whose major crime was to be poor and under-educated. I think that is a win-win for those affected and the rest of us as well. As the old saying goes, “even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.”