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Our View: Thumbs up for voters in volume, vaccines to the masses, local musician trying to make it big | COMMENTARY

THUMBS UP: Congratulations are in order for new mayors and town councilmembers in Mount Airy, Sykesville and Taneytown as Carroll countians are in the midst of another municipal election season. Perhaps more worthy is the large turnouts that took place in the two towns holding mayoral elections. Sykesville saw record numbers Tuesday when Stacy Link became the town’s first female mayor (Sykesville was incorporated in 1904). More than 900 votes were counted in the mayoral race, a roughly 30% increase over the previous record of 614 set in the 2017 mayoral election. Mount Airy held its election Monday and Mayor Patrick Rockinberg secured another terms by a mere two votes. Rockinberg retained his position with 804 votes and clipped Town Council President Larry Hushour, who finished with 802. That race was so close, however, that the town’s board of elections planned to conduct a recount on Friday night. In all, 1,621 votes were cast. Mount Airy officials said this year’s turnout of more than 20% of the town’s registered voters, is an improvement from the previous municipal election. More elections to come. Carroll’s version of Super Tuesday is May 11, when Hampstead, New Windsor, Union Bridge and Westminster hold their elections. We urge voters to follow the lead of Sykesville and Mount Airy and turn out in strong numbers.

THUMBS UP: To more steps toward normalcy. With COVID-19 vaccines more available these days, it’s good to see Carroll County taking measures to get doses out en masse. This week the Carroll County Health Department began offering vaccine clinics inside TownMall of Westminster, where the Sears department store used to reside. Walk-ins were being permitted as of Thursday during clinic hours as vaccine supply allows. The department plans to hold clinics at varied hours, likely three days per week, to make them as accessible as possible. “We just want to make it easy for people to get vaccinated,” Health Officer Ed Singer said during Thursday’s Board of Commissioners meeting. “This is what’s going to get us back to normal.” Moderna clinics have been set for Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. Clinic dates and times can be found at cchd.maryland.gov/registration-links. According to Carroll County Health Department data, 47.7% of all Carroll County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 35.5% are fully vaccinated. Singer noted that it appears likely the federal government will approve the Pfizer vaccine for those as young as 12. There are about 8,000 people in Carroll ages 12 to 15. Singer said they are already working on a partnership with LifeBridge Health to help get enough Pfizer vaccine to be able to run a clinic at TownMall open only to those in the 12 to 17 age group.

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THUMBS UP: North Carroll High School graduate Brandon Tomlinson has come a long way from singing karaoke and deciding to try out for the ABC hit show “The Voice.” Tomlinson has turned that decision into a musical career, and he’s in the process of finishing his debut album called “Younger Days.” The record is slated to come out in the fall, and Tomlinson has released five singles since 2019. Influenced by alternative pop bands like OneRepublic and The 1975, he creates bright, upbeat, pop music inspired by his childhood in Hampstead. “Growing up in Carroll County definitely bleeds through in my music because I’m singing about my younger days and the evolution of life,” he told us. “I’m constantly trying to capture those moments that you don’t really ever experience again in songs and make people think back to those times that were some of the best times in your life.”

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