Witiak: New Board of County Commissioners settling in nicely

Dear commissioners, most of all, thanks for serving. You have a lot to do.

As a Carroll countian residing in District 4 and reading the Carroll County Times front page story recently about your individual approaches and emphasis to serving Carroll countians, I could not help but breathe five hopeful sighs of relief.


From the article it appears that you all are settling in together and, as a board, you are choosing to relegate to history the ideological gobbledygook of a few past commissioners. I certainly hope so.

It's about time that all five commissioners are on board together, serving the local public good first and foremost.

There really is no place for rabid partisanship, bigotry, conspiracy theories, etc., etc., etc., anywhere, and certainly not among our local elected officials.

As you know, local taxpayers expect the commissioners to solve urgent local county problems in a fair, just and inclusive manner. That's it!

Up to now so many important issues, nonpartisan in nature, facing Carroll County families, Carroll County Public Schools and libraries, as well as issues regarding infrastructure, economic development, industrial tax base, fire and paramedic responses, law enforcement, ag preservation, the environment, Carroll's long-term future and planning and zoning — whew! — have often been either mismanaged, politicized or sidetracked to the detriment of all.

At any rate, I hope your being elected will mean that you all will be talking transparently with any and all constituents all four years; and that we, too, will be encouraged by your leadership to roll up our sleeves together and pitch in with you. (Yes, it takes a village, something a member or two of our state delegation seem not yet to understand.)

In Carroll County's good old days, commissioners and delegates and state senators and town councils and mayors — Republican, Democrat or Independent — relished the idea of meeting their constituents face to face in shops and visiting with them on the street all four years as our neighbors and friends in all parts of the county.

Yeah, there were disagreements. There was debate. But we were nevertheless all in for Carroll County as most of us are today.

Commissioners then did not have a computer screen to seal themselves off from real faces and real problems. They did not have box stores and now Amazon or long distance commuting to interfere with keeping in touch.

Nor did each commissioner serve only one area. On election night, even, both parties came together and celebrated democracy in Carroll County.

Candidates back then did not jump out of the woodwork with a smile and the right hand extended just three months before the primary asking for voters’ trust.

Long before local candidates ran for office they were activists working openly and proudly for what they believed was best for Carroll County.

It was the issue of betterment for all and not poll numbers or analytics. In the last election, some local candidates learned an expensive lesson in this regard.

It did not matter what our roots were, if we were newcomers or old timers, of one religion or another or no religion. Past elections proved that the color of our skin does not matter.


Neither did it matter then or does it now whether a candidate is a man or a woman, younger or older, working or retired, farmer, shopkeeper or educator, or, yes, even a home grown news guy, a lawyer, chemist or Realtor.

In my view that's why Carroll County excelled so warmly then.

In so many ways Carroll County became a model to emulate not only in Maryland but across America. (But of course, as humanity is, we were not perfect then, either, but that's for another day.)

But it is not fake news that young families sought to relocate here because living here was affordable.

Our youngsters could choose to stay here, marry and raise a family knowing that their children would attend the top-rated K-12 Carroll County Public Schools system.

Except for those who resided in New Windsor and Union Bridge most children and their parents also could be close enough to regularly explore the resources and activities of a branch of an otherwise first class Carroll County Public Library system.

Who, then, did not not know the three members at large of the BOCC? They listened. We respected them. We trusted them.

Commissioners Wantz, Weaver, Frazier, Bouchat and Rothstein, I am convinced that if you effectively solve real major local problems over the next four years, Carroll countians won't only sigh together with relief five times. We (yes, including this tree-hugging liberal as well) will be celebrating your successes for your districts and for the entire population of Carroll County.

Obviously, you are not choosing the proverbial rocking chair. You signed on the dotted line. You are committed to your constituents.

And why not? You have the passion and compassion. You have the energy and the expertise. You have the will and goal to get the job done correctly together. For all of us.

There is no reason that each of you will not continue to build on the early voters' trust that you have thus far earned.

So go for it, uh, fellas. It's the job we taxpayers pay you to do. But you already knew that. This constituent wishes you well.