There are a few things that I've been pondering that I would like to submit for your consideration and possibly a reasonable explanation.

Why, oh why, is the temporary jersey barrier still blocking the westbound shoulder of Md. 140 in the couple-hundred-foot stretch from west of WMC Drive to just east of Royer Road? The repaving and permanent barrier work has been finished for months and since then there has been absolutely no activity of any kind there either during the day or at night. With the weather cooperating for most of the winter, whatever work that might have been needed could have, and should have, been completed by now and the temporary barriers removed. Does anyone have any answers for that one?


With the municipal elections coming up in the next few weeks, I would encourage each and every citizen in the towns to take the time to cast a ballot. It is said that the closer to the people, the more responsive the government.

As I drive around the county from Taneytown to Westminster and the Sykesville areas, I see all of the campaign signs on lawns and on the roadsides. One thing puzzles me though. All but one set of these signs are for a single candidate for whatever office. However in Taneytown, two candidates for Town Council have joined forces to form a slate which, I expect, wishes to unseat two incumbent council persons.

The signs don't try to mask their partisan political feelings since they contain a slogan, "Drain the swamp," made popular during our recently elected president's campaign. From what I know about these candidates, their joint candidacy seems to be a push to form a coalition with a current member whose term is not yet completed, which would become a majority and fracture the delicate balance that exists in the current council. I'm of the opinion that especially in these very local and supposedly nonpartisan elections that a candidate should run on his or her own merits. If a candidate is not confident enough in his/her abilities and qualifications to campaign individually that person should not run.

Even if I agreed with the stated positions of those candidates on the issues, I wouldn't vote for either simply for that reason. Besides, the main issue on which the slate is running — water bills — has recently been positively addressed by the current Town Council. Are slates good or bad in our local elections? It's up to you to decide.

What is our president afraid of? Donald Trump continues to refuse to release his 1040 tax returns from the last several years. This breaks a precedent going back several decades to Richard Nixon, where candidates, before the primaries, have released this information. Trump declares that since the audit of his last return has not been completed he is prevented from making the information public. This excuse has been repeatedly refuted by the IRS, which has stated an audit doesn't prevent Trump from making the returns public.

Over the Easter weekend there were rallies and marches in front of Trump named or owned properties and the White House demanding that he release the returns. As is his custom the president used Twitter to denigrate the marchers saying that "The election is over!" He also asked who paid for the rallies and marches. He must believe that every demonstration must have been instigated and paid for by the Democratic Party.

I repeat the original question, what is he afraid of? Could it be that he isn't as rich or successful a businessman as he claims? That might cause some embarrassment. Maybe he would be ashamed that he has avoided paying his fair share? No, I don't think he has the capacity to feel shame. Possibly his returns would show income from foreign governments or entities with which our country does business and in which he still holds some financial interest. That would be embarrassing to say the least and could possibly be grounds for impeachment.

If none of these are true, then the release of his income tax information should be immediately forthcoming.

In any case, there has been talk of making it a law that a candidate for president and his cabinet nominees must provide that information before the general election or their confirmation hearings. Sounds like a good idea to me, how about you?

Bill Kennedy writes every other Monday from Taneytown. Email him at wlkennedyiii@verizon.net.