The Frederick County Board of Elections now estimates a special election will most likely cost Frederick County taxpayers more than $250,000.
The higher figure by the Board of Elections includes cost estimates from the State of Maryland for providing transportation of the voting machines (estimated at over $20,000 alone) and technical support and service to the county, before, during and after election day.
President Blaine Young of the Frederick Board of County Commissioners attended the meeting and commented afterward, “I support the democratic process of petitioning government, but at this cost, this petition drive and special election is an outrageous raid on Frederick County taxpayers’ pocketbooks. This elected Board of County Commissioners ran on a platform in the last election that we would support the creation and establishment of a Charter Board to write a proposed constitution to alter our form of government. Every municipality in Frederick County is run by a Charter government, and we believe that it is time to change from a commissioner form of government to a Charter government with local autonomy and authority. A Charter government in Frederick County would also be set up with a check and balance system with an executive and a legislative body.
“We conducted a very public and open process in seeking applicants and selecting the current Charter Board members. We are letting it be known again that although we appointed the Board, they are now fully autonomous and do not report to nor act at the direction of the county commissioners. The Charter Board welcomes input from the public and will hold open meetings televised on our local government cable station, FCG TV, channel 19, and on our webcasting site at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/video.
“We sincerely hope this special election does not take place at this huge cost to the county, especially after we have worked so hard to reduce the deficit and balance our budget with no additional tax increases. The citizens will have a chance to voice their opinions about the Charter form of government in the November 2012 General Election at absolutely no additional cost to the taxpayers.”
For additional information on the Charter Board, visit www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/charter or contact Legislative Coordinator Ragen Cherney at 301-600-1049 or via e-mail at rcherney@FrederickCountyMD.gov.