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From the Desk of
County Executive Jan Gardner

(12/2017) A day in the life as County Executive is always interesting and always different. My days often include experiences that are fascinating, challenging, and sometimes even inspiring!

Take for instance, Friday, November 17th. I began the day speaking to a class of participants in the Leadership Frederick program sponsored by the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. The topic was job creation and economic development. These future leaders asked interesting questions and thought it was important that we have jobs for people with all kinds of different interests and skill levels. They also recognized the importance of maintaining our high quality of life with great schools and a diversity of parks, recreational and cultural opportunities to attract people. More amazing, they wanted to make sure Frederick County is a great place to retire. Leadership Frederick is building the bench with a great group of future business, community and political leaders. These individuals will ensure our future economic prosperity.

After a couple hours of office work, I then traveled to Brunswick to congratulate the Smoketown Rotary on their formation as a satellite club of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek. This currently small but energetic group of Rotarians are committed to investing their time and energy to serve others and strengthen their community. Their motto is simple – service above self. Wonderful!

I then traveled to AstraZeneca and had a tour of their new expanded production capabilities and heard about two new products they recently licensed. Both are biologics with one medicine addressing bladder cancer and the other medicine for asthma. The production facility is impressive, high tech, and amazingly clean (lots of rules for that purpose). Not only has this expansion provided our community with new good paying jobs, the work that is being done is helping people to live longer and to live better. We should be proud to have jobs in our community that make such an incredible impact on public health.

Later in the evening, I attended the 40th anniversary celebration for the Walkersville Rescue Company #24. Many dedicated families and volunteers have been engaged for the entirety of the 40 years of the company. While a tremendous amount has changed over four decades, the commitment and dedication of the men and women of the company remains the same. The history of their first ambulance covering most of the eastern side of the county north of MD 26 is pretty amazing too. I am most impressed by the people who volunteer their time and get up from the dinner table or out of a warm bed in the middle of the night to help their neighbor in need. Truly inspirational!

That same week also included a meeting with the Frederick County delegation, where we had a productive dialogue to advance stronger ethics laws and to seek state funding support for our schools, roads, Paratransit, and legislation to support agriculture. I also attended the annual dinner meeting of the Community Foundation which included recognizing three outstanding community volunteers with Wertheimer Awards for dedicated service to others. Rae Ann Butler was recognized for her work to improve the lives of seniors; Dan Campbell for his volunteerism with Mission of Mercy and his dedication to help veterans; and the Youth in Action award went to a high school student, Vanessa Fox, for her work with the Frederick Rescue Mission.

In addition to all of these events and community activities, I am busy at work making sure the county provides stellar services to the citizens of Frederick County. This is made possible due to the hard work and dedication of our county employees – our public servants. I am grateful for all they do every day.

As we complete the third year of charter government, we continue to deliver exceptional results and provide open and honest government for the citizens of Frederick County. Working with the county council, we passed legislation to create a truly independent process for appointing members to our Ethics Commission. Frederick County is leading the way and we can all be proud that we are the only county in Maryland with this independent appointment process.

We are moving forward with new schools, roads and bridges, a new branch public library in Walkersville, and a new fire station in Middletown. Best of all, we are advancing these projects while living within our means. We continue to leverage every dollar to its best use and have not raised property or income tax rates.

Our schools are leading the way with innovation with the new Linking Youth to New Experiences (LYNX) program at Frederick High School. We have co-located Workforce Services with the Community College at the Monroe Center near the fairgrounds. This collaboration saves money and better serves individuals looking for work and retraining, and our employers who are seeking new employees.

Frederick County has a thriving economy with over 4,200 new jobs over the past two years and an unemployment rate of only 3.1%. We are leading the way with the new collaborative business and innovation center called ROOT at 118 N. Market St. in Frederick. Our new technology business incubator will help to take advantage of job opportunities in IT and technology. We visited over 100 businesses a few weeks ago as part of Business Appreciation Week and 100% of our businesses said that Frederick County is a great place to do business.

Frederick County is well managed and delivering a high quality of life.

As we gather this holiday season, I am grateful for the many blessings we enjoy in Frederick County. I am thankful for your generosity to each other, for your hard work to ensure a strong economy, and for the sense of community and belonging that comes from a community that works together and cares. I am grateful to live in Frederick County and to have the incredible opportunity to serve this community.

Wishing all of you the peace and joy of the holiday.

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