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From the Desk of County Commissioner Candidate Michael Kurtianyk

One of the great things about running a campaign independent of a slate is the ability to reach out across the aisle, and within the aisle, to build bridges, rather than walls. Robert Frost once wrote that "Good fences make good neighbors", but this should not happen in politics. Yet it does, and that is what gives politics such a bad name. Weíd have more people getting involved in politics, good, honest folks, if only there wasnít so much mud-slinging. I remember what John McCain once aptly stated: ""Don't get in a fight with a pig-you will both get dirty and the pig will enjoy it."

What must be understood is that politics do indeed make strange bedfellows. There are times when I will agree with my Republican counterparts, specifically on issues like not raising taxes, and a moratorium on new business regulations. Other times, I will side with the Democrat candidates on things like support for the arts and social services. Itís sad when people donít like you just because they disagree with you on an issue or two. Itís as if there were only one or two issues facing Frederick County Commissioners. There are dozens, and if candidates and their supporters canít see that, then they have no business getting involved in politics.

It has been an honor to win the Primary Election and move on to the general. The issues havenít changed, as people discuss with me what is important to them: keeping their jobs, and not raising taxes.

When it comes to economic development, job retention, job expansion and new job recruitment are essential for economic development. There are a number of ways to create jobs Ė one is through Business Retention efforts (helping our existing businesses grow, find opportunities, expand, stay healthy & competitive) and through Business Attraction (bringing businesses into the County that were not here before). Providing information and education to current and potential businesses are the keys to success.

We need to continue to provide seminars and other educational/networking opportunities for companies to find connections and collaborations that will provide greater business opportunities for their businesses.

We need to continue to promote Frederick as a great location for doing business with a strong, educated workforce available to employers. Weíll continue to work with FCPS and FCC, Hood, and MSM to create internship opportunities for students, work on developing curriculum that meets the needs of our employers, and continue an open dialogue between the business community and the educational institutions in the County.

My plan is to do something that isnít tried often enough: make my job as County Commissioner primarily one of an Ambassador of Frederick County. My experience in real estate, and a Chamber member, has created the vision working as an advocate for business in Frederick County, not an obstructionist.

I will work with the following people to be a salesperson for a more business-friendly environment: Chamber President; Tourism Director; Office of Economic Development (OED) for the City and County. How great would it be if the five of us went to major businesses and, as a team, offered Frederick County as a location to do business?

Furthermore, I would do the following: 1) ensure that OED stays in the county budget; 2) "cc" the OED all planning requests by citizens and businesses, so that we may have her officeís input; and 3) add OED as an ad hoc, non-voting member of the Planning Commission, so that OED can have a constant, consistent presence at all of the meetings.

By instituting these ideas, we will make great strides in making Frederick County more business-friendly.

As a real estate consultant, I have had to be well-versed in the comprehensive plan, since, through the years, I have used the documents with my clients as a resource to understand what could or could not be done with their land. I have a copy of the documents in my office, and worked closely with the Planning Department through the years as a resource with my clients.

All this being said, with my knowledge of its history, and my real-life use through the years, I know that there are many positives and negatives to the current Comprehensive Plan.

Among the positives: particular parcels have clearer land uses than before, and loopholes were tightened on parcels that had incompatible land uses.

However, there are negatives: some landowners have had their lands downzoned, just because their lands werenít scheduled for development.

My solution is to work with landowners who lost the value of the land through downzoning on an individual basis.

The general election is quickly approaching and I need your support. Please learn more about me and my campaign at MichaelK2010.com. I hope I can earn your trust and your vote on November 2.

Read position papers of other candidates running in the 2010 primary