(8/2014) I recently received a questionnaire asking me about issues in the North County, and I really found myself sitting down and pondering….because my 25 years spent living there (on Mountaindale Road, "between the two stores" as we all know it) gave me a lot to think about what we
experienced as North County residents.
North County people are conservative, that’s for sure, yet they’re the first ones to jump up and help when a neighbor is in need. A few years after we moved to Mountaindale, an elderly neighbor who had begun to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease disappeared from her home near midnight on a cold and windy January night--one of those kinds of raw nights when the little dusting of
snow we’d had recently was mainly gone, but the wind picked up little whirls of it and carried it into your eyes and hair. She’d reportedly walked out of her house wearing only a sweater.
People in the Mountaindale region, except for your next-door neighbors, pretty much keep to themselves, so we didn’t all know each other except to have passed for sodas or BBQ (as it used to be!) at the upper store, or beer or milk at Ritas. But as soon as we all saw that MSP helicopter with the searchlights plying our backyards and fields, we all came out; before you knew it
there were a couple dozen of us out there with flashlights and winter coats searching for her in the middle of the night. We finally found the lady a few hours later, caught by her sweater on a wire fence in a field about a half-mile from her home. We all went back to our business, but knew if there was ever a need, we’d all be out in a flash once again.
North County people are independent, and they crave learning. I remember a Catoctin High School guidance counselor once told me that he was meeting with parents of a senior who had not been coming to school; they felt that dropping out of school was not critical because he already had a business to run on the farm. Yet, the now five-year-old Thurmont Regional Library sustains
one of the highest visitation rates of all the libraries in the system. (Take note, candidate Kirby Delauter, who said to me four years ago on a video interview with me and Adam Avery that the Thurmont Library was a waste of money because "we could have given everyone in Thurmont a Kindle and a wireless connection" instead.
North County people are stoic, but know that their level of service is not equal to the rest of the county due to their distance from the County Seat, and the more scattered and less dense population. Catoctin High School feeder parents have gotten used to how early their middle- and high-schoolers have to board the school bus because they share the school bus routes. My urban
and suburban Frederick County friends used to be shocked when I told them my children had to be out waiting for the school bus at 6:20 on dark winter mornings, and endure a 45-minute bus odyssey to school. Did we complain? Not much. We knew the practicality of the situation and proudly said, "Our kids can handle it."
So, North County, its election time. Its your turn to bring out your issues, especially now that you have Charter Government and an at-large candidate who knows your turf and two district candidates who hail from your own neighborhoods. Email me with your suggestions for legislation and the issues that the rest of the county never even considers! Lindam.firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Linda Norris visit her campaign website at www.lindanorrisforcouncil.com