Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


The Village Idiot

My qualifications to be Mayor

Jack Deatherage, Jr.

(3/2017) With the current Mayor of Emmitsburg’s term end this September, people will be lining up to take his place, so I figured before everyone else gets going, I’d spell out why I think I’d be a choice.

The Municipal Charters of Maryland: The Mayor must be a legal resident of Emmitsburg, Maryland, for at least two years immediately preceding his election and shall be a qualified voter.

I've resided in this burg since August 1979 and passed out in several backyards in town for years before that! Of late, I've been sober (mostly) at the same street address since 1988. I registered to vote as a Democrat (while I was working on sobering up in 1992) and later (having attained sobriety) changed party affiliation to Republican, which party has since given me reasons to imbibe again.

There is mention of a salary in the Charter. I'd have to refuse that. Can't be having my below the federal poverty level income bumped up to where I'd think I was worth more than compost. No. I'd suggest to the town commissioners that my salary be applied to a few projects I'd do my best to implement. The primary project would be establishing an Emmitsburg public education program. Public in that any child living within the burg would have access, and said program would likely be established on public property.

I figure whatever the mayor's salary is it would more than suffice for the education program I've in mind. Socrates didn't need four walls and a roof to educate his students, nor did I to teach my kidlet to read, or to provide a bunch of IWLA kids with an impromptu history/geography lesson while standing under the tulip poplars along the archery range. Nope. I'd just need a friable piece of ground with a dependable water source to begin the education program I'd advocate.

Under Powers and Duties: Generally. The Mayor shall see that the ordinances of the town are faithfully executed and shall be the Chief Executive Officer. The Mayor shall be responsible for the administration of the town’s affairs to the Board of Commissioners and to the voters of the town. (Blah blah blah.)

I'd have to trust the town employees to handle much of this. I haven't a clue . I do understand how to administrate. I'm a fan of Joey Stalin's methods. Which reminds me, should I actually lose what little mind I have and file to run for the mayor's seat, a local artist has offered to create a banner (free of charge). He did mention something about it being reminiscent of a hammer and sickle. Which would fit in perfectly with the education program I have in mind!

Also, Approval or Veto of Legislation: The Mayor shall approve or disapprove every order, resolution, or ordinance passed by the Board of Commissioners. Every order, resolution, or ordinance passed by the Commissioners shall be submitted by them to him immediately after its passage at a public meeting and within ten calendar days after the date of the meeting at which the action was passed he shall act thereon.

Not a problem. I'd sleep through most of that stuff anyhow, trusting the board to do its job better'n I'd ever do mine. Of course I'd operate on the adage, when in doubt- veto.

Further along in the Charter: Appointment and Discharge of Officers and Employees.

(YAWN) Since I've been told the mayor hasn't the power to have heads cut off I'd leave replacing and hiring bodies to the town staff's discretion, and the board's wisdom.

And lastly: Miscellaneous Powers and Duties. The Mayor shall have such other duties and powers as are given to him by other Articles of this Charter and by ordinances passed pursuant to this Charter by the Board of Commissioners, such as, but not limited to, the financial supervision of the town and preparation of the budget. (Res. No. 2, 12–30–80.)

Whatever. I suppose I'd have to get someone who can interpret government gobbledygoop to explain what that entails, but I'd still not give a rat's... Ummm would I have to learn to curb my vulgar tongue if I were mayor? (DW says I would. That might well be a deal breaker right there.)

Which brings to mind some things I believe I've seen past mayors of this place do. First, I'd not be bringing land I own into the town limit, or greasing/easing the skids for developers to develop. Not because I think such things unethical, but because I have no land to use to my own ends. Second, there'd be no pictures of me glad-handing various community group leaders. Two reasons behind that. One, I don't own a tie, and two, I'm not a pol needing my ugly mug before the public eye so I can win another seat in some future election.

Having met the town's mayoral qualifications (and in my mind, exceeded them) I move on to a likely speech about the platform of my campaign.

"Friends, relatives and aliens, terrestrial or no. Lend me your testicles and spines 'cause you all ain't using them and I need all the help I can get to flip this dead tur- (DW says she's going to have to heavily edit my speechifying) of a town over so's I can plant the seeds to grow a new garden!

"Yes, a garden. What else can we do with this burg incapable of escaping the state and county's death decrees of "bedroom community"?

"They's tooken away your high school! They ship your Rugrats off to Thurmont when they reach middle school grades.

"Be dere enough voters here to change that? Hell's no!" (Some swinging my arms wide in theatrical gestures of encompassation. Gods! Did I slop some wine from the drinking horn? Oh horrors!)

"Hell's no we cain't escape the machinations of people who rule here without living here! But!" (Take a sip. Belch politely) "We can rebuild our community without those who have no concern here other than we vote for them every two, four or six years, pay our taxes and approach them, hat in hand, to beg their munificence when we need to raise money for some civic project that they must first approve.

"As mayor, the county and state would be sources of last resort for the projects I'd stomp and curse for. 'We can do it.' would be my rally cry as I set about gathering those outside of government to my cause of renewal and rebirth. After all, who benefits from a vibrant, self-fulling, self-sustaining community? Not Frederick county government. Certainly not the state government! (Except for the taxes they take.)

"No people, I ask YOU to set aside your stupid phones and turn off your giant flat screen TVs and take a minute, not more, (cain't be taxing your underdeveloped brains too quickly) to turn out to vote for the one idiot not interested in gaining anything from being your mayor, other than beginning a garden to educate your Rugrats so's they have some tiny chance of growing up as humans capable of forging their own gawda- Oops. (DW insists I let her edit this speech. Freakin' overly sensible females anyhow.) Forging their own Paths through this turn of the ever changing drama known as Emmitsburg!"

Read other articles by Jack Deatherage, Jr.