FREDERICK COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The real power in membership in the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce is the collective voice of the Frederick County business community speaking unison on matters of policy that affect them.
The Public Policy Committee, a bi-partisan assembly of Chamber members with an interest in understanding and examining how government and the private sector interact, recently held a session with the incoming Mayor and Board of Alderman for the City of Frederick. The well-attended event was held at City Hall and treated attendees to a recap of the new administration’s first six months in office as well as some of the issues they plan to focus on and address during their time in office.
Mayor Michael O’Connor spoke with attendees about challenges the city experiences as well as the prioritization of legislative issues. He also discussed city purchasing policy giving preference to city businesses and minority and disadvantaged businesses. He addressed concerns about business-friendly processes and talked about the desire to upgrade and enhance IT resources. This will include an effort to streamline routine city services such as eliminating paperwork and unnecessary process steps.The Board of Alderman also spoke about their priorities and initiatives.
Alderman Wilson discussed establishing a Youth Council for the City and proposing a Senior Citizen tax credit.
Alderman Russell talked about the process of getting acquainted with her new colleagues and acknowledged the highly trained and dedicated staff that provides input to city leaders and services to city residents. She also mentioned some of her priorities on bicycle and pedestrian friendly initiatives.
Alderman MacShane expressed the importance of staying focused and flexible on outcomes and working towards solutions as well as the need as a newly elected official to understand the history and the background on highly complex issues such as the downtown hotel. He also discussed addiction as a driver of social problems. Crime, homelessness, and the hopelessness of those addicted can be addressed by more effective broad-based solutions.
Alderman Wilson spoke about prioritizing sidewalk repair and growth management. He wants to look at the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance and the Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit guidelines. He also discussed being grateful to Alderwomen Kuzemchak and Russell being mentors to he and his colleagues during the transition time.
Alderwoman Kuzemchak spoke of her impression that the new team is the most dedicated she has worked with in over five terms. She discussed her desire to address the Land Management Code and protect historic preservation and warned against “paralysis by analysis” while still stressing the need for focus on solid research in decision-making.
Chamber Vice President Rick Weldon, who serves as the staff liaison to the Public Policy Committee, has past experience as a senior staff advisor to former City of Frederick Mayors. According to Weldon, “Regular, routine communication between Chamber of Commerce members and our local elected officials is critical as we all work together to protect and enhance this treasured city. Our Mayor and Board of Aldermen are our neighbors, our friends and even our business colleagues. We deeply appreciate their open and welcoming attitude to the ideas and interests of the business and nonprofit communities that we represent.”