After a couple of years working hard to prove to the state how "green" it really is, Frederick is now certified as a sustainable city.
The city was one of eight in the state to receive the Sustainable Maryland Certified award at the Maryland Municipal League conference last week.
Joe Adkins, the city's deputy director of planning, has been working with staff and volunteers since 2011 to complete requirements for the certification.
The city was ahead of the curve when it started to work on this. It had created a Sustainable Practice Action Plan back in 2009. Most of what the city needed to do was already done: farmers markets, mixed-use paths and bicycling initiatives, stormwater management, forestry preservation, housing elements, stream cleanup and buy-local initiatives.
Other than that, Mayor Randy McClement just needed to establish a Green Initiative Team, which he did last year, Adkins said.
McClement congratulated city staff and volunteers.
"They are highly committed to a sustainable future for our city and because of their efforts, we see it working,” he said.
The city is continuing to make additional green improvements past the certification, Adkins said, such as adopting a green purchasing policy, funding a new sustainability manager position, creating a Scoop the Poop pledge for dog waste pickup, and funding stream repairs and monitoring.
Candidate sound-bite challenge
We've talked long enough about the substance of how candidates for Frederick mayor and Board of Aldermen respond to questions. How about the pace of their delivery?
It's clear there are different strategies, after watching candidates respond to questions during this week's Frederick News-Post and WFMD candidates' forum at Frederick Community College.
Some choose their words carefully, enunciating every syllable. Others use the opportunity to practice their auctioneering skills.
Asked to respond to her final question of the night, mayoral candidate Karen Young fit 192 words in 96 seconds, at two words per second. Talking at that speed, she could fit 120 words in each minute.
Her opponent Jennifer Dougherty was a bit quicker, fitting 173 words into 56 seconds, at 3.08 words per second. That's 185 words per minute.
Incumbent Mayor Randy McClement had no problem fitting 176 words in 49 seconds, at 3.59 words per second. That's 216 words per minute.
When aldermanic candidates were asked to respond to a question in 30 seconds, Dave Schmidt took his time, saying 87 words in 26 seconds, or 3.34 words per second.
Katie Nash managed to fit 156 words in 35 seconds, or 4.46 words per second. That's twice as fast as Young.
The energy drink Nash had in front of her may have contributed to her performance.
Watch the candidates forum at fredericknewspost.com/news/topics/election2013.
Last few days to request absentee vote
City voters have until Tuesday to make an online request to be sent an absentee ballot for the Nov. 5 general election.
The request form can be found on the city's website, cityoffrederick.com. Residents have until the day of the election to request an absentee ballot in person.
All absentee ballots sent in by mail must be postmarked before Nov. 5, the day of the election.
Final campaign finance reports to be filed
Candidates have until noon Tuesday to turn in their last report of campaign finance donations before the election.
Check out Wednesday's paper to learn who collected what from whom.
Elevator back in service
The elevator at the Church Street parking garage is back in service.
Send notes about your city government to Jen Bondeson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @Jen_Bondeson.