Jennifer Dougherty Mayor

Jennifer Dougherty has filed to run for mayor of Frederick.

Former Mayor Jennifer Dougherty is a Democratic candidate for mayor.

1. The mayor is responsible for putting together the city’s fiscal budget each year. What do you believe are the three biggest budget priorities? Are there any places where you would insist on more or less spending?

Budget priorities:

  • Public Safety – Promote community policing; expand legal training to minimize risk; place police kiosk on Carroll Creek; place mobile command unit in hotspots
  • Measure Results – Ensure projects are on time/budget
  • Improve city-county tax differential

More spending:

  • Economic Development – Industry specialist(s) ($150,000), job training/placement
  • Bulk trash pick-up ($300,000)
  • Code Enforcement Board ($20,000)
  • Improve website
  • Special projects — Professional internship program (opioid addition) ($200,000), Civilian Conservation Corps (watershed) ($150,000), parking deck rooftop community gardens (grant), permanent home for Farmers’ Market (net zero)

Less spending:

  • Hargett Farm/Westside Regional Park – Divide remaining land for public park and possible senior housing (AT LEAST $50 million)

2. Now that the proposed downtown hotel and conference center is in the design phase, with public dollars not slated for construction or operation of the buildings, what are your thoughts on the city investing in the project?

I support the downtown hotel and have opposed public funding, but I won’t block a good project because I don’t like one element. During the approval process, I will make sure city taxpayers know what’s happening and work to protect their interests. I will also make sure the hotel operators work collaboratively with the HPC and Planning Commission. Residents and businesses want the hotel and it will strengthen our economy — including acting as anchor for East Side development.

2A. Yes or no: Do you support demolition of the historic Birely Tannery building or development of the hotel and conference center?

Yes, I accept that the tannery building will likely be demolished to make way for the hotel. I support the inclusion of historic artifacts and the story of Birely Tannery within the new hotel. I’ve seen 1,000-year old castle walls incorporated into new uses in Ireland and slightly newer properties handled well in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Sadly, one of the limitations of holding onto old buildings is money and no organization or individual has come forward to serve as a patron for the tannery.

3. Talks of a downtown grocery store have been circulating for years and recently the owners of Common Market said they were eyeing the former Carmack-Jay’s site on North Market Street for a potential expansion. Is this something you think would be beneficial for downtown Frederick? If so, how would you help bring a grocery store downtown?

Yes, but market forces hold businesses back from making the huge investment to open a grocery. I support appropriate infill and adaptive re-uses of older buildings. More importantly, I will propose a parking deck on the North End. With more potential customers and convenient parking, a grocery store — and other businesses — can be successful. If the Common Market — or any other grocer – wants to invest in the city, I will consider application fee waivers and a fast approval schedule to help minimize start-up costs.

4. There have been ongoing complaints about code enforcement in the city. Some parts of the city are blanketed in citations, others decay into blight. Specific properties are persistent eyesores. What do you plan to do to address these issues?

Be clear, be fair and follow the code. Embrace the help offered by the NACs and watchdog residents who point out problems and address nagging neighborhood issues. Create a Code Enforcement Board to hear cases instead of forcing people to go to court to appeal a violation. Improve technology and transparency to improve tracking and results. Use established laws on condemnation and eminent domain (which I have used successfully) to end the adverse impacts chronic violators have on our city.

5. The lack of affordable housing in the city of Frederick is a common complaint among residents. How would you help address the issue?

Like many problems, we need to define the problem and set measurable goals for success. I will work with the Fair Housing Commission, and Economic Development and Planning departments to assess the current data, forecast growth and recommend a plan to the Board of Aldermen within 90 days. I will propose a plan that increases the city’s affordable housing inventory by 10 percent a year for 10 years by adopting successful strategies used in other communities including: expedited permitting, housing rehabilitation programs, dedicated revenue sources, inclusionary zoning, home buyer assistance programs, and possibly density bonuses.

Follow Mallory Panuska on Twitter: @MalloryPanuska.

(23) comments

William Smith

Dougherty makes things happen. Apparently she is not always the friendliest person in the room, but in my conversations with her over fifteen years I've never felt that she did not listen to my concerns, nor was she less-than-friendly and courteous to me.


She is better than O'Connor. None of the candidates will come forward say that are against annexation more land into the city, or stopping the building of more homes.


Nor should they


She cannot get along with anyone who doesn't completely agree with her ideas and her attempts at leadership. She holds grudges, is arrogant, and is completely unable to accept input from staff, Aldermen, and the public when it doesn't agree with her agenda. She is the worst candidate and loses over and over again, but will continue to run because of her arrogant egotism.


So who are you voting for in this election for mayor?


Shemp, you nailed it! Even her own democratic party didn't want her back when she was trying to run for reelection last time. That says volumes.


"She holds grudges, is arrogant, and is completely unable to accept input from staff, Aldermen, and the public when it doesn't agree with her agenda"

Can't we leave Trump out of this!?


I went to Jennifers bar/resturant in downtown Frederick a few months ago. I sat at the bar ordered a drink and attempted to make conversation with her. I have never been so disappointed in an establishment, it embarrased me that I recommneded to a friend that we go there at all. Her attitude was abysmal, she was rude, abrupt and ill-mannered. I can't imagine any world where this kind of person could ever be an elected leader. I wouldn't even dream of a situation where I would even buy a drink from her again. Shes a disgrace.


You prefer another four years of "Mr. Nice Guy"? He's a nice guy.




If you want to see her true character, eat in her restaurant. I used to, but she is not a warm and inviting host I got tired of her attitude that she was doing me a favor by serving me. Just sayin'


Jen was very specific in most of her answers, that was nice. The problem she has is her past record and that was not good.


Be specific. She was an innovator hampered by inflammatory personality conflicts within her supposed team - which unfortunately became public. Relevance to the present day?


What about her past record is bad? or using your words "not good"? She was far from perfect, I'm just wondering what you thought was not good.


The way she couldn't get along with others, Rabbit, thought everyone knew that.


That didn't stop her from getting things done and moving like the carroll creek project, she started the NACs, hired Dine that bettered community relations. Her job was to lead not get along with everyone. So you are saying her record is not getting along with others? You'd rather have someone who gets along with everyone instead of someone that has vision and can get things done? Stick with Middletown politics, maybe you all hold hands and sing, I want my city to progress.
Of the things she did wrong, getting along with others is probably the weakest argument. Good try little guy


Those I mentioned are not her only accomplishments I can name more if you need me too.

She has a D next to her name, thought that would be enough although Mike goes to the same church as you so I guess you like your cult members a little more? You said you like Shackleford because he coached Basketball, you know Jenny played field hockey?


rbtdt5 You're right. She may have gotten those things done but...there is such a thing as doing it with "tact." Something she lacks and thus it obscures all the good things she may have done. Granted, not too many politicians have the "statesman skill" of tact these days and that may be one of the many things that is wrong with America. It takes its toll.


riccicc, I'm not looking for her for the next 20 years but after 8 years of nothing, I'm ready for someone that can get things moving again. Mike and Randy have done nothing to empress me. I'd like to talk to Shelly and Jenny more to get more of what they want to get done. I will be voting for one of them should they make it past the primary. Until the primary I will cheerlead for both. I know all four candidates and they are all nice people, but I want some things to move forward. We need a mover and shaker, not a smiler and handshaker.

I still haven't gotten over the sale of the city properties that Jenny sold out of spite, but she got a lot accomplished. I can name several things I really disagreed with her on. She was far from perfect but looking at the pool that runnings, she is the smartest and has the most vision that I can see this far. Who would you like to see in office?


Middletown doesn't have a problem, Rabbit, we are very happy with John Miller.


I was hoping you'd come through with an answer Little D There are three good ones I came up with but was wanting to see if you came up with the same ones or different ones, but I guess you couldn't come up with one.


Oh, but I did. Rabbit, her past record and inability to get along with others; not that I care, she is your problem, not mine.


What's refreshing is that she actually answered the questions, unlike yesterday's two candidates.

Unfortunately, the biggest issue hampering the development of new affordable housing in the city is space. Here isn't any more.

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