Mayor Randy McClement characterized his administration Monday as one that has managed to do more with less.
McClement used his State of the City address as an opportunity to highlight his administration’s work on maintaining Frederick’s fiscal health, pushing forward road and public work projects, and helping spur commercial development — all during the recession.
The mayor, whose first term ends this year, focused on the city’s current state, rather than giving specifics for what should happen in the future.
“It was important to me that we not reduce service levels or increase taxes, but be more creative and do more with less,” he said. “I feel that with the passage of the fiscal year 2014 budget, the aldermen and I have done just that.”
In the speech at City Hall, McClement addressed ongoing issues such as the second phase of Carroll Creek Linear Park, the city’s unfunded pension and other post-employment benefits, the downtown hotel and conference center project, and blighted and vacant properties.
When asked after his speech if he would regret not being able to finish any of these projects in his first term, McClement said he would like to see developers break ground on Carroll Creek.
“Hopefully, we can put the shovels to the ground and dig,” he said.
The project has been stalled since the city put out a bid for construction, due to state and federal requirements and higher-than-expected bids, he said in his speech.
Some mayoral candidates thought the speech left something to be desired. They wanted to hear more about the future of Frederick and less about McClement’s administration.
People are looking for leadership, said candidate and former mayor Jennifer Dougherty, who is running without party affiliation.
The comments of McClement, a Republican, did not address any issues, she said.
The state of the city only looks good until you look deeper, said mayoral candidate and Alderwoman Shelley Aloi, a Republican.
Frederick resident and candidate Carol Hirsch, a Democrat, said McClement was too focused on new development and not enough on the environment.
In his speech, McClement pointed out how he lowered the property tax rate, stayed committed to police staffing, moved forward with development of Monocacy Boulevard and established a business incentive match program.
He also touted his appointment of Tom Ledwell as the city’s new police chief following the resignation of Kim Dine, who served as chief for 10 years.
“I have received nothing but positive comments in reference to Tom’s appointment as chief,” the mayor said.
McClement did a nice job of summarizing what the administration accomplished, Alderwoman Carol Krimm said.
The city needs a vision, she said.
“Frederick has an exciting future,” Krimm said.
Follow Jen Bondeson on Twitter: @Jen_Bondeson.