In response to The Frederick News-Post’s editorial “Councilman Delauter: It’s all about service & sacrifice” (Feb. 28 edition), Councilman Kirby Delauter is servicing the citizens of Frederick County who elected him. He is sacrificing time away from his business and family to do so. I see no conflict of interest in what he is doing. I don’t always agree with Delauter’s opinions or everything he says, but the people who elected him have the right to have him represent them.

My company competes against W.F. Delauter & Son for new development work in Frederick County, so it would be to my advantage as a businessman to have him excluded from working in Frederick County. It would be a disadvantage for me as a citizen of Frederick County to have him excluded from servicing the citizens of Frederick County because he can’t make a living for him and his family.

There are two types of contracts with Frederick County for utility work: developer-funded and taxpayer-funded. For developer-funded work, the developer selects the contractor that provides the best combination of price and service to meet their needs (no taxpayer money). Taxpayer-funded work is publicly advertised for all qualified contractors that want to submit a sealed bid for this work. No one knows until the bids are publicly opened what prices are being offered to perform the work. The lowest price offered by a qualified contractor is awarded the contract. There is no way for Delauter to have any influence or advantage over anyone else to be awarded this work. The only way to get the work is for him to submit the lowest price. For Delauter to receive either type of contract, there is no conflict of interest. For county-funded work, he has to submit the lowest price. For the developer-funded work, he has to offer the best price and service to meet the developer’s needs. (This work is paid for by the developer, and no taxpayer money is used.)

The only place I can see a possible conflict of interest would be in the inspection and acceptance of the utility work by Frederick County. This will not happen as long as county employees do their job properly and have Delauter’s company meet all of the requirements for the work to be done correctly.

The only safeguard I can see that needs to be in place is to make sure county employees who inspect and accept the work are not under any influence by Delauter. With our new form of charter government I see no way for Delauter to have any influence or control over the county employees who will inspect and accept the work done by him. Almost anyone who is elected in Frederick County may have something they could vote on that would benefit them — a park in their neighborhood, a new road so they could get to work easier, etc.

My point being, we need all types of citizens to be able to represent us in local government — business people, schoolteachers, private company employees, retired people, etc. If you deny regular citizens the ability to represent us, you end up with career politicians.

Allen Mitchell

writes from Mount Airy.

(15) comments


I believe he writers assertion that Kirby is a "regular" citizen is suspect.


Or maybe Kirby is acting as a subcontractor to the one who might get the job?


Allen said "the people who elected him have the right to have him represent them." Actually they don't.. Yes he was elected to office and so it was their decision to put him in office. Yes their mistake. But, If it is too great of sacrifice or for any other reason he can not carry out his duties and responsibilities he can and should resign. He is not obligated to continue as a councilman.

He needs to stop the whining and Allen need not be a surrogate whiner.


Allen H. Mitchell Construction is not a name known in Frederick county. Which is why he has no problem with kirbie.


I found three web sites for them, most state they are located in Mt. Airy.


Where have you been for the last 5 years that Kirby has been whining about this issue. You're a little late, it's a done deal. And it's the right deal.


Delauter needs to decide if he wants to be a businessman or a politician. If he wants to be a politician - it is bad business to bid on local projects.

Rick Blatchford

Mr. Mitchell, Where's the rub? As I see it, one of them is in your own fourth paragraph. " long as county employees do their job properly..." All employees are subject to pressure - sometimes by elected officials. You gave no guarantees because there are none. [wink]


I caught that too.

I remember s certain president of county commissioners who had some problems with doing his job properly.....


Nice try, Allen, Kirby may not know the other bids, but he does know all the other bidders and the amounts they previously bid on other contracts and I am sure all the bidders do not know that. Besides, Kirby would do all he could to influence any County employee, we all know that.


What about his role in creating contracts in the first place. I know from experience that contracts are often written so that particular companies have an advantage.


Yes, and those contracts, as you imply, are written for the contractor that is wanted. In this case it would be Kirby.


you are 100% correct.

I know of a well known construction equipment salesman. Everybody thats anybody in Frederick knows this guy. Including Kirbie.

I remember years ago my buddy told me "I never lose a sale to the county, because I write the bid specs for the county......"



"he can't make a living"? He's been making a living under these conditions for years now so this is a red herring


So, just how is he "serving" the county?

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