We, the members of the Frederick County Democratic Central Committee, commend Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner for her steadfast leadership as Frederick County transitioned from Governor Hogan’s stay-at-home order to a safer-at-home advisory.
The Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery makes clear in the Stage One guidance that the leaders of jurisdictions are empowered to make decisions regarding the timing of Stage One partial reopening. Executive Gardner and her staff evaluated the conditions in Frederick County, and planned to begin partial reopening on May 29.
Effective partnerships between our state and local governments have saved lives, and we will need the partnership of the county executive and the governor to remain effective, as there is no treatment or cure for COVID-19. A likely resurgence later this year will require partnership again for our local and state governments to unfortunately make more impossible decisions together.
Sadly, and inexplicably, local Republican officials are seeking to undermine this essential partnership in the name of fundraising. While so many Frederick County residents are dealing with death, fear, and financial devastation caused by the coronavirus, some Republicans decided to circulate a fundraising letter with blatant inaccuracies about Executive Gardner. We will not let this stand unchallenged. Not only because it contributes to political misinformation, which it intentionally does, but because someone is knowingly spreading misleading information about the condition of public health in our county.
The letter asserts that Executive Gardner is not abiding by the governor’s order to reopen. This assertion is demonstrably false and crafted to raise money on the back of a pandemic. Executive Gardner’s compliance with the Roadmap to Recovery is plain and irrefutable, while the local Republican tactics are opportunistic and irresponsible, given the continuing risks to public health.
We believe it would be better to focus on forging the effective partnerships we will need later this year, rather than spreading false information about our Frederick County government officials.
Deborah Carter is chair of the Frederick County Democratic Central Committee.