In the 36 years we have lived in Frederick, it has been the mayor who has been the determining factor for either the growth or stagnation of Frederick.
Arriving in Maryland in 1982, my wife and I knew we could never live in Rockville. There simply was no “there” there. Entering Frederick via South Market Street, we made a left on Patrick Street and stopped at a Realtor. We purchased a house downtown within a month.
Our first impression of Frederick was, “What a great little town. But why are the sidewalks and streets such a mess?” Mayor Young was responsible for that chaos! We had arrived amid his plan to bury utility lines to renew Market Street! Ron Young was also instrumental in building the Carroll Creek flood control project that works so spectacularly.
Over the years, mayors have contributed significantly to the city; others have not. The mayor of Frederick can promote significant, long-lasting and permanent improvement to the lives of all Frederick citizens. Mayors must possess vision and courage to promote change.
The Frederick Community Action Agency soup kitchen and its services need to move to another location. Services for the homeless can be improved by moving these functions to a purpose-built facility. And the negative impacts created by the FCAA services would no longer afflict a small, historically neglected neighborhood.
Resources will be required from the city, county, state of Maryland and federal government. After all, the unfortunate people who queue at 100 S. Market St. come from everywhere.
It is a valuable piece of Frederick’s architectural history because of Abraham Lincoln’s address at that railroad station. And it is the gateway to our city.
Lawyers at Planning Commission hearings lobby for the “highest and best use” of property for their clients. The mayor and Board of Aldermen must also do that with city-owned properties. A soup kitchen is not the “highest and best use” for this property.
It will take vision, courage and tenacity just as another youthful mayor demonstrated decades ago.
Mayor Young’s contributions are well-known. But history is made every day. Mr. Mayor, it is time for you to seize this moment and create another significant legacy for our beloved city.
All of Frederick will thank you if you do.