Nov 15, 2018

Let's Come Together...And Let's Remember!



I would like to congratulate Commissioners Paul Edwards, Jim Hinebaugh and Larry Tichnell on being re-elected as our Garrett County Commissioners. I wish them well in their second, four-year term as individuals and more importantly as representatives of all Garrett Countians. We need them to do well on behalf of each of our citizens.


Recently, I read an article from the Cumberland Times-News, dated August 17, 2006, and entitled “Garrett commissioner candidates differ on Oakland Route 219 bypass, other issues”. It highlighted the opinions of then candidates Ernie Gregg and Sid Nazelrod (there was no Democratic candidate for Commissioner District 1 in 2006).


What most struck me is how the 2006 article could have been describing the issues facing our community today, 12 years later. The 2006 candidates talked about important issues including the difference in opinions on the Oakland Bypass, the high cost of housing, the need to attract living wage jobs to Garrett County, the lack of proactive attention on supporting small businesses, the struggle of farmers especially dairy farmers, and the need for a focus on local foods. These are among the most discussed issues in the 2018 platforms of the Republican candidates and the one Democratic candidate for County Commissioner. These are the very same issues that the three now re-elected Republican Commissioners said four years ago they would fight to combat and change.


The citizens of Garrett County today say the 2006 issues are still important to them, yet for the past 25 years, we continue to elect only male, Republican candidates. We keep trying the same approaches with the same political philosophies and same ideas over and over, getting the same results.


To the community that I love, I would like to propose the following. Let’s all come together -- regardless of political affiliation -- to support our elected officials in the work they need to do to listen to the will of the people on the Oakland Bypass; to create economic development strategies that attract living wage jobs to Garrett County and bolster our small businesses to prosper; to support farmers and develop new strategies so that family farms can thrive economically in ways that support our entire community; and to widen other avenues for the public, economic and environmental health of each citizen no matter who they are or where in our community they live. Citizen-engaged local government is simply more effective and more responsive! So, let’s get involved, including holding our elected officials accountable for what they promise, what they say and what they do.


And then, when it comes to the 2022 elections, let’s also remember. If the changes we demand have not come to pass, let’s widen our perspective on who makes a good candidate…no matter their party, gender, last name, birth place, or address…and let’s elect candidates based solely on their vision and what they bring to the table to strengthen the community we ALL love. Can we do that??


Judy A. Carbone

Swanton, MD

Nov 15, 2018

Thank you Judy for putting yourself out there... I know from personal experience it's not easy. The last 4 election cycles have really not generated any change within the county, other than to divide "us" from "them". Change is needed and a fresh approach is what will lead us from this "groundhog day" repetition. Many criticize those that have chosen to make Garrett County their home and to work towards goals that would benefit all, as being outsiders from "down east". We need only look to the current change that is underway in Allegany County to know that being inclusive is gaining ground and that stakeholders are participating in the process, because their voice is being heard. Interestingly enough, that change is being led by a young man from Garrett County who worked as an aid in Senator Edwards and Delegate Beitzel's office before going on to complete a law degree and then working for Secretary Kelly Schultz of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), just prior to becoming the new County Administrator for Allegany County, with fresh ideas and a willingness to follow through with his initiatives. Yes, we have another 4 years of the same old same old, but we will continue to want better for our County, community, neighbors, friends and our children, and we will all have to work together to make that happen...

Nov 15, 2018

Judy, you ran an impressive campaign that sought to include each and every perspective of area residents. Unfortunately, political divisions may be to blame for the polling outcomes. Both parties have built virtual walls that sheild good ideas that are falling outside the political boundaries.


The word that makes people bristle in small communities is "change" even when change is needed. Keeping things the same sounds safe, predictable, and uncomplicated. But keeping things the same is a pathway to failure and extinction. Nothing remains the same and it really shouldn't. Each generation requires new ideas to stay relevant while the rest of the world continues moving forward.


Economic opportunities available today will be different next year and each subsequent year. The key is to tap into Garrett County's uniqueness that distinguishes it from other places. Little needs to change about the county outside of our leadership focus. How is the county drawing in new opportunities, providing support for the existing economy, and establishing protective measures from invasive expansion that would unravel the majesty of rural life? Dare I say the "Z" word?


Your campaign targeted what is at the center of a strong community and economy–people. Understanding what communities need is best determined by the people who live there. These shared interests can be tapped and served with an entire county focused on progress and a direction that preserves what is right and improves what is not. My hope is that your campaign of "inclusiveness" was heard by our re-elected officials. Our greatest resource is our people and it's time to listen.

New Posts
  • In last week’s Letters to the Editor, Carol Gnegy of Oakland was disparaging to Judy Carbone and her campaign for County Commissioner.  The writer seems to miss the point of citizen engagement as well as Judy’s campaign slogan of “the conversation is better with ALL PARTIES at the table”.  Carol Gnegy says that there are already smart women at the tables of several community advisory groups, an opinion with which undoubtedly Judy would agree.  But what the letter writer misses is that the table Judy’s slogan refers to is only one specific table: the conference table in the meeting room of the County Commissioners.  There has not been a woman sitting at THAT table as County Commissioner for almost 25 years.  Since that time, there have been 18 seats in 6 elections for County Commissioners that have been filled by of the same political party, resulting in 25 years of discussions and solutions that were of the same political philosophy, and by the gender that represents currently only 49% of the County’s population.  When Judy says the conversation is better with ALL PARTIES at the table, she means the conversations at the County Commissioner’s table is better with representation of the voices of both genders and both major political parties.  Certainly, it seems to me a clear message in a campaign for this particular elected seat. An issue that may also be of interest to Carol Gnegy is that representation of ALL PARTIES is important for another reason.  When the current Commissioners first took office, they announced their agreement to always vote unanimously on issues requiring a vote during the Commissioner’s public meetings.  They stayed true to their word, and votes are almost always recorded as 3-0 or 0-3 and has been so throughout their four years in office. If one of the Commissioners has an opinion differing from the other two, he publicly votes against his own opinion, keeping any discourse out of the view of the public and out of public meeting minutes. This is counter to democracy since it silences any conflicting views in our highest local office. It in effect castrates the third commissioner who may have valuable input. And if only two commissioners are actually calling all the shots, we need a third for checks and balances. That’s what bringing ALL PARTIES to the table can add to this Board of Commissioners…a vote that brings a clear check and balance to the Board and a voice that may have differing opinions that should be shared with the public to inform them of the complexities of decisions faced by the Commissioners.  Vote for Judy, the only candidate who will bring diversity to the Board of Commissioners.
  • The Garrett County Department of Economic Development and the Garrett County Development Corporation are teaming up to hold two 90-minute listening sessions to hear your questions, concerns, and ideas for the local economy. Over the past 90 days, the newly appointed Economic Development Director, Michael Hough has been listening to business owners in the county to learn about issues and opportunities that impact their businesses and the county as a whole. Hough is anxious to share what he learned and hear from you as part of building a framework for an economic development strategic plan. Select from one of the sessions and RSVP below to be part of this important process. SESSION 1: 10:30AM-12:00PM SESSION 2: 3:30PM-5:00PM Economic Strategic Plan Listening Sessions Tuesday, October 23 Ace's Run Restaurant & Pub 20160 Garrett Highway Oakland, MD 21550 If you have questions or are ready to RSVP Kim Durst by phone or email (301) 334-1992 |
  • A Thriving Population Open House will be held on Monday, September 10, 2018 at the Garrett College Continuing Education Building Room 111, 687 Mosser Rd, McHenry MD, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. The Continuing Education Building is building 100 on the campus map which can be located at . The Thriving Population Open House will focus on matters relating to housing and community facilities and services. Community facilities and services include K-12 and college level education, libraries, health care, fire and emergency services, public safety, law enforcement and solid waste. The public will have an opportunity to share in the planning process through this Open House and share the way you see the county growing in relation to the subject areas. The information that is gathered through this meeting will be influential in the development of the Comprehensive Plan. The public is also encouraged to visit the county’s Comprehensive Plan website at . At that site access is given to the 2008 Comprehensive Plan as well as other useful information. There is also a public comment form that can be used to submit comments. In addition, the public is invited to follow and comment on the Facebook page created and managed by the consultants, AECOM. It can be found by searching for Garrett County Comprehensive Plan in your Facebook search bar. Any questions can be directed to Chet Parsons, AECOM, at or 304-381-9261 or Deborah Carpenter, Director, Garrett County Planning & Land Management at or 301-334-1924.


We encourage open and honest communication without censorship, however, we ask that there be no use of foul or threatening language. Respectful banter can be a useful tool to learn and promote positive outcomes. Thank you for lending your voice to the community


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