The Board of Alderman:
Alderwoman Karen Young, President Pro Tem
Alderman Michael O’Connor
Alderwoman Shelley Aloi
Alderwoman Carol Krimm
Alderwoman Kelly Russell
CONTACT: Susan Harding, Public Information Officer, 301-600-1385
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Frederick, MD -- The following is a statement issued by the Board of Aldermen:
A BALANCE OF POWER
The City of Frederick’s Charter defines our government, providing a framework to ensure that we, as elected officials, conduct the city’s business in a fair and equitable manner. We have two branches; the Executive and the Legislative. Certain actions taken by the Mayor (Executive) must receive consent from the Legislative branch before they can proceed. This is a protection for the people from an unrestrained exercise of power by the Executive branch.
Our Charter already requires that appointed positions receive such consent by the Board, providing a “check and balance” of the power granted to the Mayor. There is, however, a deficiency in our system, which we are addressing. This Administration was not the first to identify this matter, but we are the first to take action to correct it. The Charter has no provision that authorizes the Mayor to make an “acting” appointment, with or without approval from the Board.
The proposed Charter amendment, which is on the agenda this Thursday, November 15, cures the deficiency by creating a temporary appointment which may last up to sixty (60) days. It also enables that length of time to be extended, but requires the Board’s approval. This provision applies to all appointed positions. The Executive Assistant, which is authorized as an appointed position in Section 28-A of the Charter, will be the first affected by the amendment. We have also proposed an accompanying budget amendment that funds the temporary appointment of an Executive Assistant for sixty (60) days, and preserves the remainder of salary until a full appointment is approved.
The Board of Aldermen fully supports a position as an aide to the Mayor, be it an Executive Assistant, Chief of Staff, or other title. We also advocate for a Charter that provides the best balance of power and protections for our citizens. We believe these changes support both goals.