In the fifteen or so years that I've observed Carroll County's Quorum Court the prevalent image has been of a monkey trying to make love to a football. It hasn't mattered whether the County Judge is a Republican or a Democrat; if an issue is more complex than filling a pot hole they haven't seemed to know what end to grab first. And, after finally deciding, they're sure to tip sideways and need to start all over again.
An exception to this prevalent image has been Ron Flake who has tried, by championing the idea for a Public Facilities Board (PFB) and repeal of Act 74, to move Carroll County out of the hollers and toward county-wide planning and inter-governmental collaboration and cooperation. These are essential requirements for successful economic development and business and social diversification, and necessary to assure honesty and transparency in government; it is about time (past time) to begin thinking about these matters.
The grand irony about our recent PFB and Act 74 confabs is that, in political terms, they are inherently progressive ideas that would result in a somewhat bigger, more complex, and more streamlined government if enacted. But, instead of supporting the economic advantages of metropolitan planning, the more progressive or liberal precincts in Carroll County resoundingly opposed and are opposed to changing the status quo of small, parochial, and crony ridden government. Go figure.
That Mr. Flake initiated these valuable and necessary ideas is also a remarkable achievement given his collegial burden of belonging to a Party whose main concerns are to assure that we can pack guns in church, that EXXON Mobil pays no taxes--I personally (and you personally) paid more in taxes in 2011 than did EXXON Mobil--and that our health insurance premiums continue to sky rocket to the moon.
It has, however, taken some courage for Flake to get out in front of these local issues, especially during a time when the ethic of every man for himself is so endemic and the failure of comity so clearly etched in our political processes.
However much we might disagree with Flake I think we can take him as an honest broker; he is certainly a competent public servant.