'Does this mean no more night meetings?'

June 27, 2011|By Kristin Aleshire

After nearly a decade of local public service, the past few months of relative obscurity have provided some much needed time to  reflect upon any future plans.

It's interesting after such as abrupt halt of this singular priority to become suddenly aware of how family life has evolved to consume time commitments.

I think there must have been no person happier than my 3-year-old daughter when explaining to her the loss of my Washington County Commissioner seat as she began to grin broadly, asking, "Does that mean no more night meetings?"

First, a sincere thanks to family and friends that were constructive in this endeavor of one citizen among many working to simply improve the good community in which we live. I believe a worthy cause exists around every corner and the spirit of dedicating time and talent to whatever this may be is what most sustains us.

Equally, to the voters in each election, I hope I was able to serve you with the integrity and diligence we should expect from our elected representatives at all levels.

While I believe the "robocall" had little bearing on the election results, it was an unfortunate reminder of the lengths that certain individuals will extend in perverting the fair and transparent democratic process we seek to maintain.

Thanks to new members of both central committees the details did eventually come out in the wash with a bit of truth behind the rumors that abound. Like Sen. Chris Shank, I would encourage others directly involved to come forward of their own accord so that the community may witness their cowardice, deceit and inadequacy.

While the election results were certainly disappointing, I was not surprised, as I had predicted months before filing that Republicans would likely sweep the race. When you're outvoted nearly 2 to 1, outspent 25 to 1, and overwhelmed by a national party-line wave, basic principle and merit are quickly lost in the process of real public debate.

What I had not predicted was the significant majority of Democrats and independents that simply failed to show up at the poles.         

I will likely not run for county office again. Not because of lack of desire, but rather because it is clear that the more rural populace prefers a conservative party affiliation regardless of a candidate's work ethic and fiscal conviction.

And while I would certainly enjoy a run for state office, the notion of simply occupying a seat from a county that clearly holds no sway in Annapolis pales greatly in comparison to the irreplaceable time lost with my growing family.

I have also given the position of mayor serious consideration and while I would appreciate the opportunity to serve the city in this role, the reality is, at this time, it would be difficult to balance my private profession and provide this important position the dedicated attention I believe it deserves.

One point not lost in losing office is the responsibility I think every citizen has to engage in the decisions that affect us. I believe in the importance of public disclosure and plan in the near future to address a number of local issues lost to public view. While I am certainly enjoying this change, the reality is I also enjoy the process of public service too much to remain away from it permanently.

Kristin Aleshire is a former Washington County Commissioner and Hagerstown Council member.

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