Cumberland Times-News

February 22, 2014

Parties not able to find good candidates for local offices

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— Your editorial on wide choice of candidates was exactly correct, whilst it also gave me a feeing of disappointment (“Good field: Voters in Md. primary will have lots of choices,” Feb. 18 Times-News).

On the local city, county and legislative scene. It saddens me as a former legislator to see both parties unable to stir qualified members to file for county and District 1 elected office.

That is only a small part of the issue. It is obvious that larger number of voters consider themselves “Independent” of party. This is not unusual as both parties at national level are not employing time and talent to running the country.

Nevertheless, filing as ‘not affiliated’ for these local office would save money for a candidate, provide for some interest in the general election and bring needed attention to local questions.

For a county leader to agree that a fee for marriage license to enable his former colleagues and his successor to set up a fund to care for cemeteries is utter nonsense (“Marriage license fees could fund cemetery organization,” Feb. 18 Times-News, Page 1A; “Cemetery organization aid proposal withdrawn, Feb. 21, Page 1A).

This group desiring funding should look to another source, not marriage, for the care of burial sites.

This is why it is not healthy for parties to single out winners.

Mr. (Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization president Edward Jr.) Taylor may feel times are changing, all charitable efforts are down now.

No estimate of cost in numbers, leads me to believe a fair way to accomplish this need would be to bring together all responsible parties involved, then discuss needs, methods of care.

Remembering that families may pass on or become unable to care for graves, a compassionate community needs a well thought out solution rather than one man’s opinion, proposed to another state official in the truest sense as a lobbyist for CHCO, which survived over many years by public subscription.

The independents who should be filing now, are actually the cause of this deficit of leadership.

Party elected officials seem to have less active memberships than Mr. Taylor has contributors when it comes to nominating leaders.

Tom Conlon

Cumberland

Former member of the Maryland House of Delegates and Allegany County

Democratic Central Committee