Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Our May 9th, 2017 Westminster municipal elections and this day in history March 30, 1999.

Our May 9th, 2017 Westminster municipal elections and this day in history March 30, 1999.

April 4, 2017 Westminster Md. - This morning, I was reading through the letters to the editor in the Carroll County Times about the current Westminster municipal elections. – And it brought back memories….

Many folks have asked if I am ever going to run for office again. And the answer is sorta-kinda-maybe. Not right now. Among many reasons, as soon as I declare my candidacy for office, I immediately lose my job with the newspaper. Think about it. In what other profession do you lose your job the very instant you declare your candidacy? And I love my job.

Many folks have asked my opinion about the upcoming elections. Because I work for the newspaper, I really cannot say much. However, I think that I can say, that it is time to let some other folks have a turn – or let some other ideas into the Westminster council chambers.

I mean, I actually like all of Westminster’s elected officials. I guess I can say that? I mean, I like everybody. Westminster officials work hard and for the most part, I think they are well-intended.

But the history and tradition of holding office in Westminster is one of letting everyone take their turn. And, at the moment, it just does not seem that other ideas are really welcome in city government these days. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong. And growing-up in Westminster, there was essentially – if not absolutely - no politics.

I had a great talk with an official with another municipality recently and he lamented how Westminster elected officials spend a great deal of time on politics that has nothing to do with the day-to-day life of Westminster citizens. He said this in the context in that, in his municipality, there is still, to this day, essentially no politics.

Now before you send me angry emails, he said it – I did not say a word. As a matter of fact, he acknowledged that I have to remain silent because I work for the paper, but I will say that I have heard it said by many folks outside of Westminster…

Municipal elections are extremely important to your day-to-day quality of life. I am often amused with folks who get so worked-up over national politics – and state politics, for that matter. As for national politics, candidly, you and I standing over the back fence discussing the issues, or engaged in a Facebook discussion, have little impact on the development of national public policies. Arguably some impact – but really – we have little say. Makes me sad to say that. I have certainly written my fair share of letters to elected officials in Washington. But that was before gerrymandering. These days, the folks that represent us in Washington, do not know where Carroll County is located on the map – and do not care. (Although they all have great staffers. Just saying.) In days gone by, we routinely had opportunities to meet with our elected representatives in Congress. Remember when they would routinely visit the post office?

(Anyway, just so you know - I hate Facebook arguments and routinely delete argumentative comments, just saying.)

Yes, we have a little more influence in Maryland State politics, although, it often appears that Annapolis exists in another country.

On my website, the other day, I found a few items, from the 1999 elections, for my “This Day in History” series…. Yes, I was so young, and naive. But I still have many really good memories. [Anyway - This Day in History: March 30, 1999 Kevin Dayhoff for Westminster Common Council]

I was amused that almost 20-years ago, many of the same issues today, were a matter of interest in the 1999 election. When I filled-out my candidate profile and questionnaire, among the “Main issues I will address during my campaign,” included:

1. Pro Economic Development - Continued Revitalization of Downtown Westminster, and how it was (is) important to attract and develop more jobs in Westminster.

2. Support Westminster Police Department

3. Support Westminster Fire Department

4. Pursue improving our road system

5. Continued support of the City’s recreation program – community events – that bring folks to downtown Westminster.

I loved being an elected official for Westminster. I loved working with the Westminster employees – and Westminster citizens. It seems that the best kept secret in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region, is that Westminster has the best municipal employees around. They are well-trained, professional, personally invested, and most of all, they really-really care about Westminster.

And, of course, being the product of many generations of elected officials, and being an historian and a writer, I really enjoyed the development of public policy initiative. For much of Westminster’s municipal history, it was known to be on the cutting edge of municipal public policy and governance.

Anyway - This Day in History: March 30, 1999 Kevin Dayhoff for Westminster Common Council

On this day in the Westminster municipal elections, March 30, 1999, I finished, and turned-in, my Carroll County Times questionnaire and candidate profile, and sent in an ad to the paper… 
Baltimore Sun Carroll Eagle: 
Tumblr: Kevin Dayhoff Banana Stems
Kevin Dayhoff is an artist - and a columnist for:
Baltimore Sun - Carroll County Times - The Carroll Eagle:

Google profile:

E-mail: kevindayhoff(at)

My columns appear in the copy of the Baltimore Sunday Sun that is distributed in Carroll County:

See also - Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art Travel, art, artists, authors, books, newspapers, media, writers and writing, journalists and journalism, reporters and reporting, music, culture, opera... Ad maiorem Dei gloriam inque hominum salutem. “Deadline U.S.A.” 1952. Ed Hutcheson: “That's the press, baby. The press! And there's nothing you can do about it. Nothing!” - See more at:

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