Tomorrow is Primary Day. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Willie J. Mahone, President of the the Frederick County Branch of the NAACP, recognizes the important role every voter plays in the election process. "It's important for all of us to understand the impact we can have on local politics if we exercise our right to vote. While we do not endorse one candidate over another, we feel that it's important voters are aware of key issues in this upcoming primary that may influence their choices." 

The Government and Political Affairs Committee of the Frederick Branch recently prepared a list of questions, listed below, for the candidates running for the Board of Education and the County Council.

Although several requests have been made, there has been no information regarding the participation of ethnic minorities and women in contracting by the Frederick County government. Do you think that such information is important and what actions would you take to actively support the involvement of ethnic minorities and women in Frederick County contracting.

If elected I will support legislation that ensures ethnic minorities and women are included in county contracting.  It is something that should already exist. 

The City of Frederick has agreed to eliminate "check the box" on applications for employment in city government. Would you support doing the same in Frederick County government?

The question refers to the city eliminating “Check the box” on applications for employment.  I am not familiar with the box, but considering the question(s) I would assume that the box was eliminated to prevent discrimination.  If that is true, I would support the same for Frederick County.

In other jurisdictions in the State of Maryland have statutes giving specific protections to women, ethnic minorities, and LGBT individuals. Would you support such legislation in Frederick County? 

Yes.  All people want equity, they all want fairness.  We know from history that it often takes laws to ensure equity.  We also know that just because a law exist - does not mean it is followed or enforced.  That is why it is so important for citizen involvement in government. 

What will you do to facilitate involvement of ethnic minorities in the hotel/conference center construction and operation?

I am not sure if the hotel/conference center will be built.  My response is also related to your next question and both are related to fairness.  Every time the city or county gives a tax break to a builder/developer etc., someone else has to pay the bill.  If the hotel/conference center is such a good idea, then someone would want to construct, build and own it, without any taxpayer monies.  If built, yes, minorities and women should be included in all phases to completion.

Government has a bad track record when it comes to investing in conference centers and hotels. In a June 7, 2017 article, the Baltimore Sun noted the Baltimore city owned Hilton Baltimore Convention Center had an accumulated deficit of nearly $85 million. The same financing model is being used for the hotel/conference development in Frederick. What will you do to protect County taxpayers from the burden of paying for this project?

The controversy around the hotel/conference center is expanding with the upcoming elections.  My knowledge is not as complete as it should be, but at this time I don’t seen the project proceeding without major changes.  Both sides have strong arguments. I am sure the decision, either way, will not be made until after the general election. 

With the passing of the gambling revenue bill in 2008, money was to be put in a lockbox for funding our schools, yet portable classrooms predominate every campus in the county. What would you do to ensure that revenue from gambling goes toward educating our children? 

I have heard multiple candidates at the state level promising that all monies would go to education.  They have basically said that is not occurring as was promised.  To ensure that politicians are held accountable, the citizen must be informed, question the promises made and then take action.  Voting is only one action, speaking out and addressing the issues is not just needed – it is required.  Our first Amendment was created to ensure that the citizens had the freedoms to monitor and critique the government. 

Do you support a living wage and family leave for Frederick County? 

I do support a living wage and family leave, but how that can be accomplished is difficult.  If an entity like Frederick County created and passes legislation that ensured a living wage and family leave for government employees, several issues would have to be addressed, before the bill(s) are passed.  The first issue is what is a living wage?  Are there exemptions for summer jobs, farm workers, waitresses etc.? What are the parameters of family leave? Does the leave apply to both parties and is it paid or unpaid?  The next issue is what financial impact the county will incur.  The largest issue, related to the financial impact, is how it would be funded.  

Do you support funding universal pre-kindergarten?

Yes, I do support funding for universal pre-K, but again where do we get the funds. The teacher strikes from around the country tell us that government is underfunded.  I do not support taking funds from K thru 12 for a pre-k program. That would just cut funding that is already obligated. A larger issue in this country is the topic of investing in our future.  If we want the future to improve, we need to invest in education.  We also have a sub culture that implies that government is the enemy and any taxes we pay are wasted. Those same individuals and groups want their social security and their Medicare. 

I thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions. If possible I would like to address your group and present my positions and also answer any questions you have,

Shannon Bohrer
Candidate for County Council
District 5


County Council At Large
​Susan Reeder Jessee, Democrat
Bud Otis, Unaffiliated

County Council
Lisa Jaronsinksk, (D) District 2
M.C. Keegan-Ayer, (D) District 3
Jessica Fitzwater, (D) District 4
Shannon Bohrer, (D) District 5

​Board of Education​
Jay Mason
Camden Raynor
Cindy Rose
Karen Yoho
Brad Young


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