“Plans are nothing; planning is everything” – Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Planning is something we all do for most of our lives. It is something we do to help us look forward and achieve our goals. As we age, many of us attend more to our planning – e.g., for retirement – than we did when we were young.
Through no fault of our own, however, the effort we put into planning our future is sometimes thwarted. Families experience unforeseen events like illnesses, natural disasters (like the flooding this year), and job loss when a business closes. Sometimes life is just not fair.
We also know that without planning, it is reasonably certain that things won’t go well. This is true not only for individuals and families but also for governments. Indeed, our individual and family plans are connected to our government plans, since the latter can affect us in many ways. For example, my wife and I want to retire in place, on our beautiful, peaceful farm. However, if the county allows uncontrolled growth and is fiscally irresponsible, we may have to change our plans. Uncontrolled growth creates negative issues related to infrastructure, education, public safety that often results in higher taxes. Government planning, and/or the lack of, affects all of us.
The City of Frederick’s flood control projects are a good example of planning. If the city had not planned future flood control projects many years ago, the flooding this year would have been significantly worse. Even with the implementation of methods of flood control, the City of Frederick still had flooding. This is a good example of how elusive perfect plans are and of the likelihood that any plans will require modification.
When elected, my primary focus will be planning for responsible growth in Frederick County. The Livable Frederick Plan is a blueprint for how the county should view and manage the future. I understand that there is opposition to the Livable Frederick Plan. My review finds the plan very comprehensive as an overall view, but still needing more specifics. This plan is the product of the contributions of over 2000 ordinary citizens who responded to the surveys, and it contains over 15,000 qualitative statements. These attributes do not mean the Livable Frederick Plan is perfect. Like any good plan, changes will be needed as we proceed. But we know for sure that without a plan, we leave the future to chance. As Yogi Berra put it, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”