My good friend Carol is at the end of her 4-year term as County Commissioner in Queen Ann's County Maryland. She won four years ago in an October surprise. She worked tirelessly for the people of her county trying to build a sustainable future. She sent me her farewell speech which I really enjoyed.

"Our government does things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. Our family’s taxes could not even pay for our public school educations. We in QAC are fortunate to live in MD that has the best schools in the country. We have some of the best schools in the state. Even more important, we pay the lowest cost per pupil than any other county in the state.

That is real value, but not the only one we receive here.

I am an experienced manager and I can say that our County employees and staff are some of the most dedicated, hard working and skilled people I have worked with. They give us true value for our tax dollars.

Our public safety people, fire and EMS volunteers, are top notch. Our paid, professional DES has reduced response times dramatically during the past four years – all real value to our citizens and all who pass through our County.

The County depends upon many other citizen-volunteers who serve on our boards and commissions, in our schools, on our playing fields, and in volunteer civic groups such as the Local Management Board, animal rescue, the arts, 4H, Future Farmers, and scouts. ALL are of real value to us.

All of these people are the real Queen Anne’s County. We 5 are just the public face.

I have done my best to help protect our flora and fauna, watersheds and waterways as I promised four years ago.

Thank you all for giving me this opportunity, the honor of serving my adopted county.

I can now devote more time to my family, reading books (I held up two books – “The Poky Little Puppy” (it got a laugh) and “Mark Twain’s Autobiography”.) This is a copy of one of my first books and this is the one I am reading now – still slogging through the Introduction. (Gregg Todd shouted out “He dies at the end.”) Now I don’t have to finish reading it. …and civic activities.

We all need to become better informed and more active. None of this comes for free and all County costs are rising. Please attend and speak out at the Budget Hearings, especially if you are concerned with the losses of necessary services.

As Thom Hartmann says – “Tag, you’re it!” Actually, WE'RE it."

Great work Carol!

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