From: Barbara Darneal
Councilman Marc Nance says on his campaign brochure that he wantsto be re-elected on May 4.
This is strange, because he was never elected by a vote of the people of Mount Airy in the first place.
Because Marc Nance failed to receive a majority of council votes the first time (a majority is more than half the total), the polling of the council had to be repeated.
When the Mount Airy Citizens Coalition pointed out that the Town Charter required vacancies for the council to "be filled by the favorable votes of a majority of the remaining members," Marc Nance reacted peevishly: "It's aggravating. The only thing it did was throw a wrench into the works" (Carroll County Times, Nov. 2, 1989).
Incumbent Nance's campaign literature claims that he has a "record of doing things better for less, cutting waste, and improving the quality of life." He hopes the voters will believe this and trust him to represent their best interests for four more years.
On one hand, he appeals to the conservatives by telling them he reads books by Peter Grace, founder of the conservative think tank Citizens Against Government Waste.
And on the other hand, Nance courts liberal voters as well. He openly supports liberal Tom Hattery for Congress and launched an attack against Rep. Beverly Byron in a letter to the editor of the Frederick News Post on Dec. 28, 1991.
Helashed out at her "spending spree" and wrote: "Mrs. Byron and her accomplices spent money like drunken sailors." This may be good rhetoric for a politician seeking votes in a period of voter dissatisfactionbut it won't fool anyone who has been following Marc Nance since he entered politics.
As one citizen was heard to lament: "Where, oh, where was Marc Nance when we needed him?"
Voters in Mount Airy might consider it inconsistent if not disingenuous for Marc Nance to denounce Rep. Byron for her "spending spree" but never denounce ex-MayorBoyer for her spending spree.
On the contrary, Marc Nance praisedMs. Boyer's lavish appreciation dinners (two cost the taxpayers $6,517.20) and voted to increase her salary. He also publicly stated as late as January 1990 that he would support Ms. Boyer if she ran for re-election because she has done "a tremendous job for this town."
When Mount Airy Citizens Coalition issued its "Report Card" in April 1990 detailing how taxpayer money was wasted under the Boyer administration, it found no friend in Marc Nance. He was openly hostile to thecoalition.
To this date, he has never endorsed any of the effortsof this citizens' watchdog group, which gained much of its inspiration from Citizens Against Government Waste, whose cause Nance now espouses.
Nance is apparently against government waste on the nationallevel, but not on the local level. Inconsistent? Yes, and furthermore: "Where was Marc Nance when we needed him?"
Recently, Marc Nancehas become vigilant regarding bidding for town purchases by Mayor Johnson and other members of the council. However, a scrutiny of past events in which he was a ma
jor player should cause the voters to weigh his claims carefully and take them with a big dose of skepticism.
It is a matter of record that under the Boyer administration, one of Nance's first acts as department head of Streets and Roads was to recommend to the Town Council in October 1989 that the town spend the incredible sum of $56,977.25 for sidewalks on Prospect Road on thebasis of only one bid. That single bid was submitted by a company inMontgomery County that had been in business for about two years.
The sum of $60,000 had been earmarked in 1988-1989 for sidewalks on both North Main Street and Prospect Road. When the residents on North Main Street objected, the job was dropped while Ms. Snell was still in office.
However, when Nance took his seat on the council, he spent almost the entire $60,000 for Prospect Road alone. Is this how Marc Nance gives us more for less?
Councilman Nance undergirded Ms. Boyer in 1989 and moved that the council purchase computers from Microstar, a company we learned later was owned by Ms. Boyer's husband.
Later it was Marc Nance who moved that the council appoint the two ministers Ms. Boyer selected for her Ethics Commission after she was charged with an ethics violation. When she came under fire for the wayin which she selected the two ministers, Marc Nance defended her. Again: Where was Marc Nance when we needed him?
Marc Nance said he has taken a poll and "tested the waters" before deciding to run for council this time around. A fair question is: How did he go about "testing the waters" the first time he sought the council seat?
By having first to "test the waters," is Marc Nance cautious or calculating?By wooing voters of both persuasions, is he expedient or principled?Why did he find it necessary to wait until a consensus built around him before making his intentions known?
Oh, and by the way, if elected, will Marc Nance be there when the taxpayers need him?
The voters will make the decision for him on May 4.