When Frederick County Commissioner Paul Smith (R) recommended that the county spend an additional $113,000 on 10 area nonprofit agencies, Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young (R) questioned Smith’s personal giving history to those same agencies. Smith declined, responding that his individual contributions weren’t an issue.
“Folks he felt were winners, he wants to give taxpayer money to … and he never considered them worthy enough to give $5 to himself,” Young said last week.”
Smith recommended varying amounts of funding for 10 agencies, including Daybreak Adult Daycare, Frederick Community Action Agency, The Religious Coalition, Goodwill Industries, Heartly House and The Frederick Arts Council. Many of those agencies, he said, leverage county funds with grant money and private contributions
Although Smith has not donated to most of the agencies he identified as worthy of receiving more county money, he, and most of his colleagues, say they have given time and money to various causes. In response to a question posed by The Gazette about charitable contributions, Smith said he donated $1,643.52 to eight nonprofits in 2011, and tithed $10,000 to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Smith donated to the Boy Scouts of America, the Community Foundation of Frederick County, Care Net, the Rescue Mission, NARTH [the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality], the Bar Foundation of Montgomery County, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine [a group he recommended receive county money], and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for welfare services.
The commissioner also devoted time to the Frederick Arts Council and the national Civil War Museum, two agencies he suggested receive county money; the Boy Scouts of America, and the Rescue Mission. Smith, an attorney, also provided 78 hours of pro bono services for the poor and those “seeking civil rights,” he said in an email.
Young has said previously that he and his businesses, Yellow Cab and Interstate Mobile, donated $18,000 to local charities last year, but did not specify which ones. His church, he said, is a member of the Religious Coalition, and donates annually to the coalition. Commissioner David Gray (R) gave $2,000 to charities, but did not give a detailed list. Commissioner Billy Shreve (R) said in an email that he prefers to give anonymously.
“I donate to so many I can't even begin to keep track. I prefer giving cash and remaining anonymous,” Shreve said. “Before I was elected my goal was 5 hours per week of my time working with nonprofits.”
Commissioner Kirby Delauter (R) did not respond to the question of charitable giving before The Gazette’s press time.