Good evening, everyone.
My name is Karin Tome and it is my pleasure and honor to introduce our candidate tonight.
My friend, Kai Hagen, embodies the qualities that I look for in an elected official: a strong political will, excellent subject-matter knowledge (and the confidence and foresight to research the subject if he needs additional information), a never-ending thirst for knowledge and the truth, a civil attitude, the ability to see complicated issues from many perspectives and connect them to each other, respect for others, an eye for short AND long-term solutions, and finally, integrity.
I first met Kai Hagen in 2000 at a meeting of CQL – Citizens for Quality of Life. I was looking for ANY validation to my concerns regarding the construction of 1500 new homes in the nearby City of Brunswick. Not only did I get sound, balanced advice from him, but we began a friendship that night that has only grown deeper and stronger over the years, as we have both entered and exited elected offices in this amazing County of ours.
I’ve learned more from Kai than I would have ever expected — and I hope I’ve been able to have a positive impact on him, too.
You might know Kai from his 4 years as an elected Frederick County Commissioner (2006-2010),
…or his 8 years on the County’s Parks and Recreation Commission,
…or the time he spent while serving on the Citizens Zoning Review Committee,
…or from reading his columns in the Frederick News Post and the Gazette Newpaper,
…or from listening to his excellent radio show (“Eye on Our Community”),
…or the years he spent before, during, and after his elected term working on many important issues in our broader community, including the proposed regional waste incinerator and related resource issues (a subject near and dear to me, as many of you know!),
…or for the last seven years, as the Director of ENVISION Frederick County.
You may also know him as a neighbor, soccer coach, nature photographer, avid sports fan, or all-around good friend.
My main point here is that there are MANY ways that you could have met and gotten to know Kai over the years. And, if you have, you know that one of his greatest assets is that he has ALWAYS made it a point to SHOW UP AND GET INVOLVED in the important issues of our County and State.
In his last campaign, one elected official described Kai as “the real deal” in his endorsement statement. That simple statement says SO much – there is nothing fake or calculated about him. This is especially worth noting at a time in our country’s history when we find ourselves questioning political motivation. Kai’s motivation HAS always been and WILL always remain genuine – he’s a true public servant.
One more thing I’ll say before I turn it over to our friend: several years ago, Kai gave me one of the best gifts I could ever receive – he said that he thought of me as a sister. If any of you know how important family is to me, you’ll understand why this really touched my heart.
So now, it’s my honor and privilege to introduce one of our next Frederick County Council members, my dear friend and brother-at- heart, Kai John Hagen!