SUDLERSVILLE — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot visited Sudlersville Volunteer Fire Company Saturday morning, Dec. 7, for the 126th anniversary meeting of the Maryland State Firemen’s Association.
Franchot received a warm welcome from attendees as he was introduced by MSFA President Mike Faust.
The comptroller elected to dispense with his prepared remarks and speak from the heart as he presented a proclamation to the association.
“The fire companies provide the first path for so many of our young people across the state to serve,” Franchot said. “You have never had a better or bigger champion for the great work that you do.”
He presented a proclamation recognizing the Maryland State Firemen’s Association for its valor and meritorious service to Maryland and its citizens.
Faust and other officers surprised Franchot with a presentation of their own. They thanked Franchot for his continued service and support presented him with a ceremonial axe personally engraved for him on behalf of the association.
Faust said when Franchot came to Sudlersville to dedicate the laundromat, he mentioned an axe that Gov. Larry Hogan had in his office.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m going to give the state comptroller the axe,” Faust said, eliciting laughter from the crowd.
An excited Franchot grabbed the axe and held it above his head.
One person called out the axe should be used to cut taxes, and the comptroller laughed at that as well.
Faust noted MSFA gave Hogan a white fire helmet a few years ago at their convention in Ocean City.
Franchot said he would like to move up from his current role. “After Governor Hogan reaches his term limit, I hope to succeed him as your next governor,” Franchot said.
Prior to his departure the comptroller offered a private interview in which he was asked what he would do if he, in fact, succeeded Hogan.
“As governor I will seek fundamental reform for fiscal policies and our economy. I’d like to see us improve a state that is already strong — and make it even stronger,” Franchot said.
On Sunday, Franchot posted pictures from the event on Facebook, saying he was on cloud nine.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted one of their ceremonial firefighter’s axes. Yesterday, thanks to my friends, Mike Faust, Chuck Walker and Joel McCrea, I got mine! It was the capstone of a wonderful morning of catching up with longtime friends and thanking each and every one of them for risking their lives to keep their friends and neighbors safe,” he wrote.
He continued, “These volunteer firefighters, and the fire companies they serve, are truly the beating heart of communities across our state. I treasure my relationship with each of them and will continue to be supportive any way I can.”