Notes scribbled on the back of Roger Branigan for Governor campaign poster . . .

So we have a county administrator now. Truth to tell, I think Mark Casteel will be an excellent administrator. He turned around a mess at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department about nine years ago and was a rarity among sheriffs by winning respect from both sides of the aisle.

So long as Casteel is in the job, the view from here is that Montgomery County will be better off.

When the time comes for him to retire or move on (to perhaps bigger political offices?), let’s hope that the county council and county commissioners stay true to their words and reevaluate whether or not the option of having a county administrator is still a good one. So long as the office is occupied by a competent professional, then it likely is. The fear is that once something becomes part of government it never leaves.

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WHILE ON the topic of concern, thoughts turn to MUFFY – or the Montgomery United Fund. We are less than a week from October and things have been awfully quiet.

Former Executive Director Terry Armstrong left in early May and there’s no public word on when a new hire will be made.

In the meantime, the 2019 drive kicked off in July. In a story published in this very newspaper on July 13, board president Heather Shirk said: “We have not set a goal yet; we actually have a meeting next week to determine that. I am excited for this year’s drive but we’ll wait for the board to make their decision on that.”

She also said in the same story that the job search “is going great, we got a lot of applications submitted. We hope to look at those applications and get interviews going next week. That will be the next step in the process.”

It’s now more than two months later and there hasn’t been much news reported.

Several attempts to find out where the current drive stands or what the status of the executive director is have gone nowhere so far.

There are very few non-profits in Montgomery County that get as much attention from this corner of the media world than MUFFY. Truth to tell, I have a really large soft spot for United Fund organizations. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with several, and I can personally say that the amount of good done by the hard-working folks in those groups is beyond words.

For the eight or nine of you who follow these ramblings, you have heard these things before. Without the United Fund, or MUFFY, great places like the Boys & Girls Club, Family Crisis Shelter, YSB, Willson Preschool, Sunshine Vans and more would be hard-pressed to do what they do.

In short, we need MUFFY – and we need a strong MUFFY.

Let me be clear, this is no criticism of Shirk, or anyone. Although there have been leadership issues in the past, Shirk is a strong leader who has a tough job. To be fair, the good folks who sign up to help non-profits as board members aren’t hoping to take on problems. have full-time jobs. Many have families. And is there anyone in the working or family world today who’s less busy than they were 10 years ago . . . five years ago . . .heck, last week?  It’s a tough job and we owe a debt of gratitude to those who step up to take on leadership roles.

But at the same time, when an organization is asking the community to entrust it with a few hundred thousand dollars, they owe as much open, honest and transparent information as they can give.

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BACK TO THE beginning. Some of you remember Indiana;s 42nd governor, the honorable Roger Branigan. Growing up, my mom and dad – who were hard-line Democrats (and probably roll over in their graves every time I vote) – campaigned for the man. He was from just south of Indianapolis, in Franklin, and stayed right there for college. However, he went to Harvard for law school and was sometimes criticized for being a little on the highbrow side. A quote attributed to him addresses that. "People ask me if I'm for the common man . . . I'm a Hoosier, a Baptist and a Democrat, and, by God, you can't get much commoner then that."

Amen, brother!

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at