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Trying to shove local politics under your nose since before it was cool: Frederick County Edition

Month

May 2015

Pa Kettle lives in a glass house

In response to this nonsense from Billy in today’s paper:

“This really simple decision has been clouded by a lot of outside influences, and it has made a mockery of the council,” Shreve said.

We will leave you these two images:

black-kettle-1-776441-m

AND

Glass-Houses-01

Enough said.

 

Mood swings with the FNP Opinion Page

Trying to keep up with our feelings about the editorials published lately has been like a Taylor Swift song. Dizzying and emotionally immature. We’re ready to get back together with them now that we’ve read This Bud’s for you, which aligns pretty perfectly with what we’ve got going on up in here.

Can you blame Bud for not wanting to be thrown in with those two when they act like they do, and who haven’t suggested one sensible, rational or measurably meaningful piece of legislation in all their time in office (including four wretched years as county commissioners)?

‘Nuff said.

We would also like to direct attention to an LTE authored by Stephen D. Campen. It is an absolute delight to readcalling for Kirby Delauter’s resignation. What a terrific idea! Coming from a registered Republican, it also seems to bolster support for the idea that Jan and Bud are working together to do what a large part of the county would like to see happen.

By attacking Otis for voting on the issues before him, as opposed to strictly with the Republicans, Delauter has clearly shown he does not care about the entirety of the populace…

Another letter by Carl Donald discusses the should-be-obvious-by-now point that the teachers don’t have a conflict of interest in their dealings with the on the county council.

Some good stuff to chew on in those links.

Oh no he didn’t!

It was a tiny little column in yesterday’s FNP, so tiny that you may have missed it. But just as Billy didn’t disappoint in a shorter than usual council meeting, it doesn’t take but a few words to see Billy’s true colors.

In her Political Notes column, Jen Fifield writes that Billy is still planning on abstaining on budget issues. Never mind that pesky NO vote on the actual budget. That was just an anomaly. Why you may be asking yourself? Or huh? Or WTF? We’ll let Billy tell you:

“The problem has not been solved. … It’s like saying the pledge of allegiance to the flag. You never stop doing it,” he said.
Also, he said, he enjoys the media coverage and watching the entire council cringe when he does it.
“They hate it,” he said.

“I pledge allegiance to acting dumb and abstaining from votes on the budget. And to vote with Norquist and local radio hams, to block Jan at every turn and be divisible in every possible way.”

Well there you have it! Good solid reasons! He seems to have thought this out really well. But seriously folks, he’s our AT-LARGE representative? How in Aphrodite’s sweet world did that happen?

Don't blame me I just work here!
Don’t blame me I just work here!

We are going to keep a nice record of all this nonsense so this anomaly does not happen again. Because seriously, this can’t happen again. Who is with us?

Hey folks our county is in The Washington Post! Oh wait, it’s about Kirby. :(

Who is responsible for Frederick County government's latest spiral of shame?
Who is responsible for Frederick County government’s latest spiral of shame?

We have to wonder if Kirby and Billy set up a schedule of which one of them is going to embarrass the county each week. On Sunday afternoons do they sit down with their Champibbles and Fireball shots and decide whose turn it is? Can you picture it? We certainly can:

Kirby:” Well, Buddy you did go on the radio and claim that everyone in the county calls you when their loved ones have a drug problem.”

Billy: “True enough, but let’s not forget you submitted an unbalanced budget to the dictator in hopes that she would consider it.”

Kirby: “Yeah, that was a doozy, but you’ve refused to vote on budget issues or follow Robert’s Rules of Orders.”

Billy: “True that! But I can’t think of anything new to do this week, so can you help a brother out?”

Kirby: “10-4. I’ll think of something good. Why do you think Bud and Tony don’t attend our little get togethers”?

So Kirby it was. And we all know the story of the ethics decision, the WFMD interview and of course the contentious council meetings. But guess what?! Now everyone else does as well! This morning The Washington Post ran a little story about our most esteemed council man’s latest behavior. A paper with a circulation of over 400,000 and a website with over 50 million readers. GREAT!

He refused to be interviewed for said piece but we did get this nice little quote.

“I haven’t bid county work in four years, but I think I should have that option like everyone else,” Delauter said.

And now we are going to have to read this book:

We know how you feel little girl!
We know how you feel little girl!

How can we keep doing this week after week? Are Kirby and Billy ever going to get it together? Kirby brought us all a little bit of infamy back in January with his “suing the newspaper for using my name antics” and we really hoped he learned to tone it down. But no, now he’s a celebrity and not in a good way. Therefore, everything he does is going to be considered newsworthy. So until he’s finally taken his leave of the council we suspect we are going to have many more national embarrassments to endure. So Salut Billy and Kirby, this one’s for you!

Gets yours at boozingear.com
Gets yours at boozingear.com

This Bud’s for the people!

Great Falcon-Headed Horus!

Are we still talking about this (it's never going to end, is it)?
Are we still talking about this (it’s never going to end, is it)?

At this point it feels like we’re beating a dead horse with all the coverage of our new favorite band, Bud and the Democrats, as they rock out on their Government of, by and for the People Tour. Since the FNP is covering it today, when in Rome and all that jazz.

Bud Otis’s predilection for distancing himself from a few lippy jerks is not the same thing as distancing himself from the entire local Republican party, but some of the people interviewed for this article aren’t getting that point. County Executive Jan Gardner got elected with the support of a group called Republicans for Jan Gardner, proving the County Council President who ran for an At-Large seat’s voting habits may align with a number of other Republicans in Frederick County. Beyond that, to have won an At-Large seat indicates that Mr. Otis appealed to and represents some Democrats as well.

With any luck they will pay no mind, and the remaining at large council seat will allow the band to take in new members in the next election cycle.

Saying it again for the sake of an engaged electorate, if you like your Bud, email him and let him know! You can find his county council page here, links to email in the sidebar.

Aldermen don’t play that.

After last week’s very contentious county council meetings we were very reluctant to turn on tonight’s joint county/city meeting. What if the yelling starts again? What if Kirby cusses at our BFF Bud again? What if our  county is sucked down a shame vortex never to emerge again?

Alas, we could not help ourselves and clicked on the FGTV link. And guess what? We discovered the key to returning civility to the Frederick County Council…have these guys there:

Out of order? Cussing? Bad behavior? These homies don't play that!
Out of order? Cussing? Bad behavior? These homies don’t play that!

That’s right! When these guys are spread out among the council, surprise, surprise civility reigns!

You've got to keep them separated!
You’ve got to keep them separated!

We were able to sit through an entire meeting with almost no antics! And we learned a lot about the new proposed hotel and conference center. The governor recently rejected helping to fund this project, but they will try again next legislative session. If all goes well we may have ourselves a nice little hotel, conference center and roof top lounge come 2018. Nice!

So, our more astute readers probably noticed the word almost in the above paragraph. Well, even though we had a nice meeting we cannot expect perfection. There were two public commenters. And both of them suggested that the county council work together. Our second commenter, a nice young fella, made the understatement of the year by saying that there was a slight perception that there was some contention on the council. But the point was made and well taken! Except for Kirby who was too busy scrolling on his phone:

Kirby! Damnit!
Kirby! Damnit!

We will not let him kill this good feeling though! Tonight was a good night citizens of Frederick County! A good night indeed. So how can we can convince the aldermen of Frederick City to start attending council meetings?

Summer Reading List

We here at Local Yokel are looking forward to some well deserved reading time. We love you, our faithful readers, and would like to share what’s on our must read list. This is an ongoing feature so please check back for updates!

 

Coming soon or whenever the council approves the historical designation.
Coming soon or whenever the council approves the historical designation.

 

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Dear FNP Editorial Board, Are you new here?

We are scratching our heads and winding our butts over here digesting the editorials from Tuesday and Sunday. Or whenever they are from, the dates online and the shuffling of the deck makes it hard to keep track. His own, worst enemy is from Friday or today, and it kind of piggybacks on the Sunday editorial they published online on Friday, possibly. At the time it wasn’t chronologically challenging, just chock full of dubious logic. Maybe this is some sort of device to round out the feeling of being shaken like a martini while trying to follow the thoughts here, which can now be summed up as, “Everyone is right. Also, everyone is wrong.”

Oh, say can you see...? Because we're not seeing it.
Oh, say can you see…? Because we’re not seeing it.

For our part it seems a lot like they need a reason over there to try and sympathize with Kirby, because some of the people they’d like to have read and buy the paper think he is the bee’s knees. But, it’s such a stretch especially to call Jan to task because they have so lately noticed that the executive role is pretty powerful.

According to county attorney Michael Chomel, the power to issue an executive order is inherent in the position. However, it is not specifically addressed in the charter.

Gardner shouldn’t be using a power without first having a public discussion about what that power entails and its scope. As it is, she appears to have claimed for herself an alarming amount of authority under a nebulous, unspecified provision, not approved by those voters who supported charter government.

The nerve of this woman: deciding that the ethics commission’s opinion was inadequately ethical, then doing something about it in alignment with bipartisan support – notably public support from our hero Bud Otis (R-easonable) in the office of Council President. Checking the newspaper comments section and social media, it’s also clear that Jan is doing what people on both sides of the aisle have hoped from her. The FNP is coming alarmingly close to the insinuations that Billy and Kirby and Co are using. They go on to say that none of her supporters would be comfortable with Blaine Young and this kind of power. Oh hahahahahahaha, we are going to laugh til we cry about that. On that point they are correct, but in what sense is this Jan Gardner’s fault? It is almost as though this role was tailor made for him and Kirby (and the usual suspects) to abuse to mutual benefit, and then the dynasty failed to coronate the chosen son.  If one can imagine such an absurd scenario. It’s like this was written by someone who has only seen the beautiful Frederick County in pictures.

Now, gracious me, Jan is acting like a queen! We wonder from whence such notions come!

If they wanted to criticize her actions, they should have stuck to the obvious point that she should have known Kirby would respond to this like a starving bear being poked out of his winter slumber with a stick Slim Jim. However, there’s nothing Jan Gardner will ever do that won’t evoke that reaction from some people around here, so it’s a point that doesn’t count for much.

NB: while we may disagree with the contents of these editorials, we are ardent supporters of the local media. Do imagine what kind of advantage the cronies would have with a vacuum in the local media. These things keep us locals up at night.

The buzz of Frederick County

It’s always interesting how two groups of people can come to two vastly different conclusions when looking at the same exact situation. This whole ethics opinion is a prime example of such a phenomenon. Jan, Bud, Jessica, Jerry and M.C. all  believe that the county should conduct it’s business openly and fairly. While Kirby, Billy and Tony believe that Kirby should be allowed to low ball everyone’s bids and snatch up all those county contracts for his own. Now, we always appreciate a good debate, but so far have not found one. Instead we been subjected to immature, inflammatory banter on WFMD and unbelievable rude behavior at a public county council meeting.

Then on this beautiful Memorial Day morning we see an article entitled The Genesis of a Relationship”  penned by no other than Mr. Delauter himself. So we reluctantly click the link, really not happy about giving The Tentacle any more web hits, to see what #KirbyDelauter has to say today. It begins with this sentence:

As you are probably aware, the buzz in Frederick County is about ethics. As it currently stands Frederick County has the same ethics laws as the state of Maryland.

Stop talking about this Kirby! You lost it's over!
Stop talking about this Kirby! You lost. It’s over!

Oh, we are aware. More than aware. Well, we read through the article trying to find something, anything that looks as though he has a leg to stand on. But instead…well just look:

It’s very disappointing to have this executive order come down with no notice, no meeting, and with Council President Otis backing it, without the courtesy of a phone call to me or any discussion whatsoever beforehand. What a coward we have in Mr. Otis. What a lap dog for the County Executive Gardner. His lack of leadership is the only consistent thing about Bud Otis. He is consistently bad at leading this council.

As I’ve said many times, I will continue to do what I said I would do: expose tax and spend policies, watch out for your tax money, and serve you honorably and with conviction.

Once you get through the smoke and mirrors of the Jan Gardner and Bud Otis sideshow, soon enough you will see who is a businessman/politician, and who the politician’s politician are. One looks out for others, the others look out for their own best interest.

We ALL know that Bud calling Kirby ahead of time would have only resulted in a verbal assault on Bud. There’s absolutely no other way that would have turned out. And the nerve calling Bud and Jan’s action a sideshow! We are sorry, but not allowing ONE councilman to hoard all the county contracts for himself does NOT mean that the county isn’t business friendly. And we really don’t know how in the world he can say he has behaved honorably this past week. If that was honorable behavior then we cannot even begin to guess what he would consider dishonorable. And how is he looking out for everyone’s else best interest in this situation? HOW?!

Once again we will reiterate the rather obvious point that if Kirby really wants to bid on county contracts, something he was not allowed to do as a commissioner, then he can relinquish his seat. Jan acted appropriately and totally within the law of the charter when she made an Executive Order stating that NO county executive or council member could profit from county contracts. This issue is settled. How much longer until the 3 amigos realize that and actually start doing something useful?

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