September 15th meeting roundup. How a question is different from an observation edition.

Hello Local Yokel fans! We didn’t think this would be a very long meeting, but hey, why do we underestimate people’s ability to waste large amounts of time on personal vendettas? Sometimes I think we should watch our neighboring counties’meetings to see if they are anything like ours. Truly curious to know if we are unique. Anyone with any knowledge of this please comment.

If you were following our drinking game you had to take a shot of the usual right out of the gate. And then blah, blah, blah, Billy abstains from the agenda. (Doesn’t that mean he should abstain from having any input on anything on that agenda?) Let’s move on to Budget Transfers:

Listen to the baby possum Kirby!
Listen to the baby possum Kirby!

Everything is going smoothly. Kirby says he has a question on BT-16-051, a project for the Public Works Division. The nice fellas from this division sit at the table expecting an actual question. For those of you who are parents, do you remember when your kids were young (or perhaps they are still at this age) and someone would ask them if they had any questions? Instead of actually having a question, which of course your child insisted that they did, it’s just a story or an observation. Well, that’s what happened here. Instead of asking them anything, Kirby goes on about some previous project (one that it turns out he wanted to bid on), making some point that we really can’t follow about the bids being over the engineer’s estimate and he swears it’s a comparison. The nice fella tells Kirby that he’s only prepared to talk about this project and does he actually have a question. The answer to that is no, just an observation. So why did you make them get up and come to the table Kirby? Billy abstains on all of the budget transfers, we know yawn!

Confirmation of County Executives Appointments. All pass.

Ethics discussion. Read this nice article in the FNP today that breaks down the changes the panel is suggesting the council make. Predictably, Kirby has something to say about it. He wants to know why we have a commission if the County Executive is going to override it. It’s a complete waste of time in his mind. The only difference being that now 71% of the board can now resign in protest. Billy isn’t much better when he tries to make a point about the quorum. Now 3 out of the 5 have to show up. This change will make it so that 4 out  of 7 will make a quorum. That’s one more person than before, Billy points out. Mathias tries to explain to him that there will be more people on the board and that this really isn’t a point that he wants to get mired down in. (We hear ya!) After this, some good discussion from just about everyone takes place. What about having the commission members appointed by an independent body? That’s worth discussing. But then Tony takes it in a different direction and tries to reject the entire bill promising that he will sponsor it in the future. That motion is defeated. There will be  county workshop on this on October 6th and a future public hearing. If you have any input on this be sure to contact the council before that date.

A break was put on the agenda to reconvene at 7:00. Billy doesn’t like that he has to twiddle his thumbs until then. Which could be a valid point if Bud could reasonably predict how long the first half of the meeting will take. But since he can’t……(Actually Billy’s last parting shot was: “Well let’s not make any decisions like that again.” Nice, huh?)

After Billy sat in his office twiddling his thumbs for an hour and a half, the council reconvened to take up two public hearings.

The first was concerning the bill to amend the Water, Sewers and Sewage Disposal code:

Remember during the first reading of this bill when Billy said the government shouldn't collect small fines? Well, poor kitty cat took him literally.
Remember during the first reading of this bill when Billy said the government shouldn’t collect small fines? Well, poor kitty cat took him literally.

This bill is to fine people $250 for taking water from hydrants. Last time Billy said the county shouldn’t take people to court to collect small fines because it wasn’t fiscally sound. And tonight he reiterated that notion by saying $250 is not enough to stop offenders. So is he advocating for making the fine larger? There’s some discussion of the WSSC method of giving contractors a meter, which is not feasible for the way we do things. Especially since our water and sewer department doesn’t have the manpower. Kirby has some reasonable questions here. This is the Kirby we wish we could see all the time. And the fine representative from this department is more than prepared to answer them. We like good questions. Not observations not so subtlety masked as complaints. Bill is moved on.

Next up is discussion of the expansion of the MedImmune facility. We will leave you with this article if you want to read more. Very ably presented by Helen and Company. Passed as well, with only Billy saying no.

Public comment was only two fellas this evening. Steve McKay gave a very informative comment about his take on the ethics law. (Can we see the power point Steve?) And hopefully his comments will be taken seriously.


Another commenter asked the council to look into some building code violations that were going to jeopardize his solar panel business. And we have to say we love how respectfully this man was treated. Let’s keep that level of respect going!

And now…Council Member comments.

So it’s not a surprise to any of us that Kirby and Tony are against the prevailing wage. And that they are encouraging the public to attend Delegate Afzali’s meeting tonight. But we’ve said enough about that so let’s move on.

Billy. If only Thor had sent down a thunderbolt to knock out the power, then we could have been spared this last bit of nonsense. Billy wants it to be known that Paul and Blaine were not issued their proper engraved invitations to sit before the dais of the county council. How could they have known when to come? (David Gray somehow figured it out.) Billy wants to make a change to the record so it’s known to one and all that they were not invited. He gets into a verbal back and forth with Chomel, who tells him that council member comments are not about making motions. But somehow it happens anyway. But not before Jerry Donald gives Billy a good dressing down as to how their presence before the council would not have made a difference. And, Jerry continues, the council didn’t ask for this issue, it was given to them and they need to make the best decision based on the record not what was going on in Paul and Blaine’s heads. Billy’s motion fails. As do we all when our time is wasted so egregiously.

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