As we embarked upon the 2 hour and 2 minute video of this workshop, we already had some idea of what we were in for. Our good friends at Stand Up Frederick and RALE did some posts that we read with great interest. Still, we were not prepared for the soliloquy from this guy:
And we know, that this is a very painful meeting to endure. But, we can not underscore the importance of suffering through it, just to completely see just how much more Tony is worried about the building industry than he is about adequate school funding.
In a feeble attempt to show how the current formula to calculate enrollment is oh so wrong, he pulls out birth data from 1954. The year we think he must still live in. Does he have an alternative way to calculate how many kids may need schooling from a proposed development? Of course not. He does know that only childless Millenniums and retirees are going to rent those new apartments in Urbana. So maybe he is in possession of some kind of crystal ball magic that the rest of us can’t access.
Tony throws out so many numbers and questions every calculation. He is so confused and wants to try to make everyone else confused too! In his own words, he is “harping” because if we don’t look out for the builder, the builder won’t build and then where will we be? Maybe, if we don’t build, we won’t have overcrowded schools? He continues to explain that is our job (the county?, the Council?) to take care of schools, roads, fire safety, but NOT at the expense of the builder!! Not one ounce of concern did we see towards the people he was elected to represent.
We get treated to the term “voo-doo” economics, something we haven’t heard since we were wee little lasses. And man, Tony does not react well to people pushing back against him. He badgers and uses that condescending tone when, Zeus help them, the county staff cannot find a good way to answer his inane questions or outlandish accusations that they are not being “genuine” about how much money is coming in. Even Billy had to tell him to keep his trap shut.
What Councilman Chmelik completely ignored over and over is that the mitigation fee that builder’s have the option to pay, is only an option if the adequate public facilities ordinance is not met. If the AFPO is met, this fee won’t be charged. Even then, they can choose to finance the school for themselves or wait until the county has enough money to build another school. But it is oh so much fun to go completely ballistic over an optional fund that only finances less than 2% of the total amount of a new facility. That’s the Tony way.