We’ve brought you two posts already about Kirby’s threat to run for County Executive due to the “unfriendly” business practices of the current administration. Turns out the businesses in question were not only operating without the required permits, but in the case of one, the Fire Marshall said, “No way, no how!” So Kirby’s been forced to send decrees through Facebook. In this first one, he’s told said business to ignore the county’s order:
According to The Frederick News Post story on this issue, here’s the reason one of the businesses was shut down:
Caboose Farm, near Sabillasville, was also prohibited from hosting events after getting a notice in March of similar permit and zoning violations, owner Peter Fedak said.
The business did not have building permits or inspections for improvements made to the property. Caboose Farm also violated the zoning ordinance, according to a March 2 citation warning notice from the Frederick County Division of Planning and Permitting.
Kirby then went on to accuse the County Executive of having a vendetta against county businesses. Even going so far as insinuating that maybe, just maybe this was some kind of political retribution. What is the logic when a business knowingly does not follow the law for close to a decade that they are somehow the victim? Let’s explore this topic further. First another excerpt from the FNP:
Gardner, however, said permit and zoning violations arose because of complaints, and not at her direction.
“This is not something that the county is doing,” she said. “People individually have not followed the required process.”
Gardner said county officials worked with Shade Trees & Evergreens to let the business continue holding events as it worked on compliance, but could not allow this weekend’s events due to concerns by the fire marshal about public safety.
“The reason why people have to have these uses and these permits is to ensure public welfare and public safety,” she said.
However, the county fire marshal was opposed, since the buildings and the septic system had never been inspected. Laxton said county officials denied the temporary permit. All planned events were canceled.
But Billy sees nothing afoul in this. As long as nothing bad has happen thus far, what’s the prob peeps?:
Councilman Billy Shreve said that since Shade Trees & Evergreens has run events for 10 years without problems, it should be allowed to continue during the permitting process.
“The county should go out and say, ‘We found these issues. We want to work with you to get you into compliance,’” Shreve said. “Absolutely, he should be allowed to stay open when he comes into compliance. That’s the way the county’s done it in the past.”
So they’ve been breaking the law for 10 years and nothing bad has happened so let’s let them continue! What if, Mr. Shreve, something bad did happen. Something along the lines of this?
Then we are oh so sure the rhetoric would be how very incompetent Jan is for allowing an uninspected, out of zone business to operate. Don’t pretend any differently, Billy and Kirby.
We like to explore the comment section of the FNP. And on this very article we found a very nice comment from former BOCC member Lenny Thompson:
That’s right, these investigations are complaint driven. And we do hope it was from a business that followed all the proper procedures, because how unfair is that? Can you imagine doing every thing that you were supposed to do, paying all your fees, getting all your inspections and then being undersold by someone who didn’t bother? And then on top of that have your local County Council member go to bat for them just because they are looking for any and all opportunities to try and embarrass the County Executive? We would be infuriated! We are infuriated!
Next on the Internets, Dave Schmidt host of Frederick’s Forum posted this wonderfully articulate analysis of the situation:
We couldn’t agree more! If you don’t like a certain procedure or ordinance then you lobby for a change. You don’t get to pick and choose what you want to follow and then act all outraged when you get caught! The logic Kirby and Billy are using to defend circumventing county codes and ordinances is just mind boggling. What in tarnation is the meaning behind arguing, “If nothing happens, it’s fine?” (And again, if something does, presumably that would also be Jan’s fault…damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t with these types.) Are we supposed to all place our children in a situation where they are the guinea pigs in the experiment to determine if the free market is successfully ensuring their safety. If they literally Die In A Fire, with the next kid, we won’t let them go to their prom if it is going to be held at the Regulation Free Prom Farm & Inn. Furthermore, what kind of county are we living in where our elected officials are encouraging businesses to not only ignore the rules, but to blatantly defy them? Kirby made these two replies to Dave’s post:
Did Dave run against Kirby? I don’t think so.