Robert’s Rules of Pavlov…an exploration of a county workshop.

It's really something when that happens.
It’s really something when that happens.

We must start this post off with a hearty thanks to our Fire and Rescue volunteers and employees. The first part of the workshop was a discussion of proposed amendments to the County Code concerning Fire and Rescue Services. The gentlemen that presented the amendments were very professional and thankfully didn’t have to put up with any nonsense.

Second item on the agenda was amendments to county council procedures. M.C. was up first and she mistakenly uttered the word “ethics,” which was a GIANT mistake. She hasn’t received the memo that would have informed her when you say the word “ethics” this causes a Pavlovian response in Kirby that none of us have figured out how to control!

Even though M.C’s amendment had nothing in the world to do with Kirby’s county contracts or the new ethics ordinance or really anything to do with him, you just cannot say this word in his presence. If you do prepare for the outrage and hurt feelings and proclamations of: “Well you’ve got to just live with it.” So much nonsense. Jessica tried to explain to Kirby this was a separate conversation about a separate issue, but the damage had already been done. Seems like we are going to have to come up with a good synonym for ethics if we want to avoid a situation like this in the future. This amendment also spurs a whole Robert’s Rules tirade from Billy. He wants to borrow M.C.’s copy!!!! The Chief of Staff informs Billy that there are copies of the book in the Council’s bookshelf. And Bahaha!! Do you really expect Billy to know where that is? First off, Billy wants to know what version of Robert’s Rules we are following and if he read his own council procedures (which is only 15 pages man!) he would have seen this:


Then attorney Chomel reads off the definition of misconduct at meetings and it’s as though they have watched Billy in action! Seriously though, let’s help Billy out. Here’s an amazon link to the latest version of Robert’s Rules: make sure you ship it to:

Councilman Billy Shreve
Winchester Hall
12 East Church Street
Frederick, MD 21701

This way Billy will never be unprepared again! Or even better, you know what might help?

Robert’s Rules for Dummies

Choose whichever one you think is more appropriate!

M.C. also wants an amendment to eliminate the Treasurer position for the council. Her argument is that the Chief of Staff can assume that as part of their duties. Tony has some objections, says that if the Chief of Staff assumes this duty rather than an actual treasurer then we are not being transparent to the public. M.C. accuses him of being disingenuous about this, and hold on there lady…Do you not know that Tony is not accustomed to being questioned by the female human? This sends him into a petulant rage for the next 15 minutes. Refuses to vote on Jessica’s motion, on a totally unrelated topic.

Lastly, Billy’s amendments. The first one is DOA, because he cannot convince enough of the members that they don’t have enough time to speak during the agenda. His second one concerning public comment at the beginning and end passes with a change. The first session of public commenting cannot exceed 15 minutes. (We enjoyed Jerry’s comment about how if a member of the public cannot be articulate in their first 2 minutes it’s unlikely they will find their inner Abe Lincoln in the third.) After all, M.C. points out, we can’t expect county staff to sit around here all evening. Council member comments will stay at the end as will unlimited time for the public to speak. New Business is also allowed to be put on the agenda with the stipulation that no discussion will take place. Billy tried to say this was necessary because of the Great Wedding Venue Debacle of 2016, but he was quickly shut down with the voices of reason. After all, time is needed to gather all the necessary information to make a rational, thoughtful decision. So yes new items can be introduced, but no yapping about them until next time!

Next week is the big budget vote!!! Frederick politics is never boring this time of year!

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