At the 7:00 hour we embarked upon our scheduled public hearings. First up on the list was the proposed pilot program for medical marijuana. This is the third incarnation of this bill as there have been lots of concern. And honestly, while some valid questions have been asked, it seems a lot of the outrage is due to misinformation and fear of marijuana. We heard quite a few speakers refer to barbed wire and armed security guards. Something that is not required by the State bill or this proposal. There also seems to be some fear that all agricultural land is going to be turned into pot farms with hippies running wild and drug dealers shooting up the county. Former Sheriff Hagy, who happens to live next to the proposed site, spoke most rationally about the situation. He stated that this particular piece of property had greenhouses on it with a previous owner and it did not change the land from being a farm. Also, from a security standpoint he stated he did not see any substantial problems. Another speaker, who has actually grown medical marijuana, stated that the only security problems he has had is with law enforcement. There was a lot of talk of the evils of marijuana, devaluation of properties and crime. We hope that the Federal Government will sooner rather than later take marijuana off their Schedule I list. For it is a concern for all involved that the Feds could decide to step in. A final decision will be made on October 4th.
Next up on the docket is changes to the noise ordinance. County Attorney Kearney and Sheriff Jenkins gave a presentation to the council about how this needs to be changed. Jenkins argued that his office needs a real tool that they can use. Sheriff Jenkins even went as far to say: “Listen, this is harder to solve than a murder.” Currently, the noise ordinance is unenforceable because of the criminal standard that must apply. The proposed changes will make the 1st offence a civil citation and will expand the list of people who could issue citations. Kirby’s concerned about the hours(7am-10pm) and claims that most people have their kids on the bus by 6:30-7 so who cares if construction starts early? Tony would start at 4:30 a.m. if ya let him! Must have forgotten that only highschoolers get up that early and there’s plenty of people without kids in the school system or without children at all! Then he questions how loud 90 decibels is. The sheriff says he doesn’t know, and we are thinking durh internet! Which Tony finally consults! But as the Sheriff mentioned time and time again it isn’t just about decibels, it’s also about distance of your property from said noise and the length of time the noise is present. There appears to be a problem with people being inconsiderate with their music down county because there were an quite a few people from that area. Another issue is ATV’s and dirt bikes. Not the occasional driver, but those neighbors who decide to set up a track on their property and annoy everyone around them every single weekend. We wish that people would be more considerate of one another for noise pollution is truly unnerving. Remember way back when the American Army got Manuel Noriega to surrender by blasting loud rock music. It can cause anyone to lose their marbles. And since there’s always going to be that jerk we need the Sheriff’s office to have a tool to enforce this ordinance. An interesting fact we learned is that you can actually check out a noise meter from the Sheriff’s office and take your own readings. So, if you are having a problem with an unruly neighbor keep that in mind.
Public comments were limited to the very important problem of fracking. We are fully on these people’s side when we say we would like to see a ban to any and all fracking in our State and County!
After such a long meeting you might expect that it ended with many lengthy tirades from several of our council members. Nope not this night. They were all tuckered out after this marathon meeting. Kirby actual had no comments to contribute. Can you believe it?
Tony managed a short little tirade that even though he is not an accountant and not a lawyer, he is still required to pass budgets and make legislative decisions. Did he not read the job description before running for office? At any rate, even though he is not one of these so called experts, he thinks his opinion is still right and they are wrong. He thinks the charter needs to be rewritten to close the loophole that almost prevented the council from being aware that we sent Charm City’s money back. We’ll see if he works to make that happen.
Billy gave a shout out to MC for keeping the meeting running smoothly and he is looking forward to the noise ordinance workshop.
Jerry really wants all his constituents to contact him if they have positions they want him to be aware of on the issues that were discussed tonight.
Jessica is going to propose that there be a workshop on fracking. Thanks again to all who came out to speak.
MC thanks all that hung in for the whole meeting. She thanked the Independent Hose for their banquet. Thanked Fire and Rescue and Emergency personnel for all they do. Please attend the fair to support our local agriculture. Saturday October 15 at the Public Safety Training Center there will be a household hazardous waste drop off day from 8am – noon. also Frederick Community Health Fair on October 22 at the Frederick Fair Grounds from 9am -3pm. So take your hazardous waste and then get yourself checked out.
Bud expressed his appreciation at being able to attend the 9/11 ceremony that took place. The Seton center open house took place last week. The Sisters there take donations and have a sales center for the purpose of helping the less fortunate in our community. Bud attended the Brunswick Business Breakfast where it was announced that Weis is coming to Brunswick and the town is excited about that. Fix I 270 coalition is coming back and hopefully Montgomery County and Frederick County can work on solving some of our traffic issues. On October 25th there will be a workshop on the Citizens/Montevue report that Shreve has been asking for.
Both Bud and MC scooped Farm Bureau ice cream for FCPS students on field trips to the fair. They both enjoyed it and MC is sorry that she won’t be back another day so that you too can see her fall in the freezer while she tries to scoop.
And that’s a wrap. Phew.