We are going to put forth a motion to re-name budget season! It will now be known as: “The time when the dead horses get their due!” We’ve been covering the council for two years now, and this time of the year is always the WORST. Kirby hasn’t trotted out his nonsensical budget thus far, but PATIENCE! For it will occur. Let’s get you up to speed on tonight’s beating  meeting.

Tony pulls the 3rd reading of his bill allowing farms to host events. Recognizes it had many faults and the planning commission was not going to approve it. Plans to bring it back at a later date.

Kirby wants a budget adjustment pulled concerning new fire trucks, and what’s that we hear?! Billy wants one pulled as well! He wants the Veteran’s court adjustment pulled. More on those two in a minute.  Billy wants to know who is running the meeting and he is ignored.  All is right with the world..for a moment.

6-1 in favor of approving the agenda. Billy is not, even though he got his item pulled.  7-0 for the consent agenda. Which is curious because didn’t Billy say that he abstained from all budget votes because he didn’t have enough information? 

Now, it’s time to talk about the fire trucks. You see folks, the fire department NEEDS a new ladder truck and four new pumper trucks. Turns out we don’t have any reserve vehicles in this county. AND the ladder truck they want to replace is 17 years old. This transfer needs to be approved as soon as possible because the prices will go up in June and they still need to secure financing. Local heroes, Rick Harcum and Lori Depies, along with representatives from the Frederick County Fire Department, explain the necessity of this. Well, well, well, you nice folks are going to get some Shrelauter and Tony treatment first! Kirby doesn’t think the old trucks are at their end cycle, and Billy doesn’t have enough info!! Tony says that it is “unfortunate” and “inappropriate” that they aren’t given all the information and they are just expected to “take one person’s word for it”.  Ms. Depies explains, ever so calmly, that the info Billy wants was sent to the County Executive since she is the signer and executor of the lease. The council’s job is to simply transfer the money, that was already set aside for this exact purchase, to another part of the budget. You see folks, it had already been decided to buy these trucks last budget cycle!  They’ve found  an alternative lease program. Instead of getting an operational lease, that you have to pay taxes on, they will get a capital lease that will be tax exempt! So, they aren’t arguing over whether or not to buy these trucks, as that was decided last year. They simply have to move the ALREADY allocated money from one part of the budget to another to SAVE the county some money. What do these guys even believe in anymore? Also, lease seems to be another trigger word for Kirby. For when it is said, he goes on and on about how his school lease back idea could have also saved the county lots and lots of cash!

696

Final vote: 5 Ayes, 1 No (Kirby) and 1 Abstain (Guess who?).

Not really sure why Billy pulled the Veteran’s court item, as it seemed to be because he wanted to let Judge Rolle talk about it.  Couldn’t that have been handled another way? That budget item was passed 7-0.  We did notice that Billy does use his manners around people he seems to like.

Constant Yield time.

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Yes, it was horrible. The rate is staying the same. Kirby has some questions, no wait, not a question, a clarification. Wants us all to know that the concept says, well, he’s not going to read the whole thing but, blah, blah, blah, it’s a tax increase. When it’s not. The rate stays the same, but here we are again:

696

There’s a heated discussion between Kirby and Jerry about how the BOCC raised taxes back in 2013 when they applied the fire tax rate to all municipalities. To which Kirby first says is not true, but then says they were playing a shell game and had to do the most fair thing. So…even if it was necessary Kirby, you still raised taxes. Why can’t those words leave your lips? Approval to have a public hearing over keeping the constant yield rate the same was passed 5-2. Kirby voted with Bud and the Democrats! Is the world ending?

Frederick County Hazard Mitigation Plan is passed 7-0.  Go to Frederick Alert and pick the notifications you would like to receive.

Last item before the break was the approval of transportation priorities. The top three are:

  1. Route 15 between I-70 and Route 26.
  2. Route 194
  3. Route 85 between Spectrum and Guilford Drives.

Passed 6-1, with Billy voting no.

Second half of the meeting begins at 7:00.