The second half of last night’s meeting was a bunch of public hearings. Most of them from the desk of none other than Billy Shreve! We’ve already spoken to the fact that Billy cannot expect to do zero work for over three years, and then last minute put forth a bunch of well, nonsense, and think no one is going to notice! Let’s go through them one by one:
18-01- General Fund Mandate Reserve Increase. Lori Depies is at the mic to tell us why it would be a good idea to increase the reserve from 5% to 7%. No member of the public is on hand to testify. Jerry asks Lori if this change would be a step in keeping the county’s Triple A Bond ratings. She believes it is.
18-02- Billy wants the council members to take a planning education class. He did it online all by himself a bazillion years ago. Billy wants to know if he has to give an intro to each of his bill or can we just have the public hearing. SIGH! No one is in the house to speak to this.
18-03- Elderly and Retired Military tax credit. Ray Barnes is at the podium to tell us that the “3rd Floor” is not in support of this bill because it is more restrictive than the tax credit already in place. Mr. Barnes thinks we are better off modifying the existing program than putting this more restrictive one in place.
18-04- Zoning Violations. Billy wants a monthly report of ALL code violations so he can stay on top of things. You know since Jan is trying to put ALL the wedding venues and mulching companies out of business. Mr. Barnes is again in attendance to say the administration is not in support of this bill for a couple of reasons. First of all, this bill takes away the anonymous option to report violations. And secondly, two people have to report the violation before it can get investigated. There is an all so amusing discussion about the anonymous provision. Mr. Barnes argues that people should have the option to report anonymously, especially when they fear for their safety. In fact, about 25% are reported in this fashion. Not to the county mind you, they know the reporter’s names, but to the person that has the complaint made against them. I think we can all envision a few scenarios where this would make sense. RIGHT? WRONG according to Kirby! He thinks it is COWARDLY to make an anonymous complaint. If you need to make a complaint against your gun-toting, crazy neighbor, your neighbor should have access to your name and address. What’s the prob? Kirby says that anonymous reporting just opens the door to vindictive behavior. We can’t help but speculate that Kirby must have been on the receiving end of some anonymous complaints to be so strongly against them! Perhaps on his car wash? Or for peeing in his side yard? The possibilities are endless! Top scholar, Billy Shreve, adds that if 75% of people are fine with their name being released, so should the other 25% . What logic!
18-05- Billy’s very last poorly constructed bill has to do with public safety facilities exemptions. Billy feels that volunteer fire departments shouldn’t have to pay permitting fees on their social events. Mr. Barnes, who Billy has kept very busy this evening, disagrees. He states the existing tax credits in place for fire departments are adequate and the administration doesn’t want to open the door for all non profits asking for exemptions.
Billy then asks Mr. Barnes since he hates all of Billy’s very badly constructed bills, has he written any of his own? Ummm, is that his job? We think not.
The very last hearing is on Tony’ s bill, 18-06, Temporary Limited Wood Waste Recycling In the General Commercial Zone. Mr. Barnes wants everyone to know that he doesn’t oppose every bill that comes before the council, and he cites examples! But, this one is also terrible. Temporary is supposed to mean a year, with an option to extend if necessary. And, the administration does not believe that wood mulching is a good fit with other businesses in the GC zone. Billy goes on with the old racetrack crap he tried a few months back, and we fast forward the recording because we cannot listen to that crap again!
All bills will be put forth for a final vote in the near future.
No public comment, so it’s off to council member comments. HOORAY!
Tony passes. Kirby lets us know that Jan is obstructing jobs and none of this is rocket science people! Or Kirby wouldn’t be running for the CE position in the first place! Durh! According to Kirby we shouldn’t even be here discussing these things, and if it were up to him, he would have this whole Jefferson Technology Park thing settled in 6 seconds! He leaves us with these words: “It’s ridiculous! Make a decision!”
Jerry informs us that 23% of the Seniors eligible for the county tax credit don’t take advantage of it. So, the county is hosting some information sessions to make Frederick County Seniors aware. While the AV person tries to figure out how to project the dates, this happens:
Technical difficulties are addressed and we are presented with these dates:
Billy wants to know why we were aren’t just mailing notices out to people. Isn’t it cheaper to research all the Seniors who aren’t taking advantage of the tax credit, print out letters and then send them off? We don’t know and we are SURE he doesn’t either. But, why does he have to be such a jerk about everything?
Jessica thinks we need a standardized process for all of the council bills that begin with a workshop. She also alerts us to the fact that Billy’s education bill has language in it that’s illegal. Specifically, you can’t ban council members from voting just because they didn’t take a class! Man, he’s bad at this.
M.C. has nice announcements about things going on in the community. Bud ends the meeting by letting us know he likes the new communication procedures that are being implemented between the County Executive and the council. There’s a meeting tonight between the council and the BOE. These usually go pretty well, so if anyone notices anything out of the ordinary, be sure to alert us!