Post-April-Fool Council Thingy

Hey, there’s a council thing. We’ve been pretty relaxed since the new Council was sworn in. There’s only so much picking on Phil Dacey that we can do. We will eventually get caught off guard and end up scrambling, what with this laissez-faire attitude. But tomorrow’s a legislative day at Winchester Hall. You might want something to do if you’re watching Channel 19, and we are here to help. With drinks!

On the agenda for public hearing we have Water and Sewer Amendments (ugh–as essential as this is, it is always painful to listen to). Pass your time by mixing a Toilet Water cocktail ahead of the Monocacy River Plan Amendment discussion at the end of the agenda, and save your liver for then.

The ridiculous Billy O’ here to say: May your toilet water stay down,  Sláinte!

Or if you’d rather, as part of the public hearing is the Jefferson property of Oakland/Crown Rose listing on the County Register of Historic Places, enjoying a Rose Water Gin Cocktail is the only genteel way to give the proper attention to this pressing matter before the council.

Don’t get too relaxed. There’s going to be a Developer Rights and Responsibilities Public Hearing (DRRA) as well , and as we all know, people who live here don’t want to foot the bill for the roads and schools for new construction, and obviously developers don’t think they should have any responsibility (which is ultimately passed along to the home buyer). It’s a tale as old as time…Have a Hissy Fit.

Pick yer poison!

 

Oh man, how did Xenu sneak back in here?

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FFS

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we aren’t fans of the Scientologists. There’s been so much information from former members, and family of members, that show that this organization is no bueno. Way back in 2015, they bought a piece of property near Thurmont on which they wanted to open a Narconon facility to treat drug addicts.  ( You can read our stories from that time period here.) The problem? They have no idea what they are doing. In fact, these facilities are dangerous and have been shut down in other jurisdictions. The story in today’s Frederick News Post also talks about the 4 deaths in 200 bed facility since 2009.

We checked case search every now and again, and kept seeing that the Scientologists were given extension after extension and extension. This week some compromise was met that will allow them to have an 8 bed facility. Why even bother? Hopefully they won’t be able to sucker 8 people, who are desperate and therefore very vulnerable to this kind of thing, into their “facility”. Sure we have a huge opioid problem in our county, but sticking people in saunas isn’t the answer to it.

Where, oh where has our High Sheriff gone? Oh where, oh where can he be?

The answer to that question is a big ,”YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW”!

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That’s right Fido, sometimes it’s better not to know!

 

On the very same day that a horror of a human being decides to massacre innocent people AND praise the likes of Dylan Roof, Donald Trump, and Anders Breivik, our “leader” decides to hold a travesty of a public ceremony.

What kind of ceremony you ask? How about one in which he vetoes Congress’ bill that stated his emergency declaration was some line stepping b.s.!

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Time will tell if Congress has the courage of their convictions to override this veto!

At this ceremony, Trump declared that white nationalism has not increased under his regime AND called many immigrants “stone cold criminals”! ON THE VERY SAME DAY ALMOST 50 IMMIGRANTS WERE KILLED BY A WHITE NATIONALIST!! A white nationalist that praised President Trump. Let all that sink in while you stick your mouth under the nozzle of a box of wine. And lest you think he had to do this today, he didn’t. He has 10 whole days per the U.S. Constitution.

What does this all have to do with the High Sheriff?

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Is he on the White House speed dial these days? Every time the President needs some patsy to stand against Mexican and South American immigration he’s right there in all his finery! A sheriff from a small town in Maryland!

 

We can’t help but to be jealous of the fact that the New Zealanders have a leader who actually knows how to lead. Someone who doesn’t blame “both sides” when something terrible happens. You can read her whole statement here, but here’s some of our favorite lines:

These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and, in fact, have no place in the world.
While we do not have any reason to believe at this stage that there are any other suspects, we are not assuming that, at this stage. The joint intelligence group has been deployed and police are putting all of their resources into this situation.
For those of you who are watching at home tonight, and questioning how this could have happened here, we — New Zealand — we were not a target because we are a safe harbor for those who hate. We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism. We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things. Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it. And those values, I can assure you, will not, and cannot, be shaken by this attack.
We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages. And amongst that diversity we share common values. And the one that we place the currency on right now — and tonight — is our compassion and support for the community of those directly affected by this tragedy.
And secondly, the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this.
You may have chosen us — but we utterly reject and condemn you.

 

 

Take note orange man, that is how you talk when white nationalists show up. Not a condemnation of both sides.

Build the wall! No, not that wall!

Folks, this evening our fine county council hearing was infiltrated by a bunch of Carroll Countians trying to tell us what to do! Carroll County!

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M.C. tells the room at the beginning she isn’t taking any nonsense. Three minutes is all y’all get! And don’t think you can come in and put your name above other people on my list! We love it!

These people have come decked out all in red to give us some dire warnings! But mind you they aren’t anti-Frederick County!

Red is apparently  the color of the evening:

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What is this?

 

Here’s some quotes from those in favor of the river plan:

“We had to take valuable time from our family, friends and jobs to protect our property rights!” Ah, no you didn’t.

“You vote against this plan, you will have no plan!”

” I have no dog in this fight, but I am a supporter of the Constitution!”

“Politics is driving this process in Frederick County”

“There is no need for regulations, because the Monocacy River is already getting cleaner!” On its very own we suppose.

“I see a lot of people in red.” (Turns to audience in a ridiculous attempt at theatrics to have the red shirts stand. Then comments.) “The minority is laughing.” No lady, we are all laughing!!!! And just in case you didn’t know, Carroll County: just because you brought more people to the meeting doesn’t mean you are the majority. Our Frederick County Council does not bow down to the likes of you people!

“It will be sad to see a political agenda destroy our plan!”

“Before the election, nobody wanted to support that thing!”

Another Carroll County guy uses his time in the White House situation room as to why we should pass this plan.

“Frederick County is hostile towards the river!”

“Some of you know it’s the right thing to do but won’t vote for it because of your political handlers!”

Something about socialism..blah, blah, blah! What do words mean again?

” I am concerned about the perceived land grab!” Yeah, perceived is all it is!

Is your head about to explode yet? Why do these things always descend into a Parks and Rec public comment parody? And why are people who have things like this happen in their county:

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How dare they slither across our border and illeaglely insert themselves into our local democratic process?

Trying to tell us what to do?!

There were heroes in blue as well:

“I’ve heard people say things like: My property rights are more important than the river.”

“The Monocacy contains dangerously high levels of nitrates and phosphorous!” Not to mention the fecal matter!

“We need a Frederick County science based plan!”

“The plan is a travesty! I was horrified at the bullying and sarcasm displayed by the Carroll County members of the river board to anyone who didn’t share their beliefs!”

“This really short changes Frederick County. Carroll County does not use the Monocacy as a drinking source like we do.” Also gives examples of the rude behavior of the Carroll County members of the board.

“The reason we have a Monocacy River Board is to protect the Monocacy River.”

“Property ownership doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want with your property.”

“The health of the Monocacy River should be a property right.”

Why does it seem like all the scientists testifying are against this plan? Hmmm.

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This Carroll County farce of a plan cannot be passed! Maybe we should have a hearing to build a wall to keep these people out of our public hearings!  Unless, of course, they are willing to take the #monocacydrinkingchallenge!

 

 

A Call to Action: Pro-clean water commenters needed at this week’s Monocacy River Plan hearing!

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Sigh.. How many times are we going to have to go through this?

 

Man, are we tired of beating this dead horse. For some reason there are a lot of folks out there, mainly spurred on by the Carroll County faction of the River Board, who are claiming that this plan is a government land grab. There’s even this email going around, encouraging people to show up at Tuesday’s night’s hearing in red t-shirts protesting this non-existent threat! (Why red, folks?!)

Here’s a little taste of the email:

2/26th is the Big Day at 7 pm, Winchester Hall, 12 E. Church St. Frederick (parking garage across street)

If you care about your property rights and the rights of others, PLEASE attend the final public hearing and send an email in right now to the politicians voting on the River Plan (sample emails attached). We need to keep the heat on when it matters most right now, to flood Winchester Hall with people – and bombard the County Council with emails in support of adopting the successfully revised 10/3/18 Monocacy River Plan.

Don’t quit when we’re almost at the finish line after nearly 2 1/2 years of speaking up to defend property rights. Your voice matters most now!

This issue is about preventing government over-reach and protecting private property rights.

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Because should the govt unnecessarily reduce or diminish the property rights of some citizens – it diminishes the rights of ALL citizens.

On FEBRUARY 26TH AT 7 PM, THE LAST & MOST VITAL PUBLIC HEARING ON THE MONOCACY RIVER PLAN WILL BE HELD AT WINCHESTER HALLI N FREDERICK. YOUR ATTENDANCE AND EFFORTS TO SPEAK UP IN SUPPORT OF ADOPTING THE SUCCESSFULLY REVISED 10/3/18 RIVER PLAN IS CRITICAL TO HELP PROTECT CITIZENS’ PROPERTY RIGHTS. EVEN IF YOU DON’T SPEAK, SHOW UP (AND WEAR RED IN SUPPORT OF PROPERTY RIGHTS).

ALSO, IT’S VITAL TO SEND YOUR EMAILS IN TODAY TO SUPPORT ADOPTION OF THE 2018 RIVER PLAN!

Sent to: councilmembers@frederickcountyMD.gov, jgardner@frederickcountyMD.gov

It’s easy…send the email now. Just do it. Cut and paste from attached info and sample letters or do your own thing. But do something to act and urge the County Council to adopt the successfully revised 10/3/18 River Plan that protects both The Monocacy and citizens’ property rights. Send in emails before the 2/26th hearing and attend the hearing too.

It’s really important as the County Council counts emails to gage support. Don’t let all the hard work we’ve done for 2 1/2 years go to waste. Don’t go silent when we’re close to rounding home…even if you’re burned out on the River Plan…do not give up now when your action (and voice) is needed most. Those who are hoping to foil this successful revised River Plan that protects property rights – are hoping we’ll just tire and give up. It’s a known strategy to drag things out so long, that citizens give up. Don’t let this happen.

Think about property rights – do they matter or not? Of course they do!

 

The only good thing about all this very tiresome nonsense is that we get to bring this out of retirement:

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First of all, let’s go to The Monocacy Scenic River Management Plan Update Fact Sheet:

The River Board’s 2017 Recommended Monocacy Scenic River Management Plan (“Recommended Plan”) is an update of the 1990 Plan. It describes the River’s ecology, environmental resources, natural & cultural history, and also contains recommendations for enhancement and protection of its corridor.

The Recommended Plan is not a legally binding document. It is similar to other County Plans such as the Historic Preservation Plan, and the Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan that only provide recommended actions and policy guidance to the River Board and the County’s governing body.

We’ve also written about this quite a bit over the last year. Click here, here, here, here, and here to catch up. There’s also an excellent LTE that eloquently explains that though the land may belong to landowner, the water belongs to all of us. We are still waiting for Billy and all other supporters of water pollution to take the #monocacydrinkingchallenge!

And, just in case you need an example of what an actual land grab looks like, go ahead and read this article.  Or if you need a more modern example, here’s another. 

Go ahead drag out your blue t-shirts and plan on commenting against hyperbole, misinformation and for a clean river. If you can’t attend, email the council with your thoughts!  Enough of this nonsense already!

 

It’s Land Grab Day!

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Sigh.. How many times are we going to have to go through this?

Tonight the council is having a workshop on a variety of issues:

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We can just imagine all the folks lined up to talk about the erroneous belief that everyone’s land is getting snatched up by the River Plan. Which is a list of suggestions, not even a law, and which basically is trying to save the river which all of us have a vested interest in since, you know, we kinda need water to live. Which now gives us a Yokel flashback to when Billy said you could drink out of any waterway in Frederick and not get sick! I wonder how many of these naysayers would take the Monocacy River drinking challenge! Anyhoo, we’ll let you know how this all turns out!

It’s Awards Season–and we have some in mind for the 2/5 County Council Meeting

Your locals bounced into the show late mid-Monocacy River Plan Presentation and it does sound like the early part of the meeting was worth listening to because there were some comments made with bipartisan concerns about things that were eliminated from the plan and we don’t have the low down on that. Our chief take away really is that it is a plan. It isn’t legislation, although it may be the basis for crafting legislation that uses the plan as a resource. If that’s the case, then you get to go through the whole process that is normal when you have an elected public official you have to talk to. Part of the plan is specifically that eminent domain should not be used, so the entire land grabbing narrative is silly. Like so many things. And we will have to return to how representative democracy works later when we had to consume the entire bottle of Barefoot Bubbly.

They ticked through the public hearing portion of the bills the council is considering rather quickly, after a brief interlude of disco video game psychedelic electronica music. Who picks that stuff?

Then there was a discussion about bills for the council to offer support to or withhold sending support to for the state delegation, and holy moly. It would be appropriate to hit the sauce just so that we can address this in writing. We are going to award the nickname Philly to Phil Dacey, due to an uncanny likeness this evening to Billy Shreve’s confusion over Roberts’ Rules everything. Tonight he was incensed that they must quickly offer opinions on items they don’t know enough about. This would seem like a BFD, if it were true that the public never gets to weigh in. But here is the thing: the public elected Delegates and Senators and Joseph(ina) Q. Public is perfectly free to contact the people who will actually be voting on these bills to let them know what their priorities are. The council opinion is not meant to convey the constituents’ opinions, so much as it is meant to offer insight from the standpoint of officials who have a closer relationship with all the invested players in the business community and pertinent county agencies. And hey, we can understand if you aren’t familiar with this process that it seems a little crazy, but at least they asked for your opinion. You can give it, or not. And there’s a little foreshadowing for you folks…

First they were to offer support or decline to support a bill to establish a registry of private laboratories that have biohazardous materials so that in the event of an emergency the first responders know about the biohazards. This is of particular concern to Frederick County for reasons that are hopefully obvious to most everyone. Steve McKay referred to this bill as a “no-brainer” because (per his explanation) basically we are talking about nasty stuff that is one step away from being weaponized. Philly indignantly snapped, “Are you implying the state delegation has no brain?” There was more agony with the hand wringing over not knowing anything about this and having to decide in a hurry (glug, glug, glug) and Kai piled on, seconding the “no-brainer” quality of this needed legislation. I mean, whoever heard of it being a big deal if anthrax happens to get out into the environment, right? Oh and also this has come up thrice already with unanimous support from the Council in every previous year, but it has passed the House of Delegates and failed in the Senate repeatedly. Jerry Donald contributed that Ron Young is optimistic that it can be passed at long last because the thorn in the Senate is not longer in office. Fingers crossed. 6 ayes, 1 abstention on this one. You can’t make this stuff up.

Phil Dacey gets the “Abstinence-Only Doesn’t Work” Award. In this case it literally means you aren’t working. Sigh.

That he was getting nowhere with tabling the opportunity to give an opinion to the delegation started to really grate at Dacey, and in turn agitate your Yokel on duty. The next one was somewhat confusing, because of a sort of double negative setup. Here’s the query: Should the Council oppose including Frederick County in State Legislation exempting Agritourism businesses from being required to meet certain life safety building and zoning standards.

Some of the more interesting work of the previous Council was working to have farm wineries and breweries and allow special events in these spaces. Because many of them are charming old barns they are susceptible to certain safety hazards (like flammability), and so this having been a thing that was extensively cultivated involving the various interested parties like brewers and vintners and farmers and county agencies, the thinking was, “Nah, we’d not like to have gone through all that and have these things exempted from safety measures.” Fire safety regulation has had its opponents previously, if you followed the rogue wedding venues dramas of the past year or so. (If not: Here, here, here.) Philly moved to table the opportunity for opinion giving. Back and forth and forth and back and then got snippy that he had a motion and M.C. had to explain that nobody seconded the motion, and then no one did, so the motion failed.

And.

He.

Kept.

Going.

There was so much whining and undignified begging. It was truly disrespectful of the process that he was so desperately trying to knight-in-shining-armor save from itself. Steve McKay and Jessica Fitzwater both said they were comfortable with taking a position, because it was a position not to do something rather than a position favoring a new measure. We have to disagree here. That is entirely beside the point, which is up above, but we will revisit. We are all free to contact our representatives in Annapolis. That is how government works. We don’t need it to pass from us through Kai Hagen and Michael Blue or whomever. Annnnnd…On that note, we are so terribly remiss in bestowing an award of gratitude upon Michael the Miracle of District 5–this is such an improvement from He Who Shan’t Be Named. With that, we will end on a positive note. Deep breaths.