Wow!! What type of meeting is this?!

We had really nice workshop on dilapidated buildings yesterday! Here’s why:


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Quick! Someone hide those chairs!

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss, amongst the council and representatives of different departments, what the county should do when properties go into disrepair. Councilman Donald, who called for this workshop, gave us a run-down of what he wanted to happen. He said the purpose of this meeting was to explore an issue and come up with some ideas on how to fix this problem. We want to cry tears of joy at these words!  We almost forgot that some government officials are actually interested in discussion and fruitful debate! Who could blame us though? Look at the nonsense we’ve become accustomed to lately:

So, thank you for restoring some of our faith in our government folks!

There was a ton of discussion as to what should be done. We were given info on what is currently on the books:

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Given some examples of what other counties do:

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Plus, we were shown examples of some properties that have gone into severe disrepair:

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Issues of foreclosure and hoarding were also brought up. There are no easy answers, as Tony kept reminding us with his slippery slope arguments, since the government has to determine when someone is simply exercising their right to do what they wish with their property, and when someone is either endangering public safety and/or bringing down their neighbor’s property values. Most people were in favor of compiling a list of run down properties and also looking into passing some new legislation since the Maryland legislature recently passed a law that will help with this issue. Contacting the Department of Aging was also brought up when you happen to know that an elderly person is living in the property in question.

Since this was just a workshop, there will be more discussion and possible legislation in the future. Mr. Donald closes the meeting thanking everyone for , “a very mature and intelligent discussion”.  We are sure those words would not have exited his mouth had our two monkey wrenches shown up. Be thankful for small blessings folks!

Are we just going to watch it crumble?


This afternoon the county council will have a workshop on dilapidated properties and what the government should do about them. We can already hear the cries of the rights of property owners from our two bookends!

On Wednesday, the council is having another pow wow with the City of Frederick. Shrelauter tends to behave when in the presence of officials from other municipalities. Hopefully they can have a nice meeting.

Frederick & Blight: Oh, the drama


Your local yokel bloggers take a particularly dismal view toward representatives addressing citizens as though they are interlopers squeaking an un-greased wheel. The whole reason we’re banging on keyboards is to make sure local issues get attention–blight in the city is a doozy–so we’ll accept a certain amount of responsibility for loudly barking into cyberspace. To the same tune, we have come to expect a certain degree of dismissive attitude from our county. We’ve typically seen better from The City of Frederick. City officials and Mayor McClement should avoid doing anything that appears like those guys (you know the ones we mean). It’s just unbearable, and it really gets us riled up. Do we need some letterhead for city residents to use as well? Just to be sure no one forgets this is all about working together for our community.

It sounds as though it is assumed that too few people care about blight in the city for it to be a major concern. I would have expected the city to notice that people interacting with the City of Frederick’s Blight Problem Facebook Page are concerned, even when they have not heard from them directly. If you had lived/worked/passed by the Asiana Property since 2001 when it closed (14 YEARS FOLKS) you would be beyond fed up, too.  Perhaps that subtlety has been lost. Although the Asiana property is most often highlighted, other specifics to chew on include :

“The Old Carmack Jay’s” is a meaningless descriptor to anyone who has lived here less than a decade or so.

Whatever that crumbling facade is next to Downtown Piano Works, it is a mess that is preventing the core of Frederick from truly taking off, considering its proximity to the “Square Corner.” With that amazing location, it is a real shame. Given the expense that has gone into creating the lovely Carroll Creek Linear Park, it is sad to see that bringing everything down. Worse, the sidewalk is never cleared after snow. At times it is extremely dangerous.

It is absolutely true that we should endeavor to be respectful in our interactions with our representatives. This is plain good sense, and it improves the probability that we will see our desired outcomes. But, we do know that old saying that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. A fourteen year old wheel needs lots and lots of grease. Keep it civil, locals. It is true that frustration gets people’s tempers going. City slickers, bear in mind that is a two way street.

Grease the wheel via Mayor McClement’s email address