We are going to need a GoFundMe to keep up with Billy’s antics.

Every day people. Sometimes twice a day. Billy’s horrible political instincts+ a complete lack of logic= endless writing opportunities. We’ve already had one today! Well, we can’t let this new issue go without comment.  If you follow our most idiotic council member on his Facebook page you may have noticed this:

 

 

We are back to tagging Blaine!
Look who’s tagging Blaine again!

Sigh. We’ve seen a variation of this going around the Facebook world for about a week now. We’ve been waiting for actual journalists to step up and investigate this story and oh did they ever.

(Side note: In addition to the Frederick News Post, don’t forget about Katherine Heerbrandt’s new website for all of your actual investigative journalism needs.)

In today’s FNP there is a story explaining both the county and the landowner’s (who just happens to be Billy’s uncle) side of the story. The widening of Ijamsville Road has been a years long project. According to the article,  in closed session, the BOCC voted to give Billy’s uncle $14, 230 ,which after a bunch of amenities were added on, got inflated to $109,233. The first issue here is that Billy claims he recused himself from the discussion of the property improvements, but maybe he sorta kinda came back in when the actual vote took place:

Minutes from the Jan. 24, 2013, meeting show that the improvements were passed by a 5-0 vote among the five-member board.

Nothing to see here people! Billy will never, ever admit he did anything untoward!
Nothing to see here people! Billy will never, ever admit he did anything untoward!

Why would you step out during the discussion and then come back to vote? Did not one person think that may not be a smart thing to do? Anyway…so a new form of government comes into being. Jan looks at this and thinks perhaps it’s way too much money to spend:

After Gardner was elected, county staff recommended in the Dec. 15, 2014, memo that the county go back to offering the property owners the original compensation amount of $14,230, or move forward with the project without using the property.

This past spring, the family told the county that they would not accept the lower offer on the easement, according to county documents.

The county ultimately decided to redesign the project to take property from the other side of the road and avoid involving the Olden property, Gardner said.

Obtaining an easement across the street cost about $44,000, which Gardner said saved more than $60,000 over the county commissioners’ plan.

“The prior administration was willing to add amenities to a property and pay well over the value of the property that was needed,” Gardner wrote in response to questions about the project. “This sets a poor precedent and could result in other property owners asking for similar improvements and payment well above property value. This could add significant cost to a project.”

So the landowner would not accept the original amount offered to him so the county said alrighty then we’ll just use the other side of the street. So how does that make the county land thieves? How is deciding not to pay someone over $100,000 a crime against nature itself? We are growing oh so very tired of Billy’s overreactions and tantrums that we seriously don’t know if we can make it through the next two years. It is so awful to have to listen to him drone on about things he knows nothing about, spew insults at Bud during council meetings and basically make us all look like a bunch of buffoons for electing him to an at-large council office.  And we really feel for the workers who are going to have to put up with this:

Olden said the project was an attempt by the county to crush the little guy and do whatever it wants.

He plans to sit outside the house to block any work on the property without his permission.

“I’m going to sit my big, fat ass on my property, and I ain’t moving,” Olden said.

In two years time, we have to make sure that the swamp we drain is the one that Billy stands upon.

You as well Billy! GET OUT!
You as well Billy! GET OUT!

Can we have one meeting where someone doesn’t complain about the nursing home? The answer, of course, is no.

The discussion of whether or not to approve the non binding Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)  began and ended with exactly the same point. This meeting was to discuss the county’s TIF (Tax Incremental Funding) bond of $2.8 million. That’s it. Doug Browning (nice to see you back Doug!) and Council Member Keegan-Ayer made that clear at the beginning and end of the discussion. That’s all the county has to consider at this point. Sounds easy, right? WRONG.

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Kirby wants it KNOWN that the agreement signed in 2014 with the city is not the same one they are speaking of now. Actually, as Council Member Donald points out, it is! Jerry tells Kirby that he can read it to him and Kirby says: You can read what is says but I am going to tell you what it means!!! That’s right folks, forget about all that vocabulary you learned during your fancy elite schooling because it doesn’t matter! Kirby will now tell you what all the words mean!! Isn’t that a relief?  He wants to make sure that all you jerks are not going to “pin this” on the last BOCC! Kirby rambles on about how everyone is being disingenuous dangling the carrot of Main Street money in front of municipalities. Because of course they will say yes to money! Durh! And finally, he would have never voted for this if he had known we were picking the winners and losers in the hotel business. Hmm, winners and losers… that sounds familiar. Where have we heard that line before?

True conservative Republicans would say that being open for business means no government restrictions, other than protecting the public, allowing the free market to dictate winners and losers.

That’s right, those exact words were in Blaine’s last column that he wrote for the Frederick News Post before that honor was taken away from him because of that unfortunate hotel thing.

Jerry makes some more points about the increase in tax revenue the county will receive and Kirby uses that opportunity to bemoan the nursing homes….again.

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Now Billy is waiting in the corner to pounce. He’s got a bunch of  nonsensical questions that all have a very reasonable answer. He tries with a mortgage analogy and fails miserably. Then he tries a car. Tells Doug and Richard it’s as though you are giving them a brand new car and saying here just change the oil and take care of the tires. But bless Richard’s heart, he turns the car analogy around and says: No, it’s as though they built almost the entire car, including the engine, and now they have to take care of it. Thank you for playing along with our village idiot sir.

We haven’t heard much from Tony lately, but he’s using tonight as his chance to step back into the spotlight. He’s doing his thing where he tells us he’s going to vote for whatever is on the table, however, you people are still going to listen to all of his objections to it first. The most curious was that he was lamenting the fact that Fort Detrick would be using a 4 star hotel to hold their meetings. He’s insinuating that those kinds of accommodations are way too nice for government employees. Jeeze, you greedy tax suckers, can’t you just be happy with the old waffle house down by the highway?

M.C. is exasperated by all this talk and tries to redirect the fellas back to the task at hand.  You are only voting on the TIF of $2.8 million (which is lower than what was agreed to in 2014) that will only be used for public improvements, STOP GRANDSTANDING!

No new business items to consider and they vote to go into closed session. Well, all except Billy, because he’s trying to get attention again. Meeting on whether or not they will vote on this MOU will take place on October 25.

What dead horse is getting throttled this week?

Nobody told your Lady Yokels that dead horse hunting season was now open in Frederick!  Surprisingly, this week’s dead horse doesn’t symbolize Jerry and Jessica lining their pockets with all those gold doubloons. What horse’s bones are Billy and Kirby beating this time? Take a gander:

 

If being on the hook for millions, that's right millions, of more dollars is solving the problem, then I guess for once he's right!
If being on the hook for millions, that’s right millions, of more dollars is solving the problem, then I guess for once he’s right!

What does Kirby have to say? Let’s summon him and find out:

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If he put this much time and energy into his council man job we would all be better off.

Now we are forced to summon the ghost of Mark Twain:

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We covered Kirby’s school construction workshop and Jan’s presentation concerning the acquisition of the nursing homes from Aurora. Why weren’t Kirby and Billy concerned about building schools when it was a developer free for all during the last BOCC? For, in a logical world, that would have been the perfect time to make sure our infrastructure and schools were up to snuff.  Why, also, did they vote against funding schools above MOE? It clearly could not have been a secret that the people who were going to occupy these adobes would have offspring that they would like to be properly educated. Or was it? But of course this is all Jan’s fault! Every last bit of it!

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More wedding venue drama in the county

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Kirby and Billy can you help?

 

Dear friends, we have noticed a petition circulating on Facebook whose subject is yet another wedding venue with zoning woes.  We are very surprised that we have heard nothing about the issues facing this vendor at any recent council meetings.

Here is the petition

We are going to admit that when reading this we had a few thoughts about why Shrelauter hasn’t brought this to the council’s attention. Keep in mind these are just guesses and as far as we know they are not facts.

  • Complaining neighbors are friends with # and/or Billy
  • Owners of said venue are not registered Republicans
  • Maybe Billy and Kirby just aren’t aware of this issue

We really don’t know much about this whole thing, but it seems unusual that they haven’t brought this up as a shining example of how the county is closed for business. Seeing as how #Kirby has been actively advocating that businesses sue the county for unfair treatment this silence is puzzling. Of course, it seems like this issue predates the charter government so perhaps that is the real issue. Or is this a real issue and they are only the champions of the lost cause? Enquiring minds want to know.

These council member comments are going to do us in….Your July 5th meeting report!

We'll let you decide who we are talking about.
We’ll let you decide who we are talking about.

We don’t know if the regular video person at FCGTV is on vacation, but whomever is doing it this week gave the Yokels a heart attack. After pouring a much needed cup of coffee one of your brave Yokel ladies clicked on the video archives.  She was very dismayed to see that last night’s meeting registered at 6 hours long! Now we love our readers and want to keep y’all informed, but we have things to do! Thankfully the time stamp was wholly inaccurate and we came in at 45 minutes.

We start off with the agenda vote with our favorite useless at large council member voting no.

We finally have a pre-meeting public commenter! It’s Patrick! If you know Patrick, please invite him to like our page. He congratulates Jenkins on the large heroin bust. He is very pleased with the new council form of government. He wants to refresh everyone’s memory of what it was like during the dark days of the BOCC. He very specifically tells folks to delve into the November 24, 2014 meeting to see how they operated. (Look away folks!) We love his final suggestion. Anyone who has been found to have engaged in human trafficking should not be eligible for election to county offices. We are behind that 100%!

Budget adjustments- 6 for 1 abstain. (Guess who!)

No comments on the police grant.

Approval of past minutes by all.

Resident agent designation will officially be the county attorney. Billy interjects by asking how will the council will be notified of lawsuits since it hasn’t been in the past. There is some discussion about how most of the lawsuits don’t have anything to do with the council and those that do are forwarded. Somehow we don’t think this will be enough.

1st readings go off without a hitch. 3rd reading is put aside until later.

Public hearings on Spring 2016 and Sewage Plan. No public comment and it’s approved.

Three proposed charter amendments:

  1. Notice requirement shrunk to 2 days from 2 weeks to change a bill.
  2. Notice requirement shrunk to 2 days from 2 weeks to make a change to the budget.
  3. Council given until May 31st to review budget.

No one came to comment. July 19th will be the third reading and then it has to be sent over to the Board of Elections by mid August to be put on the ballot for November. Citizens can also propose amendments. Mid August date still applies. Check with the BOE for the petition process.

Votes to go into closed session to interview County Executive Appointments. 7-0. This is new since Billy usually votes against it. We still haven’t cracked the code when it comes to his voting process.

Then here we are folks. Council Member comments. It’s a mixture of all we have to be proud of in this county and also our greatest shame.

Jerry goes first. Announces that the Frederick Food Bank is in desperate need of donations. Walking trail through Middletown Park will be officially opened on July 12. Brunswick has officially been designated an Enterprise Zone by the state. Reminds people to support their fire companies by attending carnivals and thanks county employees for helping him work on bills that he will propose in the future.

Jessica thanks Angela Spencer for her work on the Human Relations Commission. Encourages the public to follow all their local boards and commission.

Kirby remarks on the heroin situation here in Frederick. Another young person has succumbed to this drug.(Yokel aside- We do need to do something about our heroin problem (NOT NARCONON) and it’s going to take the whole community to brainstorm some solutions to this problem. Hopefully community involvement in tackling the heroin problem will not involve the toe stepping on law enforcement as Kirby claims studying human trafficking will do.) He then talks about three bridge dedications to our military heroes. One that recently took place and two that will occur in the future. We lady Yokels are 100% for honoring our local service people. We did see some disturbing intel on what took place at the first dedication. Some folks only wanted to invite people who were of their political persuasion and were miffed when those of other political philosophies showed up. FOR SHAME! Hopefully those involved in this disgusting behavior will not repeat it at the upcoming dedications. Then there’s the predictable rant against County Executive readings in which M.C. will address in her comments.Now it’s time for the wedding venue debacle. So Kirby’s argument is that since some county facilities aren’t up to code (his words) then what’s the prob? Why can’t private businesses violate them? From what we understand the buildings are being demolished because the actual owners of the land wanted them torn down. We don’t know what kind of government official advocates that a business continue violating safety laws because no one has been hurt yet!

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He’s having a meeting today at 1 pm with the BOE and Rick Harcum to talk about his public funding idea of schools.

Tony is going to have a Town Hall in Urbana in the next 2 weeks. Date to be determined.

Shreve wants to know what kind of venue the council will have to address public needs. This is because of his complaints about the landfill. We thought it was adequately explained to him that he needs to address the public concerns by writing a bill and then having public comment on said bill, but he sat up there and called that process elitist again. So we don’t know what else to say. He then goes onto congratulate FCPS for winning a public relations award and we can barely believe our ears. But the award was partially given because of the Classmates for Life video competition. So that was really just about him.

M.C. Keegan-Ayer wasn’t going to comment, but Kirby’s statement changed her mind. She points out to him that the council has a workshop on each of the County Executive’s proposed bills before they get on the agenda. So that would be the appropriate time for him to voice his concerns. Kirby tries to argue the semantics of this, is quickly shut down. Because big surprise he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Bud talks about a brainstorming session about the new Veteran’s treatment court and reminds everyone that Frederick will have a fireworks show on July 24.

July 12th is a workshop and July 19th is the next legislative day.

Meeting of the minds: city and county edition

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Tonight there is a joint meeting between the county council members and the city’s board of aldermen.

So Fancy!
So Fancy!

 

These meetings usually go fairly well, so we are hoping for another cooperative pow wow between these two branches of our local government. On the agenda are these four items:

a. Frederick Municipal Airport – Tim Davis, Planner, City of Frederick Planning Department

b. Frederick Community Action Agency (FCAA) – Mike Spurrier, Director

c. Economic Development Department- Richard Griffin, Director of The City of Frederick Economic Development Department and Helen Propheter, Director, Frederick County Office of Economic Development

d. Briefing on potential funding methods for an oversize gym at Butterfly Ridge Elementary School – Kirby Delauter, County Councilman

Things may get a little dicey on the last one. We reported last week on Kirby’s presentation of his “potential funding” and so far it doesn’t look feasible.  We’ll see how he tries to dress it up for the city government.

Your Yokels’ thoughts and ideas about teacher salaries

We know Whiskas, we know.
We know Whiskas, we know.

I know it isn’t pleasant, but for a moment let’s take a trip down memory lane. Back to the dark days of the BOCC when the education budget wasn’t funded above the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) required by law. People came out in droves to testify before the BOCC, to no avail. This frustration helped usher Jan Gardner into office in 2014. To her word, County Executive Gardner has increased funding for our county schools. This year she allocated $10.5 million over the MOE funding from the previous year. County Superintendent Alban wanted $13.8 million for salaries in order to revamp the pay scale. The BOE slowly shook it’s collective head from side to side and reallocated $7.4 million from the salary pool. We think the title of FNP’s coverage of last night’s meeting kinda says it all:

Board of Education slammed by teachers, community during final budget approval

We know budgeting is hard, and there will be winners and losers. However, the teachers are sick and tired of being the losers. Every single year. And we are sick and tired for them. Friend of the Yokel Casey Day-Kells was quoted in the paper as saying this:

The FCTA secretary, Casey Day-Kells, offered an alliterative description for how teachers are feeling: “disheartened, discouraged, disrespected, demoralized, dismayed, depressed.”

“Not only one, is the scale broken, but at this time, so are many of your employees,” Day-Kells said.

You business people out there know that demoralized employees are not good for your bottom line. And while we know our county teachers are professionals who put on their best face every day, we can’t help but think this will affect how they perform their jobs.We want to help come up with some solutions, unlike some of our county politicians:

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Sorry to have to keep using this one folks. But it's kinda not our fault.
Sorry to have to keep using this one folks. But it’s kinda not our fault.

We are going to try to follow this logic. So since the BoE cut the money from salaries , Tony should have been allowed the amendment to do away with over $6 million from the total budget because that would have made this all better…how? So confused. Are we to forget the past, Mr. Delauter? Are you now painting yourself as a “friend of education” who has no problem raising teacher salaries???!!! PLEEAZZZEE!!! What about all those years you voted to keep the budget at MOE and therefore directly contributed to this problem? And how about that other time when you cut that Head Start program because all the women should be at home with their kids baking your pie? Our memory is long and detailed, councilman. As for the teachers voting on their salaries, we’ll let the above gif take care of that. We can’t keep addressing that issue over and over again. We just can’t. But, it sure seems like a hollow complaint, when the “get rich quick plan” to become Frederick County’s brand new council member teacher millionaire hybrid class is nakedly hogwash. Obvious to literally everyone with two brain cells to rub together is that they are not able to control that money pot.

Now onto our Yokel brainstorm. Since we cannot guarantee that money allocated to the school system will be used to increase salaries how about a special little tax increase that is specifically and only for this purpose?  Now before you get all:

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on us, just hear us out. Things cost money people. And yes, the government should do the absolute best job it can spending it wisely. (That doesn’t mean cutting just for the sake of cutting, Kirby!) However, sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to and in order to get what we want we have to pony up!  So let’s say that we have a special fee just for this purpose. Whatever goes into this fund can and will only be used for salaries. The CE, Council, and BoE cannot use it for anything else ever. Kinda like the Chesapeake restoration fee on your water bill. And it wouldn’t have to be much. If every county resident (census prediction is 245,322 for June 2015) paid $41 a year we would have an extra 10,058,202. If you spread that out in monthly payments it comes to $3.42 a month. If you are ready and able to add more, feel free. And if we ever have a year that our teachers are paid a competitive salary, we can take a break from it. What say you, Yokels? If you have any other ideas, please put them in our comment section. Let’s start a dialogue on  how to fix this so we don’t have to have this same cycle of disappointment year after year after year.