It’s public hearing time, budget edition.

Grab your agenda, and hold onto your liver. Tonight both the Board of Education and the Frederick County FY 2020 budgets are the topics.

This is your chance to go and speak your piece. We can’t wait to hear all the legitimate well thought out commenters. Just pick your favorite beer and drink whenever someone says something uninformed.

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Don’t force us to use this in reference to you.

The budget has passed, and get out your smelling salts because we agree with the High Sheriff on something!

We were in and out of the meeting this evening. May is really something for your gang of Lady Yokels. All of us have youngsters and it seems as though this is the month that we all have to be in a million places at once.

We were lucky enough to catch some of the people that came to public comment. They were all in support of the county safeguarding $500,000 that wasn’t used in the 2018 weather budget in order to enter a public/private partnership to open a detox center. Some very brave ladies told of their own struggles, and one let us know that when she was having problems she would have to drive down to MoCo for treatment. This passes without incident. The High Sheriff shows up after the vote and tells us that he supports this because we have a huge epidemic on our hands right now. This is what we would like to see him spend his time on rather than going on Fox News in his finery to talk about MS-13. So, brace yourselves people, but thank you Sheriff for reiterating the importance of treatment facilities in our fine county.


We missed the budget adjustments and some of the county executive appointments, but join up again when it comes to appointments to the ethics board. Thankfully all are approved WITHOUT incident.

There’s a lot of hullabaloo over the Comcast agreement. It’s a proven fact that people don’t like Comcast. And, because of that, the council got a lot of emails and calls telling them not to vote for this agreement. However, that would have been a bad thing to do. The fact is they hold a monopoly over this area. This agreement makes it so that both the county government and FCPS pay a lower rate for internet services. It also will give the county an HD channel. Kirby thinks it’s unethical that Jan took money from Comcast (note to selves: check Kirby’s donation list) even though she was not a part of the negotiations . And for that reason he will not vote for this “tainted” agreement. Attorney Chomel reminds them if they don’t vote for this, it will be VERY expensive for the county and therefore the tax payers. Sometimes you have to work within the system you have. Passes 4-3.

Tax rate is going to stay the same. $1.06. Tony, Billy, and Kirby vote against this. Presumably because they want it lowered. Which is very curious since they go on to lament the fact that the Fire Department needs more money. How do numbers work again? Jeeze people! If we cut the tax rate that’s less money! So, you cannot advocate for that and then lament the fact that we don’t have enough money!

Anyhoo, we are off to the approval of the FY 2019 budget. Tony puts forth a motion to strip $3 million for the non-uniformed county employees’ raises. Even though their salaries, like the fire fighters, are below par. The biggest problem with all of this is that the council can’t do this. And Tony knows it! He wants to, as Jessica puts it, rob Peter to pay Paul.


We can’t take money from one group of county employees to fix another. And the council can’t move around money period! Though we agree with Tony’s general premise that something needs to be done to strengthen the pay of our firefighters as they are essential to the safety of our community, this isn’t the way to do it. Billy offers no good commentary, so we’ll skip over the fact that he basically called  Fire Chief Tom Owens a liar when he stated that firefighters got vacation time. We are friends of our firefighters and hope that Jessica’s suggestion that they be given collective bargaining rights sees fruition. Kirby jumps in to tell us that his alternative budget would have cut out all that environmental crap that we are paying too much money for. Ignoring the fact that many of us would like to keep the environment in good shape AND many of these mandates HAVE to be funded due to state and federal laws. We are pretty sure he’s been told that about a gazillion times before. Tony’s motion fails.


Jerry then makes a motion to put $8,000 back in the budget due to Kirby’s Emmitsburg sidewalk fiasco. Jerry’s motion passes 5-2.

FY 2019 Budget passes 4-3! Thank goodness that Bud is back!

Emergency Management Assistant Director position is funded. Hopefully this helps. Passes 7-0.

Kirby and Jerry’s joint tax credit passes 7-0.

There is a hearing on a very nice development that will include some affordable workforce housing and some nice amenities! We love to hear about nice things!  And we got to see Mark Long, candidate for at-large county council and a representative of Affordable Housing give testimony!  This tax agreement is passed 7-0.

Ethics hearing also goes nicely.

Public comments are pretty tame, except for Kirby who uses this as a chance to grandstand about the Bussard Brothers and their not being fined, but how it’s going to put them out of business. But blah, blah, blah. There’s only so much energy we can give to these dead horse arguments.

Until next time!

Budget, ethics, and detox centers! This week’s meeting is full of good stuff!



This week’s council agenda is SUPER ambitious! So instead of alcohol we are going to suggest some funny sodas to drink. We need all of our Yokels alert and ready to vote next month!

We are going to skip the part where Billy votes against the agenda, abstains on the budget adjustments, and then maybe votes for the minutes and maybe doesn’t. Because…we are tired of him and if Facebook likes are any indication, we won’t have to put up with the likes of him much longer.

The council has lots of county executive appointments to fill, plus a separate motion to fill some spots on the ethics board. We know from past experience that Kirby gets triggered when he hears the word “ethics”, so if he should have any objections sip on a Mr. Aahh!

Then it’s off to a vote on the Comcast agreement, moving some money around to open a detox center, tax rate adoption, 2019 budget ordinance adoption, and a vote as to whether or note there should be an Assistant Director in the Emergency Management Division. Whew! That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? We predict this portion of the meeting will take a good long time, but we really hope the tax rate, budget adoption, detox center and assistant director position all get approved. If not, slam back a six-pack of Swamp Juice, since our swamp still hasn’t been drained all the way.

It’s also time to vote on Jerry and Kirby’s merged Senior Tax Credit bill which we predict will make it through. Afterwards Bud is going to make a motion to create a workshop on school construction fees. A contentious issue in these here parts.

Finally, we wrap the evening up with two public hearings. The first one concerns a tax agreement and the second…..uh oh! is an amendment to the ethics code!!! If this doesn’t go well, sip nicely on your Zombie Brain Juice. Since that’s what we are all in danger of becoming soon.


Budget season is upon us; let us not fall into despair. Your 4/24 council drinking game.

This evening’s meeting will include various amendments to bills on the table, as well as public hearings on bills that were amended last week. Take it easy on your liver as budget season is upon us and we are going to need gallons of moonshine to get through the line by line budget adjustments Kirby’s gonna give us!

We are 100% certain that Kirby is going to write an “alternative” budget again this year! Even though that is NOT his job as a legislator. Perhaps he should take the time to write his personal budget since it appears that one of his businesses owes beaucoup dollars to the government!

Since it is the last few months that Billy will be featured on the dais, perhaps we should savor his voting against the agenda, abstaining on the budget adjustments, and floundering back and forth on whether or not to vote for the minutes. On second thought, down a 6-pack of Raging Bitch if  when any of these things occur.

Amendments will be brought forth on two bills. The Senior tax credit amendments show that two polar opposites can come together in the name of good government. Sip daintily on your Family Drama to show that you appreciate the fact that we can have some time without tension in our Frederick County family.

Break until 7:00 (not a word Billy!), then we return for three public hearings.

The first hearing concerns Billy’s Elderly and Military tax credit which was so very badly written that the budget department had to make a special visit to the council to spell out the infinity changes that needed to be made. So, with no help from Billy, amendments were voted for and now the public has the chance to voice their opinion. So, when Billy takes credit for this bill in the future, drink a mind eraser in his honor.

If you didn’t get a chance to read just how awful the editorial board of the FNP thinks Billy is, click away!

We end the meeting on Tony’s satellite betting and Bud’s veteran’s advisory council bills. Take a break because look at what is coming later this week:

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Budget season is always stressful!!! Be careful out there!

A full agenda+a full liquor cabinet+Kirby’s announcement for CE=better make sure your insurance is up to date!

We think Tiger’s liver may be in trouble!
This month has had no shortage of drama! ICYMI, Kirby threw his hat into the CE race last Friday! So, you can expect him to ratchet his grandstanding up a notch or a thousand! At the close of this meeting we should hopefully have new solar panel and dog tethering laws and a 2018 FY Budget! So grab your agenda and remember this is all for fun!

Public comment, agenda approval, budget adjustments and meeting minutes, it’s hard to muster up any more excitement for this third meeting of the month. Even Billy’s ever changing votes on the budget adjustments isn’t enough to enthrall us any longer. So go ahead a mix up a pitcher of your favorite kind of Sangria. That should be enough to liven things up a bit!

Onward and upwards onto two public hearings. The council will hear testimony on block grant resolutions for Public Works and Citizens Services Division. When we hear that it isn’t the role of government to do anything nice, slam back a tall glass of El Gringo Loco!

New laws on solar panels, dog tethering, zoning amendments during an election year and continuation of the payment in lieu option for moderately priced dwelling units are all on the table. If Billy should say that there shouldn’t be any laws about how people treat their animals and/or the council should give back 20% of their salary, throw back a couple of Rabid Hicks in his great honor.

Voting on the tax levy resolution and the FY 2018 budget is up next.

That ain’t good!
Words will be exchanged, especially since Kirby needs to prove himself. So maybe this would be a good time to sit back with a nice Love Cocktail and think about the good things in your life.

After the break there will be one more public hearing on the Wedgewood rezone case. And we conclude, as always, with public and council member comments. After three meetings this month, maybe it’s just best to shut off the feed and  hope that June won’t be as dramatic for the citizens of our fine county.


Release the hounds: It’s budget time in Frederick!

This evening marks the beginning of budget time in our fair county. At 7:00 the council will hold a hearing on the Board of Education’s operating budget. Do we see dead horse memes in our future? No doubt. Let’s just hope we can have a productive evening without having to yell this at our favorite undynamic duo:

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It’s a very maniac Monday!

Thank you for this gift Council Man Delauter. We always look forward to your Tentacle articles.
Thank you for this gift Councilman Delauter. We always look forward to your Tentacle articles.

It’s about that time again folks. Kirby has keyed up another article for that slithery appendage. Be sure to read through it a couple of times, because it takes that long to digest. If you can’t bring yourself to do so, read our nice synopsis below.

Now you know we are in for a treat with a title like this:

The Budget, Constituent Service and Schools

That’s a lot of ground to cover! First we are reminded of the time crunch between the time the County Executive has to present the budget and the time the County Council has to approve it. So Kirby, you better put forth an amendment to extend that in the charter since that’s the only way to fix it. I am sure the citizens of this fine county will be more than willing to give you more time. Then it’s the same blah, blah we don’t have any help so how do you expect us to do this? Afterwards,  we are reminded that he was the ONLY one that came up with an alternative budget. And that he and Billy are once again the ONLY council members willing to do their own analysis. Now for a moment let’s fly back to last year. We found this nice little write up from the FNP. Remember when Billy did this:

At one point, Councilman Jerry Donald asked about the impact of following Shreve’s suggestion to completely eliminate a $1.2 million allocation for snow removal.

“What would happen if it snows?” he asked.

“We’d pray it didn’t,” said Doug Browning, the county’s chief administrative officer.

Thankfully that didn’t happen because remember this folks?:

Photo courtesy Frederick News Post
Photo courtesy Frederick News Post

That’s right we had a blizzard!!! And Jan had this to say about the changes Kirby wanted to make to the budget. She said they were:

unclear and do not maintain a balanced budget

So it’s not enough to say and do things if they are destructive and make no sense. The next section complains about he and Billy being treated like third graders.(Yes folks, he complained about feeling like a third grader put in time out).  Do we have to point out that if you act like third graders that’s the way people will treat you? Kirby even admits that he lost his cool when he “used a few choice words” to express his discontent over not being  allowed to talk to someone at the county dump.

Alright Kirby, just calm down!
Alright Kirby, just calm down!

From day one, these two have been uncooperative, combative and have used WFMD and their writings on the Tentacle and other “news” websites to attack their fellow members of the county government. Not to mention their behavior in meetings. We will allow that if Kirby and Billy are required to follow different protocol to talk with county staff than the other members then they may have a small point. But they have offered no proof of this. And we see the logic of individual council members not barraging county staff with one request after another. You are on a collective body that makes decisions together Kirby, you don’t get to be a lone wolf.

We are so very sorry to have to tell you that this happened again:

The horse is so very, very dead. Please stop beating it.

We guess there’s at least two more years of hearing this:

Yes, these councilmen somehow with a straight face vote on the budget that funds their employer and ultimately their own salaries. These are the same people who voted with the county executive and President Otis to disallow my company to bid on work in the county.

So we feel the need to bring out our nice little chart again:

No matter how you try to spin it Kirby this is how it is. You can't say that you may not win the bid is reason to let you bid.
No matter how you try to spin it Kirby this is how it is. Even if the numbers change, the message is still exactly the same as it was last year.

Kirby equates this “logic” to transgender bathrooms. Surprise, surprise, he’s against them. But why he used this time to slip that in is beyond us.

Now, for the conclusion, Kirby sorta kinda has an idea for school construction. But he’s not sure, and then is sure it will be great, even if it isn’t all worked out. And of course it has to do with privatization.


What a week it’s been!!!

So much has happened this past week in Ye Olde Fredericktowne that your friendly Yokels have decided to do a weekly roundup. Let’s start with the County Council and happy budget fun time.

We’ve written two posts this week about budget talk. Read it here and here. However, we were very interested to find this in the Political Notes section of the paper this morning:

County Executive Jan Gardner’s budget announcement last Friday included a new little nugget. Well, five of them.

Gardner said she extended an invitation to all seven Frederick County Council members to talk about the budget, including a list of their priorities. Five members took her up on the offer: Democrats Jerry Donald, M.C. Keegan-Ayer and Jessica Fitzwater and Republicans Bud Otis and Tony Chmelik.

Gardner said she couldn’t meet all of their requests, but each was considered in her proposal.

Councilmen Billy Shreve and Kirby Delauter, also Republicans, didn’t take Gardner up on the offer, apparently.

It seems they have other plans.

Shreve, who is still upset the council doesn’t have a dedicated budget officer, gave handouts to his colleagues, showing that they are the only council in the state without such help. Nevertheless, Shreve said he was going to dig into the numbers.

“I’m going to work on this budget. Look at it. See if we can make some changes,” he said Tuesday. One major change he pitched included scrapping a plan to keep the county’s property tax rate steady — which will yield increased revenue — and instead lower the rate and cut spending.

“The easiest solution … is if you have the same amount of revenue as you did last year, you adopt the same budget you did last year,” Shreve said.

Kirby and Billy are fine sitting on the couch thank you very much!
Kirby and Billy are fine sitting on the couch thank you very much!

So not only are they refusing the County Executive’s invitation to come discuss the budget, which really is a dereliction of their duty, but Billy is all fine and dandy with keeping everything the same. Why should we strive to improve? A real brain stumper!

Next on our wrap up is Sheriff Jenkins. As we are sure you all know our Sheriff testified in front of Congress this week about illegal immigration. Last night, Sean Hannity had the Sheriff and two other guests on for four minutes of the most exquisite fear mongering we have ever seen.

Is that comment for reals?
Is that comment for reals?

Look, we here at the Yokel do not want anyone, be it citizens, immigrants, or illegal immigrants, committing crimes. And if someone had hurt our kids, we cannot say that we wouldn’t feel the same way that poor woman who testified with the Sheriff does. However, this kind of sensational talk does nothing to bring about meaningful immigration change.  What it does do is incite fear and discrimination against the Latino community. Not one of us wants criminals running around our community. Building a wall is not a realistic solution towards that goal. Also, it is a known truth that huge numbers of “illegals” arrive by plane and overstay an expired, once-valid visa, so wasteful government spending on a stupid wall is stupid and wasteful. But now we totally get why Fox News watchers are so angry and paranoid all the time. Jeeze O’Flip that channel! And we also didn’t realize how scary a place Frederick is to live, the internets must be wrong about us.


Who exactly is the beast in this scenario Gaston?
Who exactly is the beast in this scenario, Gaston?

Last on our roundup: You may have heard that a certain Presidential Contender was in town yesterday. Another nugget from the Political Notes section was this:

Apparently, that relationship stuck. Ahead of Cruz’s rally on Thursday, Hough picked Afzali to pick up the candidate from the airport. And if Cruz’s camp was impressed with Folden’s driving skills, they may have had a different review of the Afzali Cab Service. “My husband went slow, because I needed to talk to Ted,” Afzali said. “We had a lot to talk about.”

If Cruz wasn't so terrible we might have felt sorry for him. But since he is, we laughed and laughed.
If Cruz wasn’t so terrible we might have felt sorry for him. But since he is, we laughed and laughed.

If you missed our tweets about his speech head on over to @fclocalyokel and take a looky look. The most disturbing story to come out of that mess was the transgender student who was thrown out of rally. You can read the story here. But James, we would be remiss if we did not officially give you a Yokel tip of the hat:

Thank you for having the courage to stand up for what you believe in. Always be proud of who you are!
Thank you for having the courage to stand up for what you believe in. Always be proud of who you are!

We really don’t get all this fervor over public bathrooms. Whether you like it or not transgender people have been using public bathrooms for years. And has society crumbled as a result? No! Because nothing bad has happened! You really should be more afraid of former Republican Speakers of the House and U.S. Senators. But if you can’t get past it, Kirby has a solution:



Let’s end this week on a high note!!!


With all our talk of untucked craziness and hissy fits this week, it’s been really easy to lose sight of the good happening in our county government. Today, County Executive Jan Gardner held a press conference to highlight her budget for the Fiscal Year 2017. Now this isn’t a done deal, there’ s still a bunch of hearings and county council meetings to be held, but oh how wonderful it is to have an executive who knows how important it is to invest in our community services.  Here’s some of our faves:

The budget provides $10.5 million in funding to the Frederick County Public Schools above the minimum required Maintenance of Effort (MOE) level and an additional $500,000 in one-time funding for school technology.

Frederick Community College (FCC) plays an important role in lifelong learning and training adults of all ages for the workplace. The budget reflects an investment of $700,000 to help keep community college affordable and accessible. This investment will provide salary improvements for staff and make improvements to campus security.

The budget proposes adding three librarians to restore operating hours at our regional libraries – C. Burr Artz, Urbana and Thurmont. This will allow expanded hours until 9 p.m. during the week at these locations, facilitate greater use of the community rooms, and accommodate the needs of our library patrons.  The long-awaited Walkersville Branch Library will move forward with construction. A significant portion of this project is funded by library impact fees and state funding.

The budget meets increasing demand for early childhood intervention services providing for two Occupational Therapists, a Speech Language Pathologist and funding for substitute therapists.

CREST is Frederick County’s first higher education center. It is uniquely designed to provide higher education in science and technology fields specifically to provide advanced degrees to meet workforce needs for local biotech and life science companies. The budget proposes $40,000 in annual funding to match city and state funds.

This budget provides for a new pay scale for both deputies and corrections staff. It is critically important that we pay competitive wages to value our existing employees and attract the best and brightest to work in our community. In addition, the budget provides for two new deputies for courthouse security, one new deputy for narcotics, and a fiscal services director. Division of Fire and Rescue Service.

The top priority in Fire and Rescue is to improve staffing levels to staff equipment and meet growing call volume. To achieve this goal, the budget adds 12 new firefighter positions. The budget also funds a firefighter/EMT recruit class, supports the fireparamedic conversion approved in the current fiscal year, and provides equipment and training support.

9-1-1 communications is a busy place and our call takers are on the front line of almost every emergency. On average, a call taker handles 50 calls per hour. The budget provides for four new call takers to meet growing call volume. These positions are part of a three year plan to increase current capabilities and to staff closer to industry standards.

Fulfilling a campaign promise to restore the county’s longstanding productive partnership with our non-profit human service agencies, the budget provides a modest increase of $250,000 to Community Partnership Grants. Grants awarded this year went to over 20 human service non-profit agencies in the county to provide for basic human needs, such as food, housing, medical care, car repair so people can get to work, and other basic needs.

The capital improvement program for FY 17 includes funding for the first phase of construction of the Othello Park near Rosemont and Brunswick, which will add needed sports fields and recreational opportunities in this area of the county. The capital budget also provides for planned upgrades to the Kemptown Park near Mount Airy/Monrovia. The Point of Rocks Commons Park also will move forward in the upcoming year.

In the face of a dramatic rise in overdoses and fatalities stemming from heroin and opiod abuse, the State of Maryland has decided to transition Health Departments away from providing direct substance abuse treatment to an oversight role. Treatment programs will shift to private sector providers. The Frederick County Health Department has been approved to continue the substance abuse program in the detention center as well as the methadone treatment program. Because the state will no longer directly support these programs, the budget provides gap funding to continue these critical substance abuse treatment and prevention programs.

There’s much more so read the entire proposal here. 

The future is looking great for our county!