The dog and pony show continued…pony stomps dog to death.

Are you proud Kirby and Billy? Are you?
Are you proud Kirby and Billy? Are you?

As you read in our first report on the sick dog and pony show this evening Kirby spent  quite some time coming up with an alternative budget. We rejoin our fine coverage at the hearing to establish the property tax rate. Not a single speaker was on hand to utter a negative word about keeping the rate at $1.06. Some fine points were made in fact, and we are very happy that people actually realize that our government funds some really necessary services for our county. And District 5 why did you saddle us with Kirby when you had an excellent alternative in Mark Long? We want answers! Final vote on the rate will be held on May 17th.

We are so very sorry, dear readers, but we cannot sit through any more of Kirby’s amendments. He tells us that Meals on Wheels is an excellent program on one hand, and with the other he has his scissors out to cut the entire $23,000 county contribution.  We have to move ahead to the Council member comments.

Poor little monkey!
Poor little monkey!

Kirby’s up first and man oh man, hasn’t he talked enough tonight?  You would think all of his dead amendments would be enough to humble him, but NOOO. He wants $150,000 for bus transportation to Mother Seton school. That’s right he wants bus transportation to a private school. He also adds that Jan should be down on her hands and knees thanking the last BOCC. Without their business friendly policies she wouldn’t have all the extra greenbacks to spend. Don’t hold your breath Kirbo! Then he ends with a very contradictory statement about how the nursing home is run pretty good right now but  will still  destroy us all in the end.

It’s Billy’s turn.

Sorry Princess Kitty, it'll be over soon.
Sorry Princess Kitty, it’ll be over soon.

You know something Yokels? As much as we disagree with just about everything that came out of Tony and Kirby’s mouth tonight, at least they did something. Billy had nothing to offer. Besides screaming “second” to Kirby’s amendments he had nothing original to contribute. So why should we expect anything of substance at comment time? One sentence comes out of his mouth: It’s sad we couldn’t get a Republican majority on the board…we supposedly have one. So we guess county council meetings are really just a war for Billy. R’s vs. D’s. How’s that been working out for ya?  He then disappears. That’s right, he walks right out.

Jerry is up. And oh how so refreshing it is to hear a grown up talk. He points out that those members who actually sat down with the County Executive and voiced their concerns, didn’t have to make a million amendments and waste everyone’s time. Imagine that, working together to come up with a budget instead of putting on an embarrassing show. It’s revolutionary!

Jessica points out the BOCC’s budgets always went up and in fact they grew at a faster rate than those proposed by the County Executive. Huh.

Tony doesn’t have a problem raising taxes.(!) He wants us to know, however, that the economy will NEVER be like those of the past.

M.C. thanks the staff and commends them for coming out on their own time to defend their budgets against Kirby’s cuts. And yes, these poor people. To be a fly on the wall during their Happy Hour.

Bud feels bad that Kirby spent so much time and money on his budget. (Please don’t Bud!) He lets Kirby know that he feels you get  further ahead when you sit down and talk to people then when you fight them from afar. Bud speaks of allowing Kirby’s amendments to be presented, to which Kirby starts his back sassing and subsequently storms out. Probably to join Billy at wherever they go to slam back the Fireballs. Bud ignores the petulant man child to finish his remarks with his usual style and grace. President Otis, you can’t reason with that man, it isn’t even worth your breath.

Kirby is allergic to the honey!
Kirby is allergic to the honey!

 

The fiscally conservative dog and pony show

dog-pony
Hold on for a wild ride to nowhere!

Well, folks, we have been digesting The Fearsome Budget Workshop of 2016 in fits and starts. A four hour long posturing about all the ways we can trim the fat off of the budget. This consists of 3 proposed budget amendments by Tony Chmelik and a whopping 18 by Kirby Delauter, few of which make any sense at all, so we will have to beg your forgiveness for not describing all of the nonsense in great detail. Further confusion ensued when Kirby tried to start with amendment #7, but we digress…

Tony Chmelik talked about how we shouldn’t pay our county employees real well because they have job security. It’s a head scratcher folks. A whole passel of em didn’t feel real secure in their jobs during the reign of terror that was our ultimate BOCC. Surely you recall? Plus also, why should we worry about attracting the most talented people to come work for us in the public sector? It would be better if it is just a crapshoot, right?

He and Kirby both have some ideas that involve it not really mattering a whole lot if some people are overworked because of layoffs and attrition, because who cares if county business is efficient. We guess. It’s hard to follow. They do and don’t want an attorney, because Chomel is good but he is busy, at least according to the people who have needed to consult him to write legislation. M.C. Keegan-Ayer directed some such remark at petulant Billy. Ya burnt!

One of the agencies that our dimwits are keen to starve is the Office of Economic Development and their FITC program (Frederick Innovative Technology Center–FITC rhymes with Mitzi, FYI). You know, the agency that promotes business development in the biotech industry, which is kind of good for the local economy (who’s gonna buy all them houses you like seeing built, boyzzzzz?). These are the most confusing Republicans. One almost suspects that they are kidding and just anticipate that Bud Otis will not let them shoot themselves and everyone else in the feet, and then they can be “fiscally conservative” while he votes responsibly to save everyone’s hide (keep this in mind in the upcoming national election when you think you will write in Ralph Nader or some analogous dreamboat, mkay?). Then they can tar and feather him for being insufficiently stupid partisan.

Dont-like-my-sarcasm-meme

 

Chmelik rails against holding money in an account in order to move toward upgrading our bond rating. Because, again, that’s fiscally conservative. Somehow. We feel all crazy inside. Also, he rails against it, but then votes in opposition to the amendment that would take that money out and either spend it or give it back to everyone with a letter that they can go out to dinner now, because…reasons. Oh, right, he likes to be a longwinded loudmouth about his shrink the government philosophy even when he knows perfectly well it is not making a dang ol bit of sense.

They both also have some ideas that involve not holding up our ends of a bargain (or also not upholding the law, if you want to just hang on a bit until we drown so much government in the bathtub that we become Flint, MI). Chmelik objects to replacing grant money from the state that was used in violation of the terms of the grant, and then also meeting the terms of that grant. Doing so includes a matching fund from the county, and he behaves as though this is all just a ruse to pay for the same thing twice.

But the icing on that crazy cake was when our three teapublicans get clarification that they are indeed functioning on a shoestring with regard to clean water legislation. This is permitted while they work out their differences in a circuit court proceeding. Any further reduction in compliance with the Clean Water Act means tens of thousands of dollars every day in punitive fines to both the federal and state governments, and potential prison sentences. “Oh well,” they decide. It’s a waste of cash because you can’t even see the clean drinking water you get, like you can see a road. No, we are not making ANY of this up. And “Heh heh heh,” Kirby decides let’s just hold that million dollars to the side for bail money.” Sooooo save nothing and maybe end up in jail? Cool. How do you sign up for that? Forget drowning the government. These idiots are so stupid it’s a wonder they can drink a glass of water and survive the experience.

We do hope the Boy Scouts in attendance had already been whisked away home last night before they got to witness that.

Stay tuned for more on last night’s performances…

Brace yourself: Billy’s shenanigans are coming.

Well, maybe not the best. But at least it sure makes Billy whine.
Well, maybe not the best. But it sure makes Billy whine.

Oh Yokels, we cannot begin to convey to you how torturous it is listen to a budget meeting populated by Tea Partiers whose very mission is to dismantle it. But we did…you’re welcome!

The beginning of our meeting tonight was a presentation by County Attorney Mathias over amendments to the charter. Some dates…The  council must have any proposed changes in by July 29th, as well as any petitions from the public. The changes will then go on the November ballot to be voted aye or nay by the public. Now Billy has been getting tons of calls (we know Billy loves taking your calls) from the public asking how to get the old BOCC system back. Now he’s just asking questions folks! He wants to know how many signatures and just how quickly the charter system will be thrown out. Because sure, let’s give up after less than two years.  Quitter.

 

And all of us as well!
And all of us as well!

So Yokels, now we are going to have to be on the look out for this petition. Because we just know it’s going to happen.

So on to the budget amendments. Three hours worth, and they had to cut it short.

Kirby goes off on the amount of time they have to review the budget. M.C. agrees and almost makes his head explode. However, they are constrained by the charter and the timeline within. Therefore, make an amendment to the charter for this November. We are reasonable folks, Kirby. We’ll give that to ya!

Tony doesn’t like to create jobs. Questions many, many new positions. It gets quite tiresome. But the creme de la creme was his suggestion to remove $4.5 million to the  BOE to teach them a lesson. He wants to “hold their feet to the fire” on the issue of teacher salaries. He reasons if we take the money away but hold it in some little secret bunker they will be forced to deal with this. Seems to us that they’ve been wanting to do that but some old BOCC wouldn’t give them the funding. Is this really about keeping the MOE number down? We think so. Doesn’t pass, which Tony admits he knew would happen. Budget director also has to warn him of unintended consequences of such an act. 20 minutes wasted.

Even though there is a clear process for a non profit to get money from the county (they have to fill out forms and be investigated), Tony still feels like we are picking the winners and losers. Kirby will write you a check. Well, unless you are a local high school football team, but he doesn’t want to force others to. Then, M.C. comes to the rescue about how government should help those less fortunate. Doesn’t fit into their worldview though.

More quibbling over that timeline, because Kirby has many (according to Billy, anyway, there will be many–possibly substantive–budget amendments). But, Kirby is late with his budget amendment homework because what he was scribbling on probably blew away when he was peen’ in the side yard. That was a half baked version (his own words–yep–he’s just got a “half baked” thing). Of course, there was no time to think on this, because that charter that Blaine needed is very tricky. So, again, in his own words, he’s just gonna send em in a e-mail. Does anyone remember Kirby’s nonsense budget last budgeting season? Because this feels a lot like that, but it is due by noon on Thursday. But not if its substantive.

If there is any question at all in anyone’s mind that the basic approach of certain partisans is to absolutely destroy a functioning government so that they can sit back and watch it burn (and then tell you what a clusternut the whole thing is) it would really behoove said skeptic to watch a local government function that incorporates the input of two or so Tea Party jesters.

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:

Brilliant!
Brilliant!

 

Billy says his world is great, and has Kirby been audited? Your April 19th roundup-Part 1!

Thank Zeus on his high mountain that tonight’s meeting has been divided into two parts! We need the break!  Now on to our fine reporting.

Billy’s no where to be found, ran in late. So Kirby had the sole job of objecting to budget transfers. His issue? We have no proof that the bay can be saved by trees and stuff. We’ve heard this before. Science isn’t his thing. Passes and  we moved on.

Installment Purchase Program Easements get no objections. Even talk to what a fine program it is. Protecting our agricultural land!

It seems like the budget season gets the tempers a flarin’! We are going to go back to our budget posts of a year ago to see how much of the rhetoric is the same. We predict A LOT. Tony, Billy and Kirby want the constant yield to be called a tax raise, all M.C. wants to do is take a vote to have a hearing on this issue so the public can discuss. How dare she interrupt their grandstanding? Billy informs us that we should all come into his world, it’s nice there he says.

We'll pass!
We’ll pass!

Tony wants an answer as to whether or not the hearing equates to increasing the constant yield. Exasperated lawyer says this question should have been asked before the meeting so they could research the answer. Jerry then points out two of the members were on the BOCC, so shouldn’t they know the answer to that? What’s that Kirby and Billy?:

FieldCricket

The hearing will be on May 3 for those of you who are interested.

Now, fellow Yokels, in all seriousness we are concerned about Kirby. Has he been audited? Because we remember commending him for voting against the Trout Run historical designation way back when. But tonight he’s singing a different tune. When the resolution, which is essentially the answer to Social Betterment’s lawsuit, was presented he voted no. No explanation just no. Billy wanted to know if he really had to vote for it at all since he was the lone wolf on the original vote, to which he was informed he in fact did.

We do really hope this hasn’t happened to Kirby:

HubbardProvesTomatoesScreamWhenSliced

We end with a nice presentation  on a Maryland Development Block Grant. Meeting reconvenes at 7:00 for a public hearing on the budget.

 

Hey Carroll County, wanna make a deal?

We would barely have to change the map!
We would barely have to change the map!

Hey Carroll County neighbors! How ya doing on this crisp Fall morning? Many of us over here in Frederick have a proposition for you. How about a little land deal, specifically the section of Union Bridge that FORMER BOCC President Blaine Young now occupies? Please take this proposal under serious consideration, we’ll let it go for pennies.

We have spoken of the previous bitterness that Blaine exhibits when Jan fixes his monumental mistakes. And with all earnestness, we here at the Yokel hoped he would find new purpose in his lawn care business and would leave us all the hell alone. Alas,one look at this morning’s Letters to the Editors shows just how naive we were. The only consolation we receive is the comment section which is on full blown anti-Blaine alert . We are not even going to pick apart the letter since it’s a bunch of nonsense that doesn’t deserve the time we would waste. However, we will say that chuckling occurred when he stated that money saved could have been used towards schools and roads. Does he think we are all new here?

Before we sign off, a shout out to Harvey Burnsteel of Thurmont who wrote a great LTE about Mr. Shreve this morning. Here’s our favorite part:

Shreve’s performance to date, further supported by his letters to the editor, is barely above poor. We citizens of Frederick County deserve better representation than this.

Agreed Mr. Burnsteel, we all deserve better.

Council member comments-Let the cray cray come out to play!

Usually we mix in the council member comments with our report of the meeting. However, this section of the meeting deserves a separate post. Seriously thinking of doing a PIA to see who is coaching Billy and Kirby on the stuff that comes out of their mouths. Let’s begin with the esteemed Council Member from District 5.

How many more months can this go on for dear citizens? How many more?
How many more months can this go on for dear citizens? How many more?

Kirby has some really good investigative information about the Rock the Barn event that took place a few weeks back. This event was the pinnacle of unethical tomfoolery  seen this side of the Appalachians! When are you people going to open your eyes and see how the union is stealing money from the teachers and then giving it to two other teachers in order to advance their evil plan for world domination? And for $1,000 a plate? Where was this barn located? The Ritz-Carlton? Thankfully, we have Kirby to unravel all the deceit that is taking place right under our noses! He over and over and over again reminds us to “Follow the money!”

Wait, what’s that Council Woman Fitzwater? The teacher’s union isn’t allowed to use member dues to contribute towards political activity? It comes from a voluntary fund, that people actually VOLUNTEER to donate to? I don’t understand. Kirby was all set to unionize his workers and then steal their dues to finance his campaign. How will he get re-elected now?  And what about the $1000 a plate? That’s not true either?

It says $1000 on there somewhere!
It says $1000 on there somewhere!

Does that mean everything Kirby said was wrong tonight? Everything?

Oh well, let’s move on. Jerry  mentions  attending a drug graduation program with Chmelik. And then refuses to address anything Kirby said because, you know, dead horse.

Readers, do you really want to know about Billy’s comments? I wish I could take a live poll while I am writing this. But since we aren’t technologically there yet, sigh…

Billy hates liquor inspectors. He’s very upset that now instead of having two part time inspectors we will have one benefited, salaried inspector. Because you know paying people so they can actually live, breathe and eat really sucks! And then there’s some complaining about some mysterious, small restaurant that exists on a giant parcel of land that can’t get its liquor license. And now Billy is going to go into full hyperbolic mode and let’s us all know that this county is doing everything, and he means everything they can to make sure they are unfriendly to business. EVERYTHING!

Tony wants us to know that a blog stated that 7 out of 10 elementary schools are really good in his district. Really good. Does that mean he’ll keep that in mind next year when budget discussions come up? Tony will also have a Town Hall in Mt. Airy at 6:30 on November 2. He has promised that, “Everything is up to debate.”

M.C. reminds us that it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So ladies make sure you get those things checked out!

Bud is participating in this Saturday’s Heartly House event: Are you man enough to walk a mile in her shoes? We know some on the council watch page will probably criticize the way you walk this Saturday Bud, but we support you! Bud also has something to say about a certain Council Member’s accusation that since the new government took hold, permits have been very slow to process. (Bud doesn’t mention who made the complaint, but we have a pretty good guess). Well, Bud asked the agency to do an internal audit to see if there was anything to this. And the result? No significant change. But I am sure that dead horse will come out again soon.