NO! Not again!

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And they need to stop coming to our public hearings!

You may recall that on April 1 the county council approved 22 amendments to the Monocacy Scenic River Plan.  You may also recall from our very own fine reporting that back in February Carroll Countians, dressed all in red (either to represent communism or blood), infiltrated our fine county hearing with their nonsensical proclamations of socialism and land grabbing. This Tuesday’s agenda looks like this:

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And predictably, the Carroll County response to our county making amendments is all kinds of cray cray. (NB: you are going to want to scroll past most of this covfefe–it is Epic-of-Gilgamesh-long.)


***EMAIL SENT BY LISA BELL***
Subject: URGENT RIVER PLAN ALERT: APRIL 9TH River Plan Public Hearing 7 pm in Frederick / Please Attend!

SAVE THE DATE, Tuesday April 9th at 7 pm for River Plan Public Hearing at Winchester Hall (12 E. Church St. in Frederick – pkg garage across street). Your attendance is crucial as Frederick County said they will vote on the River Plan on 4/16th. Let’s hope this is the final hearing!

Hello all,

Please attend the April 9th River Plan Public hearing! As some of you may know already, the Frederick County Council adopted 22 Amendments to the draft 2017 River Plan Update that Frederick County is using as their basis for a Monocacy River Plan Update. (See attached “Adopted Amendments” which were posted online this week). For more on the Amendments, see below. The Council would like to hear citizen comments on the Amendments and River Plan issue before they vote soon on the River Plan this month.

It’s critical to show up; speak up if desired; and wear RED in support of property rights. Things are close to the finish line.

I. What Are Next Steps? When Will This River Plan Issue Conclude?

After the Frederick County Council Public Hearing next week on April 9th, the Council will vote on Frederick County’s version of a Monocacy River Plan update at the April 16th Council meeting.

Frederick County will then get with longstanding Monocacy River Plan partner, Carroll County, to compare each county’s version of an update to the existing joint Frederick / Carroll County 1990 Monocacy River Management Plan. The goal would be for both counties to come together to agree on a single, unified, joint-county Monocacy River Plan Update as this is most beneficial to the counties, citizens, and to the river itself.

This is likely achievable if Frederick County keeps up the positive momentum and spirit of cooperation to amend their version of the River Plan Update (in which they’re using the flawed draft 2017 River Plan as a basis, that was previously rejected by both counties) – to reasonably align as closely as possible with the successfully revised 2018 River Plan Update.

I say “successfully revised” 2018 Plan because the 2018 River Plan Update (prepared by the joint county Monocacy River Board) thoughtfully fixed the flawed and rejected draft 2017 Plan to include most every single suggested revision provided by Frederick County, Carroll County, and the Frederick County Planning Commission. The 2018 Plan also addressed concerns of the overall public. Thus, a truly collaborative and successful joint county River Plan Update was produced and submitted to both counties for their review and adoption.

The 2018 Plan is widely supported by citizens, The Farm Bureau, and Carroll County – whereas, the draft 2017 River Plan Update was widely rejected as it remained problematic and did not sufficiently protect property rights.

Carroll County has already approved the revised 2018 Plan as a desired River Plan Update as they felt it was environmentally strong and addressed remaining concerns about the 2017 Plan.

However, the new Frederick County Council (since the November elections) surprisingly, rejected the successfully revised 2018 Plan without credible reasons – as their concerns could have been reconciled in the 2018 Plan. The Council then did an epic flip flop to go backwards to use the flawed draft 2017 River Plan Update as a basis for their idea of a good River Plan Update. This is the SAME flawed draft 2017 River Plan that Frederick County and all the above parties had previously rejected as unacceptable.

This has caused worry because some think the reason to go back to the flawed 2017 Plan could be that it provides “wiggle room” for Frederick County to use that plan to later impose unnecessary restrictions to private property.. Whereas, the 2018 Plan had been revised (based on input from the counties and overall public) to remove “wiggle room” and sufficiently protect property rights.

This worry is not paranoia. Folks have genuine concerns because it’s been Frederick County from the start (not Carroll County or the River Board), who provided all the egregious language used in the prior draft joint county River Plan Update(s) that caused public alarm. If you recall, when the initial 2016 draft River Plan Update was released for public review…citizens called it a “Government land grab.” And attorneys who reviewed the plan’s recommendations called it an “unconstitutional” and unnecessary “regulatory-taking” of private land along The Monocacy.

II. Heading In The Right Direction But Not At Finish Line Yet:

However, Frederick County’s 22 Amendments to the draft 2017 Plan are almost all positive property rights oriented revisions that are headed in the right direction. With more positive efforts like this (as some of the 22 Amendments need tweaking and some more amendments are needed), it’s possible that Frederick County can work with Carroll County to get their plans aligned close enough to the highly supported 2018 Plan – for both counties to achieve a joint county River Plan Update that receives broad public support.

What happens if the counties don’t agree on an update to the existing joint-county 1990 Monocacy River Plan?

In this case, it appears each county can do whatever kind of county plan they desire regarding a river plan. And then I guess the 1990 Monocacy River Plan doesn’t get updated and stays intact. This is because a joint county Monocacy River Management Plan is required under the MD Scenic & Wild Rivers Act, which the 1990 Plan fulfills. It would be a shame if both counties can not achieve a single, unified joint county River Plan Update after all the hard work by the River Board, the counties, and citizens for over 2 years now.

Having multiple Monocacy River Management plans can be chaotic, impractical, and is a poor idea.

III. Frederick County’s Proposed 22 Amendments:

The good news overall is it seems the counties and citizens have far more agreements on updating the longstanding, joint Frederick / Carroll County 1990 Monocacy River Plan then there are differences.

In general, the 22 Amendments Frederick County is proposing to amend the draft 2017 River Plan Update are positive and focus on property rights language. Most of the amendments were taken in concept, directly from the 2018 River Plan Update. However, many have said some of the 22 Amendments need to be tweaked in the Frederick County plan as the property rights wording is watered down to be unacceptable in some cases.

Folks would also like some more amendments added as well. Again, the goal would be to have Frederick County’s River Plan Update (which they’re basing on the prior 2017 draft River Plan) align as closely as possible to the currently revised and highly supported 2018 River Plan Update.

IV. Please Provide Your Take On The 22 Amendments As We Prepare Our Citizens’ Group Presentation for the 4/9th River Plan Public Hearing:

We’ve heard from others in our citizens group on their take on the Amendments but we would like more opinions so we can prepare our presentation to speak at the 4/9th River Plan Public Hearing. Please respond back ASAP this weekend or Monday as the public hearing is on Tuesday next week. Also, if you can be a volunteer speaker as part of our presentation, please reply back. We need about 5 people or so.

To view the 22 Amendments that the Council is applying to the previous draft 2017 River Plan Update, please see attached. However, to understand what the Amendments and 2017 Plan are about – you need to compare the 2017 Plan with the 2018 Plan. And you can see both plans in one document!

This is easy to do. Just go to the Frederick County weblink below and scroll further down the page to view a copy of the 2017 draft River Plan with edits written in it in RED. The changes written in RED represents revisions to the 2017 Plan that produced the successfully revised 2018 River Plan Update. This way, you can see both the 2017 Plan which is the black text – and at the same time you can see the 2018 Plan, which is the 2017 Plan with the changes in red added. You have to click on each chapter separately to read through the full plan(s).

Here’s the link: https://frederickcountymd.gov/…/Rev-to-2017-Monocacy-Scenic…

Sincerely,

Lisa


Fin

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First of all, who writes emails this long anymore? Secondly, who reads emails this long?  And my God, what a load of baloney. So, fellow Frederick Countians please show up this evening to counteract this nonsense. The sooner we can rid ourselves of these Carroll County River People, the better.

 

Editors’ note: We are sure there are many very nice, sane people living in Carroll County. Can y’all do something about this please?!

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!

Special Council Bulletin: Marathon Meeting Madness Warning

We are looking at the agenda for tonight’s meeting and thinking that there’s a lot to cover, possibly due to the cancelation last week. Budget Adjustments get the party started, as is the custom. The fact that Billy is not available to dork around in a petulant manner at this point is cause for a swig of Barefoot Bubbly. The fact that we are scared that Phil Dacey is willing and able to fill that role makes us wonder if we won’t need something harder for these things in the future.

Other matters for the meeting include appointment confirmations, Monocacy River Plan Presentation, Maryland General Assembly Legislative Items. After the break there will be some bills for public hearing. Here they are (if you use the link above for the agenda then the links to the bills there will be active).

We kind of miss the games, but this Council offers more dignity than we are accustomed to. The rules for this meeting are simple: take a gulp of that cheap bubbly every time Phil reminds you of Billy in a suit.

We aren’t out of a hobby yet!

Ladies and gentlemen, Frederick Countians of all ages, we regret to inform you that we are some bit afeared of what we are hoping is not a trend. The early part–and extremely educational segment–of the meeting was focused on the budget decision held over from the previous meeting with regards to allowing the health department to buy a vehicle. In order for Phil Dacey to better understand the situation, Dr. Barbara Brookmyer came and gave an awesome tutorial, and we are all the better for knowing what we know now. Recommended viewing, in fact. Much like the Human Trafficking Workshop of the previous council, we learned a lot about a matter that has serious impact upon the well-being of our community.

Today we learned the health department is a dually led entity that is part state and part county. The state wants the county to procure a vehicle for a safe syringes program. NB: this will not cost the county money. The program in the state of Maryland involves several different mandatory elements, including collecting dirty needles, supplying clean needles, and undergoing disease testing for stuff like HIV and hepatitis C. Reasons they would like for this program to be successful in Frederick County include our geographic location on “The Heroin Highway” and our neighboring two abysmally afflicted counties in West Virginia. Dr. Brookmyer used a specific example of a jurisdiction that traced all 190 HIV cases to a single syringe, she stressed that the price of treating a single case of HIV can run to $600,000 (times 190 is $114,000,000.00) and a clean syringe costs 10 whole cents (times 190 is $19.00. Cost benefits analysis, bro.

Other reasons they would like to keep this thing mobile is the NIMBY’s preferring not to have a drug treatment program run on their corner (Weird, right! Have y’all heard about our totally uncontroversial Downtown Frederick Marriott, though?) and also that our county is hugenormous, and furthermore that people who do the drugs don’t necessarily come to your central office, especially because often they are not super interested in going to all that trouble for the express purpose of not doing the drugs. However, meeting them where they are at often establishes relationships that show them where to go and who will help when they do decide they ready to stop doing the drugs. Phil Dacey told us basically that it’s cool if many of us are infected with HIV, because he is a libertarian ideologue. Besides, he notes that he’s better than we think because he didn’t call it Uber for Needles. Har har. Honk if you love Frednecks in a suit. Opioids anyone? Hat tip to M.C. Keegan-Ayer for the adult perspective of child rearing in the days where your kids have lost someone to drugs. By all means, ideologue away by your lonesome. This decision passed 6-1, but at least our NewBilly can say “nay.”

There were also presentations on Public Information Act Requests, and Ethics, and Open Meetings. We learned all kinds of wise advice from this. You should not write out things you don’t want to see in print. Also probably don’t send your Anthony Weiner if you don’t want to see it in the news. That part, which we like to think was implied, was not covered, nor was, “He won’t buy the cow, dear, if you give him the milk for free,” but mostly this stuff was common sense responsibility. Also, too, no public money campaigning (but what about if you want to put your campaign sign and the Boy Scouts in Winchester Hall…still no? ok then…).

Then we had the final brouhaha in which we both kind of agree with Phil Dacey and simultaneously are in danger of having a stroke. He does not want to go into closed session to talk to the BOE appointee who would potentially fill Ken Kerr’s vacated seat, because he feels that elected people get elected in public, not quietly in an office. That’s true, and everyone kind of sees what he is saying, but there’s some reluctance to just up and change everything on this candidate mid-process because this was how they handled personnel changes before, and because doing like that’s frankly a bit obnoxious and unprofessional. Lots of back and forth ensues about whether or not they will ask this candidate about willingness to answer stuff in public, but he is still going to vote no about the closed session motion. At this point we are screaming at our TV: HOW WILL YOU ASK HER TO DO THAT IF YOU DO NOT LEAVE AND GO ASK? When will this magic take place? Please make it stop!!!!

Party Bonus: Dacey brought a fan club for public comment. Then Steve McKay reined that in with some diplomacy and knowledge about the authority behind this BOE replacement idea, which is The Code of Maryland Regulations (a.k.a. COMAR).

 

Cautiously optimistic happy fun time!

At the Local Yokel headquarters ,we are bustling with anticipation to see how the first meeting of our second county council goes! Grab your trusty agenda, turn on the FCGTV,  and let’s hope for better times ahead. Billy is no longer in any position to help y’all out, so remember this drinking game is just for fun!

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Alright Daffy, let’s not put a dark cloud on the meeting already!

The first items on the agenda are some handy dandy budget adjustments. Do we hear the ghosts of Billy’s abstentions lingering in the air?!

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Git on outta here!

No, we do not!!! Mix yourself up a pint of Happy Pills to celebrate the end of that stupid era!

This first meeting will allow for the election of council officers, (remember the drama when Billy didn’t get to be president of the council?), scheduling of future council meetings, and appointments to boards and commissions. Let us cautiously sip on our Land of Happy while hoping everyone behaves like mature adults!

It will also be interesting to see who shows up for public comment this week! Will anyone show up bearing gifts? We’ll let you know how it all turns out!