You’ll have to forgive us for our hiatus, but believe us when we say that we haven’t checked out completely. It’s just that our new county council has been cooperating and treating each other like adults! WHAT A REFRESHING CHANGE! ICYMI, The Frederick News Post ran an article about this very subject. Read it here when you get a chance, and look below for a little taste to see why your Lady Yokels were laughing on the floor:
“Things were just so personal from day one on the last council,” Donald said. “Really, if you go back and listen to the speeches people gave where we were sworn in, it got combative really quickly. And this time we’ve just tried to really keep the personal out of it.”
The infighting prompted a critical piece from The Washington Post in January 2015, less than two months into the first council.
“It actually has been a surprise,” Keegan-Ayer said. “I look at what’s going on elsewhere at the state and the national level … and I’m like OK, Frederick County is like this little hub of bliss. I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but for as long as it’s here, I’m going to enjoy it, because it’s a big change from what we had before.”
Now that is the understatement of the year! We don’t know if we will ever get over those four years!
Anyhoo, the agenda for this evening looks a little like this:
Doesn’t look like anything really controversial tonight, but if you feel the need pick your favorite summer cocktail and sip away. No need to destroy your liver this time around!
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!
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).
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?!
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!
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:
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:
“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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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!
Tonight the council is having a workshop on a variety of issues:
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!
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.