Why can’t some people just be still? Your first half of the meeting run-down, February 13th edition.

Our meeting starts off with a nice recognition of the Linganore High School football team. Billy votes against the whole agenda, so can’t he just leave now? We have four nice public commenters. Many are present to talk about the amendments to the Forest Ordinance Bill. Melanie Cox, of the League of Women Voters, also commends the council for putting the hearing concerning DRRAs back on the agenda. The league has researched this issue, and believes this bill is a good way to balance growth in our community.

Next up is a rather lengthly discussion from Carson Bise on impact fees. You can read the whole report if you like. Basically, elementary and high schools will be severely overcrowded by 2026-27 if we aren’t careful.

Most of the council members have thoughtful comments and questions, but not Kirby! He seems to want to argue over the cost of the study, then doesn’t. Then he tells us that WE should have planned better for all this growth!

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Is he actually admitting fault, or trying to pretend he hasn’t been on the board/council since 2010? He was a significant part of the “we” who should have done this hypothetical planning. Anyhoo, Kirby doesn’t think it’s much of a crisis yet. And, we have all these homes in the pipeline and all these homes were in the pipeline in the past, so all’s good?

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Billy wants to know if FCPS is going to redistrict the whole county any time soon, you know because that’s such an easy, uncomplicated process! So, Urbana folks don’t be surprised when Billy starts advocating that your kids be shipped up to Thurmont!

John Mathias, our esteemed county attorney, is here to make a presentation on the legal side of DRRAs. He explains their history, court cases, and implications for our county. He tells of a certain court case which ruled that you couldn’t change the type of development once vesting had occurred. Mostly because it isn’t fair to the people who already invested in said development. It seems as though Mr. Mathias was sent there to explain to some people how to do their job. More power to him! Tony has much to say, but we are to the point where his voice is just a buzzing noise, so you’ll have to figure all that out on your own.

Lastly, before the council breaks, Jessica and Tony introduce some amendments to the County Executive’s Forest Ordinance Bill. With input from the community they came up with some compromises. The amendments pass, with Billy and Kirby voting no. It will now go back to a public hearing.

Bud then moves to have his forest bill removed from consideration. He tells us that he wishes there was more discussion before hand, before he felt the need to write his own bill. He states that compromise is good for the community and the country. And, we would really like to know, Bud, when things all broke down. We are still perplexed and angry over all that’s gone down lately. Bill is removed with Billy abstaining and Kirby voting no.

The council then goes into closed session, we hear that more shenanigans went down with the DRAA hearing. Stay tuned!

Love is in the air? LOLOLOL! Not with this county council! Your February 13th drinking game!

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Come on Floyd! Keep the crazy tucked in!

We haven’t had much time to recover from last week’s meeting, but hey who said keeping up with this county council was for the faint of heart? We’ll see if the spirit of St. Valentine fills the hearts of our favorite local characters, or if we are going to have a situation more along these lines:

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Oh dear!

Grab your agendaand follow along, but do remember to take care. Billy isn’t coming to help any of our fans!

Lots of presenters to start off the evening! Impact Fee Report, Report on Developer Rights and Responsibilities (DRRA), and Interagency Internal Audits! Let’s toast to all of our hard working county employees who take a lot of abuse at the hands of some of our council. Mix up a big Love in a Glass in their honor!

It’s Forest Resource Ordinance time! Will the bills be reconciled or will there still be two? Mix up a pitcher of Love/Hate as the answer to that one is revealed to us!

Time to go behind closed doors to discuss a county executive appointment! Then we are back at 7:00 for more happy fun time! Grab some water to rehydrate!

We thought this was tabled, but things have a way of creeping back on to the agenda lately. We suppose the public pressure really paid off, for we return with a hearing on the DRRA bill. Will this hearing result in more badgering of the public by Tony? Will the developer’s lawyers once again be given unlimited time to answer questions? Is anyone running anything around here anymore?! Anyhoo, mix up a barrel of Love Gone Sour, since a lot has changed, and not for the better, with this council lately!

The public has a chance to speak and then we have some council member comments. This is always a crap shoot, so go ahead and make a row of Love Hurts shots, and fire at will!

This is a busy month for the council, and by extension us! So we’ll let you know what happens and then we are right back here on February 20th for another edition of your favorite local reality show. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Epic meeting of February 6th: round 2 (a doozy)

The public hearing on the MDX amendment to “the Zoning Ordinance to specify additional permitted uses in the Mixed Use Development District” is an instance when zzzzzzzzoning is unfortunately not boring.  To briefly touch on this, the perception is that this amendment is hand crafted to target the Jefferson Tech Park area and that to adopt it would mean these people end up with distribution centers such as what we see out on Buckeystown Pike in their neighborhood, to the detriment of their property values. Since Steve McKay, who has frequently spoken on zoning issues in the Monrovia area, and Stand Up Frederick have already posted thoughts on this, please see those links for information while we focus on how much we were confused by what happened at the lectern last night. (P.S. you probably know that Steve McKay will be running against Tony Chmelik in the District 2 Republican Primary, and after Chmelik’s abominable behavior this evening we could not be more pleased that he is doing so.) If Mr. McKay and Lisa Jarosinski, who is running in the Democratic primary, are the candidates in the D2 general election, that will be one lucky D indeed. Those are two fine candidates.

First of all, it was a great joy to hear from The Public at this meeting. The Public is a lot more interesting than Our Regular Cast of Characters. Ray Barnes spoke on behalf of County Executive Gardner and gave three concerns. He was questioned at length by Billy, who kept trying to rile Mr. Barnes up with his circular dislogic. Mr. Barnes kept his cool throughout this display, and was ultimately dismissed by Bud who claimed he never heard these concerns before tonight and he wants to know hear from the public. The Lawyer for the Jefferson Tech Park–why did he get his three minutes, plus many, many more minutes of chit chat? Is this how it is supposed to work? We don’t get that. That does not seem reasonable to us. This guy tries to bog us down with legalese, claiming it’s in the interest of public safety that the council approve this bill. He also throws out the term “belts and suspenders legislation,” to which we can only think, “When has that fashion combo ever been a good idea?”

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Steve McKay spoke knowledgeably, per usual, as did Kai Hagen.

Then Kai also got the many, many more minutes of chitchat “privilege.” We chuckle a bit that Kai is never succinct (and of course, we recognize that this is because he is thoughtful and diplomatic, so he makes an effort to be thorough and careful) but this really wasn’t about him at all. Because it was about Tony Chmelik being rabid, ranting, obnoxious, asking him questions in a rude and angry tone and then talking over him every time he tried to answer. We don’t typically give Tony Chmelik too much grief, because as compared to the Shrelauter bookends, he tends to stand out in the more normal grownup conduct spectrum. Well, not last night! And then we have no one stopping it. M.C. Keegan-Ayer tried to introduce a point of order in all this, and was completely ignored. we were under the impression that someone wields a gavel at these things and is supposed to maintain order? Who is that? It took far too long for any effort to be made to curtail this behavior. Kai may be an At-Large candidate for the Council, but currently he is The Public. The Public doesn’t deserve to be treated with such rudeness.

Tony sniped that Kai hasn’t taken responsibility for this issue. Well. We have thoughts. That thought is that as an elected representative in this county it is currently Tony Chmelik’s responsibility to shirk. If he wants to make this a special responsibility of Kai Hagen’s, we can all follow his dreams. We can do so by electing Kai Hagen to our County Council. So there’s a thing to think up on. It appears to be the one simple trick to respecting everyone involved here.

Here are some handy dandy campaign resources; we are in no way affiliated with any of the candidates and this message was approved by no one:

Lisa Jarosinski

Steve McKay

Kai Hagen

Tony Chmelik (hahaha–if you’re looking for his page, you’ll have to find your way there unaided by us!)

 

Some good discussion and then a WTH is going on around here? Your January 23rd workshop in review!

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Bud starts off the meeting reassuring us that he supports any actions the council can take to stop human trafficking, so he still has that going for him! County Executive candidate Kirby Delauter is absent…again. We have to say we were so impressed with the presentation this evening. Kudos must go out to Jessica Fitzwater for brining this to everyone’s attention. So many knowledgable, articulate folks came in front of the council to give us information about this sickening problem. You can read the entire report here or just look at our highlights:

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This is a heat map. What is shows are where the hotline calls regarding human trafficking are coming from. Notice that Frederick is in the red. That means there’s a lot of activity going on in our area.
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This nice lady works for the State Prosecutor’s Office. She made us aware of the fact that many agencies do not have good information to pass on to victims of human trafficking. Something that this task force wants to remedy.
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Oh, why oh why can’t our High Sheriff be more like Frederick Police Chief Hargis?(PSST, our High Sheriff was not in attendance this evening, probably because he was NOT in support of this task force, he believed that everything that could be done was already being done—VOTE KARL BICKEL!)

Frederick mayor Michael O’Connor told us some of the recommendations of the committee:

  1. Mandatory training for lodging employees to help identify human trafficking victims.
  2. Making sure all bodyworks establishments are properly licensed. (This is the only time Billy pipes up this evening-he wants to have a definition of bodyworks, we can only imagine what must have been going through that mind of his.)
  3. Penalties for landlords and tenants who knowingly allow human traffickers to operate.
  4. The creation of a survivor services fund created from the confiscated property of the human trafficker(s).
  5. Creation of signs that alert the public to what human trafficking looks like, both sex and labor trafficking. In other words: “If you see something, say something”!

Chief Hargis likened this problem to domestic violence 30 years ago. 30 years ago (and this is really hard to stomach folks), domestic violence wasn’t on anyone’s radar. It wasn’t seen as a law enforcement problem. That’s how the issue of human trafficking has been treated..as someone else’s problem. But it isn’t, its a human problem that all humans should be concerned about. Contrary to what the High Sheriff or Billy or Kirby would lead us to believe, this isn’t just a problem for the federal government to solve. If a victim is found in Frederick County, and there have been numerous cases here, it’s a Frederick County problem.  If you want more information about human trafficking visit the Polaris site.  And after you read that, don’t ever, ever forget that Billy Shreve said that there are groups in favor of this.  We don’t need a voice like that representing us in Annapolis.

Late in the day, the council agenda was changed to reflect this addition:

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There was no clickable link, so we didn’t have any other information to go on. When it came time to vote we get this breakdown:

Yay-Jessica, M.C., Bud, Tony, Jerry

Abstain-Billy

Partying it up in Punta Cana-Kirby

Now, we have no idea what in the world is going on with this! Anyone who can enlighten us please send us a line!

Workshop on Human Trafficking AKA Billy gives reasons to tell us why people are for it!

This afternoon the council will convene to discuss the final report from the Frederick County Human Trafficking Task Force. Billy has told us that there are groups for human trafficking, and we’ll just let Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo handle this one for us this time:

We’ll let you know how the discussion goes.

No good will come of this. Your January 16, just stay drunk in the ditch, drinking game.

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After last week’s complete turn about from Bud Otis, we don’t see much hope of things going well for the rest of the year. This week’s agenda sees the removal of two public hearings that were not given their time in the sun, and one for a very bad bill about MDX. It’s as though we’ve time warped back to the Young BOCC in the span of a week! We don’t have the spirit to go through the entire agenda this week, but we will call your attention to this item on the agenda (note: we are not the ones that highlighted it in yellow.):

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M.C. is currently the council’s representative on Maryland Association of Counties Legislative Committee, but expect to see that change this evening. Also, we’ll see what Forest Resource Ordinance Bill gets through. Expect it to be the one more favorable to developer interests, for that is where we are now.

So, be safe, but drink whatever you need to do calm your nerves this evening.

Oh my dear Zeus, Mary Posey (aka plant lady) was right!

Remember a few months back when we published this story about Bud receiving a potted plant and yellow tie from a very angry member of the public? We took offense because, at the time, we believed that Bud was simply acting in the best interests of the county.  But we Yokel gals can admit when we are wrong! We may not agree with this lady on much else, but in this instance Ms. Posey, it appears you may have had a point.

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It’s been no secret that we’ve been big Bud Otis fans. We sincerely believed that he was an old time Republican that didn’t subscribe to the Trumpery that Shrelauter likes to spew forth. Well, a few weeks ago we started to get suspicious that things were going to go South. We have lots of connected friends here at the Yokel, and many of those friends were telling us that Bud wants to be county executive. And, since he has his eye on that particular prize, we were going to see some changes.  Changes we wouldn’t like. The first evidence of this occurred when Bud refused to explained his competing Forest Ordinance Bill. In fact, he got quite snippy with M.C. when she asked for an explanation. As we said in that post, we hoped that Bud was just having a bad night. Now, we can no longer delude ourselves into thinking that’s the case.

Here’s what happened tonight folks. On this evening’s workshop agenda was the following item:

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Jessica asks Bud what this item means since the council, at least not her, M.C., and Jerry, were given any explanation on this very ambiguous item. Which we now know was purposely ambiguous because it was nothing but an organized coup!

Bud doesn’t respond but instead defers to Tony. Tony then picks up a piece of paper that appears to have been collaborated upon by the R’s on the council. In his distinct grandstanding way Tony goes on about the “far-reaching” legislation that the county executive has put forth and how he now wishes to put forth a motion to table Jan’s DRAA and school construction fee bills! We don’t think much of this motion because we are sure it will be defeated, and are only half listening really when we shockingly hear Bud’s aye. That’s right folks, Bud voted to table the bills on these two items! Even though, it’s evident to all that the policies of the Young BOCC have gotten us into a huge financial mess with all of their hand outs to developers, he voted to table! We cannot imagine there is an explanation satisfactory enough to explain why he did this! Therefore, we can only conclude that we  are in for a very rough year in this county, and that Bud is only thinking of his political future.  We don’t hold out much hope for Jan’s Forest Ordinance passing, and we truly question the political future of someone who is burning bridges with people on both sides of the aisle. If we agree with Mary Posey, who has had it in for us for a good spell here, that’s potentially problematic, dontchathink?

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We all do now Muffin! Sigh.

The 2018 elections cannot get here fast enough peeps!