There’s only two items on the agenda to discuss this evening:
We really hope there isn’t any nonsense about Bikeways and Accessory Dwelling Units. After all, we remember Kirby and Billy saying the tiny houses were a good idea just last year! However, it is an election year so we will have to wait and see how these two will react to a proposal “from the 3rd floor”.
Can you believe that Shrelauter will be off the council dais in just 6 short months?! Billy isn’t even trying to run in his primary election, and Kirby? Well, we can’t predict the future, but things haven’t been looking so good for his CE race either! Hopefully the new council won’t be as cray cray as this one and we can take it easy around Yokel headquarters for a while.
This evening’s agenda is oh so very full. We have a myriad of budget adjustments, approval of FCC’s budget (will FCC’s president have to slap down Billy’s outsourcing ideas again?), and then…oh dear…an amendment to the ethics code. Will Kirby be able to control himself?
Then we have two hearings on community block grants. We are sure Tony is going to pipe up here, since he doesn’t believe the government should be giving out grants and picking all those winners and losers. We end the evening with two more hearings on sustainability and holy moly macaroni… the Monocacy River Plan. We’ll leave the game up to you. Use whatever beverage you need, if you want to drink after a traditional bingo, or any square you mark that’s up to you! Just remember to be safe, don’t call Billy, and VOTE! #localelectionsmatter!
We have to say gentle readers, listening to the meeting tonight was very hard. There was so much bickering, condescension, and rudeness, it was almost too much to take. However, we want you to stay informed in this election year so here goes!
The first discussion focuses on a resolution that M.C. has put forth to alleviate some of the concerns that residents, The Farm Bureau, and the planning commission brought up with regards to the river plan that was approved back in August. Let’s present the facts first before we get in to the hullabaloo that took place there after!
FACT ONE: These recommendations come from a state mandated board that is tasked with preserving the river for future generations. You know so we can live,..because without clean water that is impossible.
FACT TWO: This plan and the accompanying resolution is not a land grab. This point is reiterated by pages 4-5 of the resolution before the council:
We do find it sad that the county government has to take the time and energy to combat all the misinformation that has been spread by people like Kirby. I guess they have to do what they have to do though.
FACT THREE: These recommendations are voluntary, not compulsory. There are no fines or other punishments for not following them.
FACT FOUR: The resolution M.C. brought before the council this evening is to simply allow the resolution to go before the public in order to hear what people have to say. It is not voting to implement the plan, just suggesting some changes.
Well, well, well, some are not going to let go of the land grabbing narrative. Kirby smells a rat! He believes that since there are some new members on the river board we should just wait, who knows how long, to see what they have to say. Tony agrees and thinks this has to do with politics. Kirby claims the cart is before the horse(?), and Billy claims that all the landowners are unhappy because that’s the emails he received. Because, we all know how people love to write their legislators when they are happy about something! Kirby also claims that nobody is going to die and there hasn’t been any flooding! (Where the hell has he been the last week ?) Billy gets super insulting and tells M.C. that she just took orders from the top! M.C. and Jessica are both outraged at this because M.C. spent A LOT of time talking to people on both sides of this issue to come up with this resolution. Will it make everyone happy? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean that a GOOD legislator doesn’t try. This conversation goes on and on and it’s entirely unproductive to the point that M.C. says that we’ve beaten this dead horse to the point it’s bloody and lying in the gutter. And you know what that means!!! We get to bring this classic back:
Motion passes 4-3, the resolution goes to a public hearing on June 5th.
The last part of the evening is to discuss three additional charter amendments to be sent to public hearing. The first one is proposed by Shreve and has to do with what happens when a councilperson has to vacate their seat. Billy thinks that the party should get to decide who either gets appointed or nominated. Jerry agrees with Billy, Kirby, and Tony that this should go to public hearing.
The next amendment is put forth and then quickly taken back by Tony. No one is sure what he intended to do here. Everyone, including the county attorney, argues that the council already has the ability to do this during budget season if they would, you know, just meet with the CE and talk things through. Tony doesn’t even seem to know what he wants to do, something about not giving non profits money? Anyhoo, we won’t waste anymore of your time because it’s a moot point anyway.
The last amendment is also brought forth by Shreve. We are honored to hold witness to the Dunning Kruger effect in real time:
Billy wants to mandate that the budget be presented to the council 30 days earlier than it is now. M.C. brings up the point that the county doesn’t know what money we will get from Annapolis until the beginning of April, so this is impossible. Rick Harcum and Lori Depies also make a special trip to tell Billy how: a. very unnecessary this charter amendment is b. how they could never have the numbers ready this early and c. don’t you think some thought went into the date before it was put in the charter dummy!? (the dummy is our nice edition, but hey they were certainly thinking it!) This doesn’t deter Billy from arguing his moot point, even though he clearly doesn’t understand what it takes to form a budget. All come through in the end though. Voted down 6-1! Isn’t it astounding that after all of his years as a legislator, Billy still doesn’t know how things work? We still can’t believe that he thinks anyone should vote for him to represent us in Annapolis!!! Dunning-Kruger strikes again!
We don’t make drinking games for workshops, but we did want to let y’all know what’s going on this evening.
Kirby, Billy and Tony have all claimed that this Monocacy River Plan is just Jan grabbing up all the land. We suppose to build herself a mansion along the banks of the river? Read the board’s suggestions and keep in mind that the goal of all this is to protect the river, not take anyone’s land away from them.
The second item on the agenda is to go through the charter amendments that could appear on the ballot come November. And remember, if you support our EMS workers, then you should support Jessica’s collective bargaining amendment. We’ve been told by our firefighter friends that this amendment will help them in their yearly budget negotiations with the county.
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.
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.
This week’s council agendais 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 likesare 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 triggeredwhen he hears the word “ethics”, so if he should have any objections sip on a Mr. Aahh!
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.
We aren’t going to recommend any kind of drinking game for the overview of budget amendments this year! In fact, we aren’t even sure we can sit through them all! So, give your liver a week off and we’ll try to catch up on it all after the fact!