Knowing Councilman Kirby Delauter as we do, we weren’t surprised that he threatenedThe Frederick News-Postwitha lawsuitbecause we had, he says — and we’re not making this up — been putting Kirby Delauter’s name in the paper without Kirby Delauter’s authorization. Attorneys would be called, Kirby Delauter said.
In fact, we spent quite some time laughing about it. Kirby Delauter, an elected official; Kirby Delauter, a public figure? Surely, Kirby Delauter can’t be serious? Kirby Delauter’s making a joke, right?
Round about then, we wondered, if it’s not a joke, how should we now refer to Kirby Delauter if we can’t use his name (Kirby Delauter)? Could we get away with an entire editorial of nothing but “Kirby Delauter” repeated over and over again — Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter? OK, imagine we agreed because of temporary madness or something funny in the water that week, how would we reference “Kirby Delauter” and do our job as journalists without running afoul of our lack of authorization?
Blanks? Sure, we sometimes use hyphens in the case of expletives. Perhaps we could do that: “K—- D——-.” Or, perhaps, “Councilman [Unauthorized].” We giggled a bit more than we should have when we came up with “the Councilman Formerly Known as Commissioner Kirby Delauter,” which doesn’t seem as funny written down in black and white and includes his name, which defeats the point. Maybe we should just put his initials, “KD,” with an asterisk to a footnote (KD*), or refer to him as GLAT, the acronym for his campaign: “Govern Like A Taxpayer.” We could even make it sound a little hip-hop with a well-placed hyphen: G-Lat. Speaking of, could we get away with “K-Del”? Or we could simply go with the Harry Potter-esque “He Who Shall Not be Named.” (Cue the lightning strike and peal of thunder.)
Yet we could take the low road down even further and childishly mangle “Kirby Delauter” into references you, the reader, would still understand. “Sherbert Deluder,” say. Or “Derby Kelauter.” “Shirley Delaughter” (and don’t call me Shirley). We found a great automatic online anagrammer that generated all kinds of alternatives and could make it a challenge for our readers to decode each time we have to reference the councilman: “Rebuked artily.” That was a good one. “Bakery diluter” is just silly but does have a ring about it. “Keyed rural bit” was another that caught our eye as somewhat telling, because Kirby Delauter’s pretty keyed up. We’re sure there’s a joke in “Brutelike Yard” somewhere.
Discernibly, though, Kirby Delauter’s ignorance of what journalism is and does is no joke, and illustrates one disturbing aspect too prevalent in conservatives’ beliefs: That the media are all-liberal stooges hell bent on pursuing some fictional leftwing agenda. Generally this “fact” is bleated when the facts on the ground differ from conservative talking points. Take Councilman Billy Shreve’s abstract, almost nonsensical defense of KD*: “I think media outlets are cowards and they hide behind the label of journalists and that’s a bully pulpit to expand their liberal” agenda. Cowards? Tell that to the families of the 60 journalists killed in 2014, or the 70 in 2013, or the 74 who died in 2012, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. All in pursuit of the truth, or the most reliable version of it at hand in the most dangerous regions of the world.
Edifying as it may be to lapse into name calling — and yes, we allowed ourselves a little childishness above and maybe a little bit below — we need to make one serious point the councilman needs to hear and understand: We will not bow to petty intimidation tactics because a local politician thinks he can score political points with his base throwing around empty threats.
Legally, Kirby Delauter has no case.
And why? Here’s how Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh, who “teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law,” nicely sums it up:
“Uh, Council Member: In our country, newspapers are actually allowed to write about elected officials (and others) without their permission. It’s an avantgarde experiment, to be sure, but we’ve had some success with it.” You know, that whole First Amendment thing.
That’s why we’re taking his threat with a pinch of salt. We’ve seen this behavior before (not just from Kirby Delauter) and it’s worth highlighting again. Bullying seems to be the only way Kirby “Don’t say my name” Delauter feels he can lead. Only now, the target is not the public at hearings or occasional “punk” staff member, an arrogant, self-serving, whining middle school teacher or fellow “moron” commissioner, it’s The News-Post. Instead of taking his job seriously like the voters demanded and the rest of the council seem to grasp, he’s grabbing at distractionary shoot-the-messenger tactics that make a lot of noise but, to quote Shakespeare, a man who knew drama when he saw it, noise that “signifies nothing.” Frederick County has big issues to tackle in 2015 and we have yet to hear Kirby Delauter sound out one single, sensible idea. He used the word “govern” in his slogan. Maybe he should apply that to his temper first.
Enough. Seriously. What’s Kirby Delauter going to do? Sue everyone who’s making fun of him on Twitter using the #kirbydelauter hashtag, or on Facebook? Boy, his attorney will be able to retire off that.
Reasonable men (and women) are required to move Frederick County forward. All Kirby Delauter is doing yet again is displaying his inability to control his temper, embarrassing himself, his district, the county and those who voted him into office. If he wants to govern like a taxpayer, he needs to respect the taxpayers whose money provides his paycheck, stop this silly, inflammatory nonsense, and get to work.
* Kirby Delauter.
Absolute brilliance. And anyone Kirby accuses of having a mental illness is okay in our book. Therefore, Mr. Cumber, we wish you all the best and hope you will take with you this Yokel tip of the hat:
You didn’t think there wouldn’t be a new nugget of nonsense from the asshat faction today, did you? That would be positively unthinkable. Remember when we said Cindy Rose should keep her crazy tucked in? Guess what. You, too, you two. What fresh hell have they delivered unto us, on a public platform, for today’s point and laugh session?
And we would like to give a big Tip o’ the Hat to Dan Patrell for his forthright delivery of a small dose of reality. One or two of us may have laughed so hard that we fell off the couch when we read this:
Also, guess who has chimed in. So glad he moved on with his life. He has the strangest ways of reinventing himself.
How does what he said make any sense? “The rules should be fair to all.” How is it fair to have one business who follows all the rules and one that does not, but has two council members bending backwards on their behalf? Stop being awful!
In point of fact, zoning laws are so your neighbors have some sort of say in what you are doing with the property next door to theirs, since it also affects their property value. Maybe Lady Yokels don’t want The Best Little Whorehouse sprouting up overnight on the property next-door, built of cow dung bricks and lighted with kerosene, regardless of your personal tastes. Just shut up already.
Since Kirby and Billy have started doing Facebook reviews of local event venues with poor business practices, numerous brides now know that the most important event of their lives!!!!! (clutch your new, blue hanky) could be jeopardized. At least, if they schedule them at places that fail to comply with common laws that businesses in surely every last county in America are subject to. Luckily Frederick County couples now know which specific places they will plan to avoid, and that they should be cautious about plans down the road, so we extend a hearty, “Thank you!”
Speaking of jeopardizing weddings, Blaine thanks you in advance, as well. Eventually he will find someone willing to overlook his past transgressions and buy his line of nonsense that he again has turned over a new leaf, again (did we say that again?).
The Yokels also thank you, as you have apparently opened our audience up to some new readership. We are speculating that it could be coming from the Oakdale-had-to-move-their-prom feeder area. And also some folks who are also subscribing to The Knot this year.
Dontcha just love unintended consequences? That’s Frederick County politics in a nutshell.
But uh-oh, there’s been some trouble lately with Kirby and the fire department concerning some amendments and criticism of the Fire Marshal’s decision to shut down a local business. So we’ll have to see how this all plays out. The Council Rules of Procedure has been bumped back a few times now. Let’s not forget Billy is trying to make it so he can talk all the time on anything without any restrictions. We’ll let you know how it all pans out. Tis another week in Frederick politics.
We’ve brought you two posts already about Kirby’s threat to run for County Executive due to the “unfriendly” business practices of the current administration. Turns out the businesses in question were not only operating without the required permits, but in the case of one, the Fire Marshall said, “No way, no how!” So Kirby’s been forced to send decrees through Facebook. In this first one, he’s told said business to ignore the county’s order:
Caboose Farm, near Sabillasville, was also prohibited from hosting events after getting a notice in March of similar permit and zoning violations, owner Peter Fedak said.
The business did not have building permits or inspections for improvements made to the property. Caboose Farm also violated the zoning ordinance, according to a March 2 citation warning notice from the Frederick County Division of Planning and Permitting.
Kirby then went on to accuse the County Executive of having a vendetta against county businesses. Even going so far as insinuating that maybe, just maybe this was some kind of political retribution. What is the logic when a business knowingly does not follow the law for close to a decade that they are somehow the victim? Let’s explore this topic further. First another excerpt from the FNP:
Gardner, however, said permit and zoning violations arose because of complaints, and not at her direction.
“This is not something that the county is doing,” she said. “People individually have not followed the required process.”
Gardner said county officials worked with Shade Trees & Evergreens to let the business continue holding events as it worked on compliance, but could not allow this weekend’s events due to concerns by the fire marshal about public safety.
“The reason why people have to have these uses and these permits is to ensure public welfare and public safety,” she said.
However, the county fire marshal was opposed, since the buildings and the septic system had never been inspected. Laxton said county officials denied the temporary permit. All planned events were canceled.
But Billy sees nothing afoul in this. As long as nothing bad has happen thus far, what’s the prob peeps?:
Councilman Billy Shreve said that since Shade Trees & Evergreens has run events for 10 years without problems, it should be allowed to continue during the permitting process.
“The county should go out and say, ‘We found these issues. We want to work with you to get you into compliance,’” Shreve said. “Absolutely, he should be allowed to stay open when he comes into compliance. That’s the way the county’s done it in the past.”
So they’ve been breaking the law for 10 years and nothing bad has happened so let’s let them continue! What if, Mr. Shreve, something bad did happen. Something along the lines of this?
Then we are oh so sure the rhetoric would be how very incompetent Jan is for allowing an uninspected, out of zone business to operate. Don’t pretend any differently, Billy and Kirby.
We like to explore the comment section of the FNP. And on this very article we found a very nice comment from former BOCC member Lenny Thompson:
That’s right, these investigations are complaint driven. And we do hope it was from a business that followed all the proper procedures, because how unfair is that? Can you imagine doing every thing that you were supposed to do, paying all your fees, getting all your inspections and then being undersold by someone who didn’t bother? And then on top of that have your local County Council member go to bat for them just because they are looking for any and all opportunities to try and embarrass the County Executive? We would be infuriated! We are infuriated!
Next on the Internets, Dave Schmidt host of Frederick’s Forum posted this wonderfully articulate analysis of the situation:
We couldn’t agree more! If you don’t like a certain procedure or ordinance then you lobby for a change. You don’t get to pick and choose what you want to follow and then act all outraged when you get caught! The logic Kirby and Billy are using to defend circumventing county codes and ordinances is just mind boggling. What in tarnation is the meaning behind arguing, “If nothing happens, it’s fine?” (And again, if something does, presumably that would also be Jan’s fault…damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t with these types.) Are we supposed to all place our children in a situation where they are the guinea pigs in the experiment to determine if the free market is successfully ensuring their safety. If they literally Die In A Fire, with the next kid, we won’t let them go to their prom if it is going to be held at the Regulation Free Prom Farm & Inn. Furthermore, what kind of county are we living in where our elected officials are encouraging businesses to not only ignore the rules, but to blatantly defy them? Kirby made these two replies to Dave’s post:
Allegedly. Just throw allegedly and rumored into this like donut sprinkles, because we don’t do straight journalism, but if this is true…and we are reasonably certain that it is…it is CRAZINESS.
The rumors are that Billy and Kirby are all in a snit, because a business could fail. The reason? Failing to have any building (electrical, plumbing) or health department (food safety) permits. And something else about not having the correct zoning for an event venue. How does the blame for this fall on the county? Please explain.
As it was told to us through the grapevine, the fire marshall was a big killjoy and said (and we are paraphrasing with abandon), “Abso-effing–lutely not. There is not going to be a big shindig for some youngsters who want to get everybody Footloose in your event venue that could easily fall down on their heads or have a floor collapse like a balcony at a keg party, with the potential of unplanned pyrotechnics from could-be sparking electrical wiring. Heck, without a plumbing inspector, maybe they don’t even have running water or toilets. Who knows? Sounds like a night(mare) to remember, does it not?!
If you all recall, Billy wanted a legislative priority for the state to be to find out what impedes the business of roadside hot dog stands and take care of it. This is like the crown jewel of all hot dog stands. We are really looking forward to the Delauter executive administration, when the whole county dies of a botulism/salmonella cocktail.
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.
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.
The pollen must be getting to your friendly Yokels because we are all so tired of this budget nonsense. And tonight’s agenda looks as though we are in for more of it! Even though Councilman Billy Shreve is now a friend of the Yokel, don’t count on him picking you up, “comrades.” So take it easy and be responsible!
Seven budget transfers on the agenda, including one for the BOE (oh dear!), if anyone states an unrelated objection, since it is the fashion to grandstand lately, sip heartily on your Seven and Seven.
Time to approve the past minutes. Always a mystery as to why Billy won’t vote to approve. He was there, at least physically, what’s the prob? When he says no, pick your favorite flavor of Absolut vodka and have a shot or two. Because we are absolutely sick of his antics.
Also amongst the business items for decision: council procedure. Again we are in Billy dream fugue territory, and as there is no chance of an affirmative action allowing to hear from him at absolutely any given time during a meeting (Why does it even matter? He does that anyway.) He will probably be testy. We must recommend the Lucid absinthe.
And the budget is up, and at the last convocation of this august body we heard Kirby had a self-described half-baked plan. Surely that is a smoldering pile by now. We look forward to these ideas.
You know how we are, locals. Always stalking the inter webs where some of our most favorite fools publicly post whatever idiot notion lights up their shriveled little raisin brains. Well, we have an inkling that one of the more colorful fools about town might have something negative to say about wheelchair ramps! It is truly difficult to see where some of these characters are coming from, but we do hope he will try to explain. And without slurring any words, please! So if our suspicions are true and there is really uproar over handicap ramps, mix up a Sit on My Face cocktail, since that will be preferable to listening to that!
It’s time for a hearing to keep the tax rate static, or according to the usual suspects, It’s tax hike time!!!” We heard this same exact argument this time last year. And we are oh so sure the same exact refuted points will once again rear their ugly head. So every time Jan is accused of being a tax and spender have a sip of the Promise Land. Hopefully one day we will be there.
Hopefully you have a good enough buzz to help you through the public and council member comments. Don’t you love budget time in Olde Fredericktowne?
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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 Houseand U.S. Senators. But if you can’t get past it, Kirby has a solution:
We thought we’d mix it up a little this week. Here’s your agenda. In case you do feel compelled to drink at any point, we’ll recommend you toss back an Alien Secretion and encourage Xenu to scamper on outta here.