It’s time for your drinking game, spring break edition.

Celebrate while you can Sunny.

FCPS is currently on Spring Break! We are trying to soak up every minute with our dearest children since our overlord Governor Hogan has pretty much nixed any hopes of more than a four day weekend yippe skippy spring break fun time in the future. Channel your inner college break constitution, but remember this is just for fun. Don’t overdo the alcohol. Grab your agenda and steel your mind for the ride!

We hope you had a good holiday. You are going to need to hold onto that good mood when this week’s meeting starts with budget adjustments. When there is a BS abstention on budget items for no good reason throw back a truffle bunny, because we know you need a tiny excuse to steal your kid’s candy.

Next up are a few business items. The constant yield tax rate is one of the items. The crystal ball says there will be denial if the constant rate actually stays constant. Throw back a tax break because who has patience for this? Bonus drink if you managed to get your own taxes done by tax day. Next up are hazard mitigation and transportation updates. We recommend abstaining on drinks for those discussions. Save your liver for what’s up next.

Time for the 3rd reading of Limited Private Event Venues Bill. If Council Member Chmelik doesn’t vote Aye for his own Bill drink a poison apple.

Break time! Have some carbs. There are 3 second readings to get through when the meeting reconvenes.

Prepare to throw back some local shots as distilleries, ethics and solar facilities are discussed. We know there will be dead horse flogging during the ethics reading. That poor horse is so dead and flogged that all we can recommend is have a long tall glass of water to quench your tbirst.

Finally, we have a draft budget, followed by public and council member comments. We predict some council member complete nonsense during comments, so finish strong with a bullshit.

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If only this weren’t necessary.

 

WHUT did we just listen to?

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Billy Shreve was a guest on yesterday’s Bravo and Quill show on WTHU, but isn’t it more fun to rearrange that call sign???  And he was as awful as you would expect him to be. Billy was first asked to identify the three most pressing issues facing Frederick County. Billy explains that the local concerns reflect the national ones:

  1. Safety and security- Since ISIS is bombarding Europe and American gun sales are way up we are all scared. It’s like Pavlov said. (Billy soon realizes he meant Maslow, and asked, “Pavlov was the one with the dogs, right?”)
  2. Taxes
  3.  Growth/school overcrowding

The topic of growth and school overcrowding takes up the first part of the program. Billy is asked why things aren’t planned in advance. And we are treated to an explanation that it only takes 4 months to make a house but 3 years to build a school. He pulls out his HORRIBLE suggestion–one that Dr. Alban shot down with many logical reasons last year–when he says we could just move the 5th graders to the middle school and the 8th graders to the high school. Billy also lets us know that when he was re-districted as a child it was great! He had twice as many friends then AND it was no drain on him educationally.

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RIGHT!

On to crime!!! Billy hasn’t seen any sexual trafficking. (Cough, cough!) But heroin is through the roof. It starts when people get those FREE painkillers from the doctor and then they move onto heroin. Makes us wonder what kind of health insurance Billy has! Well folks, he did his film festival last year so he knows the drugs are bad, but as to solutions? Who knows! When the talk turns to marijuana dispensaries and how they will be run he has this sage prediction:

” There will be a honeymoon, divorce and then a re-marriage”.

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This however, is the most incredible thing Billy utters:

“You have to have reasons why you are against things!”

We know, friends, we know.

Towards the end of the program, Billy is asked why he abstains. And he so eloquently responds:

” So people like you ask why I do it!”

He then claims that he only abstains from the budget issues! (FALSE- We’ve seen him abstain not only from the budget adjustments, but also from approving the agenda and minutes.) He proclaims proudly that he is the only one that abstains and that it is voting! He’s showing the world that he doesn’t have enough information to vote! And MY ZEUS, people! Does he realize that he’s announcing to the world that he isn’t qualified to be a county council member?!

We end with what one of the host calls the lightning round. An issue is thrown out to which Billy has to respond quickly:

  1. Fracking ban- bad for Western Maryland. We’ll see what Governor Hogan has to say about it. UMMM, Billy…he signed it…..weeks ago.
  2. Sick leave bill- horrible for small business.
  3. Are you running for County Executive? No, he’s leaning towards District 3 State Senator. But, you know, he’s great friends with Ron. However, we are in need of some new representation there!

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We know it’s a lot to process folks. There is NO way we can send this embarrassment to Annapolis to represent our fine district. NO WAY.

No Spring Break for You!

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As you’ve probably noticed by now, Spring Break will not be a thing for FCPS students in the 2017-2018 school year. All because of Governor Larry Hogan’s mandate that all public schools start after Labor Day and let out by June 15th. It’s been no secret that your Lady Yokels have not approved of our “small government” governor issuing this type of mandate. Especially without adjusting the  number of days students are required to be in school. Due to this mandate our county’s students will be home for 11 weeks in the summer. If one parent is already home, or if your kid is old enough to stay home alone it may not be a biggie. But imagine the added camp/childcare expenses for those parents with younger kids who both work.As far as we have seen, high school sports and band are still starting on August 9th. Therefore, students who participate in those activities won’t be romping on the shores of Ocean City. And let’s not forget our high school students whom also take classes at FCC. Unless something gets worked out between now and then, they will have to adhere to two different schedules.Questions also remain about what will happen to students who rely on the Extended School Year (ESY). As it stands the students who take part in this program get out in mid June, have two weeks off, go for four weeks, and then have two weeks off before starting the new school year. What is going to happen now? Will there now be a 5 week gap for these students? Will more weeks be added for them? And what of the kids who rely on the school to feed them? So many questions so little answers.

Most of the people we have seen praising this decision have used the old “I started after Labor Day and turned out okay” mantra. We don’t believe that rose colored glasses thinking is reason enough to change policy. What is the real benefit for students? We haven’t seen an answer to that question anywhere.

So if you feel the same way we do, and we know there’s a fair amount of you who don’t but hey we can’t see eye to eye every time, please hop on over and tell the governor your concerns. Respectfully please. As we suspect any angry messages are sent right over to the recycle bin.

 

Can ya take a minute to ring up the Governor?

It’s a time for a full scale Yokel call to action folks! Our governor, Larry Hogan, was decidedly anti-Trump throughout this whole campaign season. Even to the point that our own Billy Shreve was trying to shame the governor into throwing his support behind the Orange Menace. Well now that we are here and there’s been one horrible appointment after another, this is what the Baltimore Sun reports that our brave leader advises the residents of Maryland to do:

Gov. Larry Hogan, offering rare public comments about the election of Republican Donald J. Trump, said Monday that “everyone ought to take a deep breath.”

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We don’t know about you, but a deep breath was necessary after reading that! Guess what Guv?We are not going to take a deep breath when the proprietor of a hate filled, misogynistic website is named the President’s Chief Strategist! We will not take a deep breath when a man who called the 1965 Civil Rights Act a piece of “intrusive legislation” is tapped to lead the Justice Department!  And we certainly will not take a deep breath as the worst of the worst around us spews hate at our fellow human beings.

Our State Attorney General has opened a hotline for Marylanders to report any hate crimes. In his statement on this issue Attorney General Frosh wrote:

“Over the last week, reports of hate incidents directed at racial and ethnic minorities, Muslims, Jews, women, immigrants, and the LGBT community have increased. Sadly, Maryland is not immune to this outbreak, and it is important to remember that our laws prohibit this kind of conduct and provide protection from it”.

And don’t think we’ve been immune to it here in Frederick. Two recent FNP stories have shown otherwise.

We think the governor needs to be made aware how insulting and condescending his just take a “deep breath” comment is. If you agree please take a minute and give his office a call at 410-974-3901. Or if email is your preferred method of contact this link will take you to a contact form. Let the governor know that we here in Maryland will not tolerate him telling us to “take a deep breath”.

Smuckers demands action!
Smuckers demands action!

 

We need to increase the budget of the State’s AV Department STAT!

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Seriously fellas, we don’t take too kindly to having our intelligence insulted.

Yesterday we wrote about Governor Hogan’s Executive Order that now dictates the school year for all Maryland counties. What you may not have seen, and may be very mad at us for bringing into your lives, is Comptroller Peter Franchot and Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan’s nice little piece of propaganda that takes the form of a You Tube Video. In the spirit of Tosh.O we are going to give you a breakdown of everything that is wrong with this three minutes of our lives that is now gone forever.

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First we begin with our two stars hanging out on the boardwalk and guess what? They can’t find ANYBODY that disagrees with their notion that schools should start after Labor Day. It’s just common sense y’all!  Everyone loves it! Teachers, because they can work their second jobs longer! (That’s a thing that was said.) And Parents! And Kids!

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Here they are presumably on the hunt for those “couple of people who are holding this idea up”, but they are no where to be found. Imagine that! People who are at the beach, probably having a pretty good time, cannot come up with any reasons as to why schools shouldn’t go back until after Labor Day. Hopefully this isn’t the same data model they used to ensure us that this will bring millions upon millions of dollars into the State coffers.

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Now this part is really LOL! Our two stars are strolling the boardwalk yelling, “Are you from Maryland?” We guess they actually wanted to talk to people that would be affected by their proposal. Who do they settle on? German tourists. That’s right, Europeans who live thousands of miles away. The nice lady in the middle tells them that school in Germany starts in September to which our fine gentlemen are appropriately horrified. The Mayor even yells, “They start after Labor Day and they don’t even have Labor Day!” Oh the misplaced outrage!

Well, we found this entry on Wikipedia about the German school year:

The school year starts after the summer break (different from state to state, usually end/mid of August) and is divided into two terms. There are typically 12 weeks of holidays in addition to public holidays. Exact dates differ between states, but there are generally six weeks of summer and two weeks of Christmas holiday. The other holiday periods occur in spring (during the period around Easter Sunday) and autumn (during the former harvest, where farmers used to need their children for field work). Schools can also schedule two or three special days off per term.

Took two seconds to find that fellas! And their summer is only 6 weeks long! Even with our current schedule we manage 8-9 weeks off. Now let’s wrap this thing up!  Our dynamic duo has a snazzy new slogan for us! Ready! Set! Go!

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What’s that fur?????? Odd.

AFTER LABOR DAY!

Really? That’s the best you could come up with? And what’s that fur in the bottom of the photo?  This video truly goes down as one of the egregious pieces of propaganda we have seen this side of the 21st century.

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Let’s shrink that government! Wait, let me first issue this sweeping State mandate!

And you too local school boards!!! Boardwalk Fries needs some more moolah!
And you too local school boards!!! Boardwalk Fries needs some more moolah!

We know y’all heard by now about Governor Hogan’s Executive Order mandating that schools will now start after Labor Day and must be done by June 15th. Curiously there was nothing within this Executive Order that would help school systems achieve this, like perhaps, eliminating some of the testing requirements or lowering the number of mandatory school days. Therefore, something is going to have to go. And it looks as though that something will be Spring Break.  Baltimore County school superintendent had this to say:

Baltimore County schools Superintendent Dallas Dance said his school system would have to reduce spring break to Good Friday and the Monday after Easter to fit the required 180 days into the calendar between Labor Day and June 15.

We’ve seen people on Twitter comment how this is a summer tax for working families who now will have to find more camps and child care. Not to mention the summer slide that so many kids experience.  What we find all so interesting is that this decision was not done through the legislature, had no public comment opportunities and seems to be antithetical to the way a “less government is better” politician would behave.

Don’t get us wrong though, we Yokel moms do not want to lose our summer break. But we also do not want to lose our Spring and Winter ones either. One of the Yokel younguns even said today, ” I can’t make it through the year without my breaks.”  We also remembered how Frederick almost burned down the Board of Ed when they took Fair Day off the calendar. The hard truth is, however, if schools are required to come up with 180 days on a longer summer schedule  something is gonna get chopped!

Lots of people support this because they didn’t go to school until after Labor Day when they were kids. Well, school has changed since the good old days and we happen to think it is really bad policy to make decisions based on nostalgia. We are also super skeptical that people are going to use that time to stuff their faces with Boardwalk Fries. When this same exact subject came up in legislative hearings, school board members testified against it.  Every community should have the freedom to create their school calendar around their needs and wants. If Governor Hogan really wanted to help local school boards out he could: a) Better fund the schools b) Ease up on State testing requirements and c) study the research about how really long breaks hurt lower income kids. Every district needs to design their calendar based on the needs and wants of their community. We’ll leave you with these words from State Senator Mike Miller:

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) criticized Hogan for not collaborating with the General Assembly, calling the governor’s action “extraordinary and legally questionable,” and saying he should have proposed the change as legislation.“It would have required hard work on the part of the Governor, and mostly likely compromise working with education experts and local officials around the state to reach agreement on how the goal could best be accomplished without harming students’ educational attainment,” Miller said.

“Making a press show about this issue over a year in advance while holding hands with the state tax collector appears like political gamesmanship.”

Can you imagine if Jan did something like this? Curious to see how Billy and Kirby are going to react when it’s their buddy making sweeping mandates.

 

Republican Central Committee releases a “statement”…hilarity ensues.

Ah, to be a fly on the wall.
Ah, to be a fly on the wall.

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand in these here parts, you’ve probably heard that Bud Otis switched his political affiliation to Independent. Well, the sole deciders of what a good Republican should be issued a statement. We sure hope they did hurt themselves coming up with this:

In response to Councilman President, Bud Otis’s party affiliation change and leaving the Republican Party, the Frederick County Republican Central Committee would like express a heartfelt thank you for finally acknowledging that you are not a Republican, do not represent Republicans, and we are grateful that you have turned in your card.

Councilman Otis stated “based on the intense acrimony, uncontrolled anger, and mean spirited personal attacks made against me for my council leadership by some outspoken members of the local Republican party led in part by the new local chairman.”  This is just another misrepresentation from Councilman Bus Otis. The pressure he felt was from those that had voted for him. The local Republican Clubs and Central Committee received many calls and emails from constituents complaining and angered by Bud Otis’s votes. Councilman Otis was invited to a Club meeting to address his voting record. Republicans came from all over the county came to express their displeasure with him. He heard over and over “I regret ever voting for you, you don’t represent me” from his constituents.

Bud Otis also said “The local leadership of this party in this county has engaged in a policy of petty personal attacks division, anger, and bullying in a misguided and destructive attempt to control me.” If by “control me” he means voting as his constituents thought he should and would, then yes, the Party and the voters expects that. He then went on to say “They clearly have little or no regard for the citizens of Frederick county and this government chosen by our voters, and initially endorsed and pushed by them while part of the previous board.” 

Regard??? How can Councilman Otis speak of “regard for the citizens” when he campaigned as a fiscal conservative and once elected ignored his voters.

Bud Otis ran on the reputation of our beloved Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, deceitfully took money from Republican supporters, and sent fundraising letters to Blaine Young’s donors touting Blaine’s endorsement asking for campaign donations. Bud Otis even pledged in writing that he would never vote to raise taxes as he stated here in his own words – https://www.facebook.com/budotis/?fref=ts.

Councilman Bud Otis did all of this for his own benefit and aspirations. He did so because he knew he would never be elected as a Democrat. He used our conservative values, our Party, its members, and constituents all in the name of deception.

After being elected Council Otis’s first act was to meet with the Democrats and construct a deal that would put him a power position. For that, he has voted in unison with them to enact and pass their agenda items to raise taxes, increase spending, and get rid of English as the official language. With Councilman Otis’s vote they have increased County Government spending by $35 million on the last two budgets.

Now, we as a Party Committee no longer have to deflect comments and allegations about Otis’s voting record and defend our Party position. Republicans in Frederick County now see Bud Otis for what he truly is, a” bait and switch” candidate.

We call on Councilman Bud Otis to resign and let the Party place a true conservative on the council, which is what the voters of Frederick County intended when they voted. We also feel the voters are entitled to a refund of their hard earned money wasted on donations to his campaign. Councilman Otis has defrauded the voters of Frederick County and they deserve to be compensated. Maybe his actions and deeds should be brought to the ethics committee as fraud and misrepresentation of the voters is surely an egregious act. But for now they can only ask for their money by contacting him at 240-397-0353 or BOtis@FrederickCountyMD.gov.
Sincerely,

Frederick County Republican Central Committee – Billy Shreve, Chairman

Frederick County Republican Club – Mark Schaff, President

Frederick County Young Republicans – Brian Harris, Vice-Chairman

Oh, where to begin? First off, as you well know, your faithful Yokels pay a lot of attention to what happens in Frederick politics. We watch every SINGLE meeting and workshop, read every article in the FNP, Tentacle and the northern rags.  We frequently “stalk” various public Facebook pages and other public information sites. Not to mention the times we have nearly given ourselves an ulcer listening to WFMD. So we know that everything Bud said in his statement is true. Every single last word of it. We’ve seen the ugliness in meetings, on Facebook and through email. Honestly, we are surprised he held on as long as he did!

We also know that a lot of this animosity started because Billy was upset that Bud would not accept him as council president. Even though Bud earned more votes in the election and the position should rightly be his. And surprise, surprise Mr. Otis didn’t want to be part of a council that was saying no just to say no and not trying to accomplish anything. To say that he did this out of deception is really stretching it…even for Billy.

The whole ridiculous tone of this statement also assumes that there is only one kind of Republican. And of course that type is defined by Billy and his gang. Too bad his attempt to shame the Governor into supporting Trump hasn’t worked yet. Is Governor Hogan going to be accused of deception next? If he isn’t towing Billy’s line of what a Republican should be is he not also guilty of the old “bait and switch”?

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We have many friends, on both the left and the right, who are very pleased that Bud is doing the job he was elected to do. Not abstaining due to some misguided notion of what?…we don’t even know anymore. Most rational people realize that we need government services, and that those services cost money. Many of us also did not like the reputation Frederick was getting as a result of their poorly written (irony anyone?) English Language Ordinance. Bud realizes that, but for some reason this has escaped a few of the other’s attention.

The fact of the matter is, there are widely varying views within both the Democratic and Republican party. There is no one size fits all Republican or Democrat. And you, Mr. Shreve et al, certainly do not get to dictate the belief system of every Frederick County Republican. For we have a suspicion that you, in fact, speak for a very small faction of them.

You can't make this stuff up!
You can’t make this stuff up!