Into the Lady Yokel mailbox comes an interesting announcement. Curiously, Frederick County has retained its Triple A bond rating:
How can this be? Billy and Kirby and their birds of a feather are constantly reminding us how terrible everything is. Businesses are being run out on a rail, taxes are being spent willy nilly, back door conspiracies lurk behind every corner. We just don’t get it. I mean who are we supposed to believe?
We here at the Yokel have lots of opinions, and we know that our readers do too. It’s time to make good use of those opinions and help out our County Executive. Fill out the below survey to give your input on budget priorities.
The first part of our reconvened meeting is beautiful. The ever diplomatic and articulate Rick Harcum explains the bill that is up for a public hearing this evening. You see folks, back in 2010 the BOCC re-allocated the Recordation tax fees from agricultural preservation, parks and school management and put it into the General Fund. At that time, they added a Sunset Provision that said this would all end in five years time. Mr. Harcum praised this act as one was necessary in lean financial times, and as a result of having a Sunset Provision, also recognized that times wouldn’t always be tough.
Fast forward to 2014, the BOCC amended this bill to deter funds from the nursing home to the General Fund and according to the county attorney, wiped clean everything in the 2010 bill,including the Sunset Provision. This proposed bill will re-allocate those funds back into agricultural preservation, parks and the schools. Jerry later remarks in his council member comments, that he believes that all this was done so the BOCC could say they achieved the constant yield. The people who came to speak were in favor of re-allocating the money back. The only naysayer was Tony. He implied that Mr. Harcum was being dishonest in his characterization of these funds as since they were placed in the General Fund they could be allocated to parks, agricultural preservation, and schools if the County Executive so wished. Mr. Harcum then replied that puts them in competition with everything else in the budget.To which Tony still says is misleading. I think we all know that when money is specifically mandated for a purpose in the budget then we recognize as a community, how important that purpose is to us. But kudos Tony for trying to muddy an issue that was crystal clear.
Now it’s time for the sad time of the meeting…council member comments.
Lots of head shaking from Kirby tonight. It’s his Night O’ Apologies! He wants us all to recognize how sad it is to be in business in Frederick County. He tells the sad tale of a business owner in New Market, salt of the Earth people, who after 27 years of selling mulch and top soil are having their lives ruined by the county. Just like the wedding venues and Mr. Natelli. RUINED. He also laments the fact that for the past 7 months or so the county hasn’t been able to find someone to fill the empty Emergency Management Position. “Everyday”, says Kirby, “things get worse and worse around here.”
Billy claims that there are billboards throughout Coal Country PA that state: “Thank you Frederick County for voting against Solar!”. We think this is probably a huge lie, but hey snap a pic Billy so we can see the evidence. We’ll admit it if we are wrong! If it is true, then the billboard owners have been misled as the solar bill has been tabled pending amendments. Billy also laments the sad state of affairs that business owners have to put up with in this county. He’s also sure that Bud is corrupt because he won’t fall into any of Billy’s question traps.
Jessica,after saying some nice things about the Girl Scouts and county staff, lists all the ways Frederick County has been friendly to business. Namely:
The AstraZeneca deal
Tax credit for manufacturers
Small business tax credit
She also reminds Billy that we have not voted against solar power. Which is a curious thing for him to be confused about.
M.C. has to spend her time refuting the bookends. Says she would rather find the right person to fill the Emergency Management Services position then to just hire the first person off the street. And that New Market business that Kirby is claiming the county has ruined? Well, a neighbor of theirs filed a complaint with the county since they have been operating outside of proper zoning. And when the county receives a complaint, they have to investigate and uphold county law. M.C. says that the county is looking for ways to work with the business. So perhaps things aren’t as dire as Mr. Negative would lead us to believe. She also reminds us to lock our cars, as the police say most car thefts are a result of unlocked vehicles.
M.C. ends her comments reminding the naysayers to respect their fellow council members. She gently tells them they we all spend a lot of time working on these issues and to disparage people just because they come to a different conclusion just isn’t right. While we agree with you M.C., we don’t see that happening from that bunch any time in the near future.
Happy Friday y’all!!! Lots of good stuff to point out to you today, so let’s get started!
Adam Umak, proprietor of Frederick County Fact Check, had an excellent LTE in the paper this morning. Make sure you take a look at it. We cannot let Senator Hough and Delegate Afzali get away with this thinly veiled attack on our County Executive!
Speaking of our CE, in today’s Political Notes we were made aware of a Town Hall meeting next week. So, if you’ve got anything to say, get your behind over to Winchester Hall at 7 p.m. this upcoming Thursday.
Now for your end of the week comic relief. Kirby weighs in on the dueling ethics bills presented to the Maryland General Assembly this week:
Let this quote sink in folks:
“Never notified any land owners and then claims she knew nothing of the plan after the excrement hit the oscillating wind chime.”
That is our new favorite Kirby quote! Man oh man, you can’t make this stuff up! Have a great weekend!
First half of the meeting clocked in at just under an hour! Billy really had a lot of trouble tonight. Did his usual idocracy, abstaining on agendas and voting against minutes. He had a lot of trouble during his questioning of the finance people during the reassignment of bond talk. First, his gotcha question about Montevue/Citizens backfired. Then he misunderstood the dates of the bond repayment. Finally, he wanted an explanation on why the County Executive would have the power to buy and sell bonds. After some very good reasons, mainly boiled down to the fact that the CE can move more quickly in volatile bond markets, he capitulated and the motion was passed 7-0. It’s become more and more evident that Billy just can’t keep up!
Tony is rescinding his dueling tasting room bill…for now. He complained about how the County Executive wouldn’t tell him what she had in her bill. In fact, he had many, many words for the County Executive:
“It would be nice if the Executive would work with this council member”.
Huh, we remember a few weeks back when an email landed in the ole Yokel inbox. We were made aware that Tony was having a meeting with local winery and distillers. And guess who was not invited?! Anyone else from the county! In fact, we were told that when a county staff meeting caught wind of this “secret” meeting they were shut out! So, Tony can act the victim all he wants, but he hasn’t exactly been open with his bill either.
Billy ends this discussion by yelling that Bud could rescind the County Executive’s bill, but everyone ignores him. Which may be the best strategy.
Small business real property tax bill is passed 7-0. Not before Billy pipes up though! He just wants to let us all know that this bill should be for ALL small business owners regardless of how large they are and shouldn’t include any wage requirements. Well, we remember, from readings one and two, that these requirements were necessary because of Maryland law. Now, if we remember hearing that fact, shouldn’t Billy? I mean really. Stay tuned for our report on the Urbana public hearing.
LOOONG agenda tonight! With this much on the the docket there’s little chance of emerging unscathed. You must really use your best judgment on which parts to follow or you are in extreme danger of sounding like Kirby does when he’s beating his dead horses all over the Facebook. Grab your agenda, click on over to Frederick’s best reality TV station, and get ready for your local government in action!
Every time Billy says YES before speaking, an annoying little habit he possesses, slam back your favorite shot. Think of this as free drink time!
All the budget adjustments, agenda and minute approvals and approval of County Executive appointments have become all so, YAWN!, boring to us. Just let your eyes glaze over a bit as Billy refuses to approve the minutes. Remember people, he’s bravely taking a stand against something nothing!
Finance hero Lori Depies is asking for the council to reauthorize some bonds. She’s always so brave and calm in having to mire through the nonsense that is Shrelauter. If they give her any grief, ask any irrelevant questions or use this as an attempt to grandstand slam back a couple of Bad Hombres. They were the ones Trump was speaking of, right?
We have four first readings of bills and what in Zeus’ daylight is this?
We appear to have dueling tasting room bills!!! Who will win the showdown, tis too early to tell. Knock back a couple of Dueling Banjos in honor of the show that will be laid before us. But hey, at least Tony is introducing some bills which is a lot more than we can say for the bookends.
Third and final reading on the Small Business Real Property Tax Credit. We’ve discussed, during readings one and two, how our friendly businessmen should be all on board with this. We predict not, since it’s their job to obstruct, not make things better. When this predictability ensues sip on your Slap In The Face. You know you want to!
Break Time! If it isn’t close to 7:00, Billy will complain and moan and nobody will care! Just smile at his childish antics and have a sip or two of your Raging Bitch.
At 7:00 we reconvene for the Urbana Rezoning application. We talked a little of this when it came up at last week’s workshop. We predict we will see lots of friends of the Yokel up at the podium this evening. This is probably going to be a long hearing, so pace yourself with your favorite bottle of wine.
Council member comments AKA Where everything goes to hell in a hand-basket! Let’s take a look into our crystal balls and see if we can make some predictions:
Kirby will dead horse beat the issue of Jessica and Jerry voting on the budget.
Kirby will say Jan’s unethical because she wasn’t on board with Hough’s unvetted, last- minute ethics bill. He’ll pull out some donations that Jan received that “proves” she’s a criminal. But hey, don’t forget what we found.
Billy wants to have a whole entire workshop on why he can’t Skype into closed meetings.
Someone will say Jan is grabbing all the land up.
M.C. and Jessica will be forced to use their time to real time fact check Shrelauter.
The entity known as Shrelauter frequently displays their ignorance of basic government functions. The election of Trump has not helped matters in our neck of the woods, as it has seemed to embolden the ignorance and pettiness of these two. While we thought #KirbyDelauter reached the apex of his ignorance with his tear-drop flow chart, it appears he’s still on his ascent up the Mountain O’Stupidity.
In yesterday’s Frederick News Post there was a story about the Monocacy River management plan. Now, without any evidence mind you, we are SURE that Kirby did not read this plan. He’s been lashing out at it from the start, and it’s only in the recommendation stage. You would think from his reaction the County Executive is “land grabbing” in order to build some waterfront mansions for herself and her cronies. But, nah it’s an effort to save the Monocacy from becoming a polluted mess. From what we’ve seen, it’s mostly an effort to plant more trees.
Well, Kirby, who was once an avid opponent of Executive Orders especially when they came from Obama or had anything to do with with ethics, is all of the sudden in favor of them. Check out this quote from yesterday’s story:
“Issue the Executive Order on Monday. I’ll be waiting for the announcement. If you choose not to issue it, it tells everyone you are behind this bogus plan to strip property rights, just as you have done for over 20 years,” Delauter wrote in an email to the county executive on Saturday.
Nice guy, isn’t he? There seems to be a pattern emerging among these folks. For the better part of four years Kirby and his ilk have been bemoaning the tyranny of the E.O. Now, that their guy is in, or when it suits their purposes, well you know it’s all different now.
As you can imagine Jan had a reply to Kirby barking orders at her. And man was it awesome:
“Kirby, Please stop misinforming people and do your homework,” Gardner wrote. “As I advised you previously, I do not have the authority to issue an executive order to stop the work of the River Board. The Monocacy River Scenic Advisory Board is created under state law. The Secretary of Natural Resources administers the program. Because this is a State program, I do not have any authority to stop or end the work of the River Board.”
Can’t you just hear the exasperation in the County Executive’s words? We cannot imagine having to put up with this on a day-to-day basis. So this guy doesn’t understand that a county official cannot disband a state mandated board? Apparently, from her quote, she’s had to tell him that on more than one occasion! Does he understand how any of this works? Don’t answer that. His suggestion to shut down the board is also eerily similar to the Federal social media blackout that we are seeing with those agencies most aligned with the sciences. Is that what Kirby thinks he’s going to do up here? Shut down the science when he doesn’t agree with it and/or doesn’t (can’t) comprehend it? Kirby, you need to stop these knee jerk reactions to everything and learn how to do your job. If that is not a thing you can do, please step aside so someone else can run in 2018.