Hey, folks. Two stories popped up on the news junkie radar yesterday, and got us thinking about Sheriff Jenkins “expertise” in a couple of key areas. When Jessica Fitzwater promoted the Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Frederick City Police Department took an active and engaged interest, but the Sheriff’s Department found it unnecessary (and Billy Shreve #neverforgetsaid that some people are in favor of human trafficking) we developed a new awareness of this horrifying issue that our Fredneck Trump Train Faction seems so untroubled by. Oh, and Cindy Rose had some thoughtsabout that too, now that we recall. It was allegedly some sort of scam for teachers to get more training or something that makes covfefe amount of sense. How could you possibly look more foolish than dismissing the efforts to keep kids from being sex trafficked as an evil liberal teacher plot! But, you do you, crazies. Please proceed.
Well, yesterday The Washington Posthad a story about a training program the Texas Department of Public Safety has launched to help officers recognize when they find a child who is being trafficked and what they can do to help. The officers down there have found it to be so helpful, they want to see it go nationwide! This is a fantastic story about good policing–please do follow the link. Isn’t it a wacky coincidence that this type of training was the exact reason cited for forming a task force locally? Is there some reason we wouldn’t be promoting good policing?
It’s incredibly disheartening to review the local discussions surrounding this issue. The more we learn about it, the more monstrous the ambivalence toward–or, more accurately, the hostility toward acting to stop this seems.
But there’s more Texsplaining to do, because another thing that we read yesterday in The Houston Chronicle deals with immigrants and crime. We’ve bristled before at our local “expert”on the border and what exactly would qualify someone on the Mason-Dixon border to act as a special adviser on these matters. Well, it seems that the quite well-known and esteemed conservative think tank, The Cato Institute, has research indicating that undocumented immigrants in Texas are less likely to commit crimes than native born Texans are. In the immortal words of Rick Perry, “Ewps.”
“Using data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, researchers from the conservative think tank Cato Institute found the arrest rate for undocumented immigrants was 40 percent below that of native-born Texans.” — Fernando Ramirez, The Houston Chronicle, March 6, 2018
Law enforcement officers in real border states uphold sanctuary policies as a tool to help them to solve crimes, because it increases the reporting of those crimes and the cooperation of witnesses. It seems like The Cato Institute’s research suggests something in support of that thinking. Maybe we could learn a thing or two from people who have first-hand experience and research in support of their positions? Just a thought.
Your Yokel Ladies have been in and out of this meeting for the past couple of days. It’s a lot to contend with, so we are chunking it up and throwing it down, bit by bit.
No Shreve, what a relief! Meetings are always nicer without him!
Steve Horn and friend are in the house to present the Livable Frederick plan. You can go to this website to see all the details, plus the entire plan as it stands today. We say today, because there are still chances for change. If you read our drinking game, you saw that Kirby called this plan a POS. He doesn’t use exactly those words, but he does have things to say. For example, he wants Steve Horn and Co. to explain why the modeling software they use isn’t some kind of soothsayer. It is explained, ever so gently, that all modeling is, by definition, a guess. However, Mr. Horn also points out that the accuracy really isn’t the point here. The point is to see what different paths the county can take based on the possible outcomes that may occur. It’s called PLANNING. Well, Kirby isn’t done. He tells us that the market should decide where people live because the market is NEVER wrong. That’s right people: NEVER. Well, he is also very gently told why that isn’t true. Jerry clears up the erroneous notion going around that this plan is going to downzone properties. It is not. Tony complains some, but it’s pretty much nonsense. After an hour this discussion wraps up.
Unsurprisingly to anyone who pays attention around here, Tony was the council member contacted to introduce legislation having to do with Off Track Betting (OTB). He brings in four representatives, including local lawyer Rand Weinberg, to discuss this pending legislation. Essentially, they want to identify a local restaurant to set up OTB, kinda like Cracked Claw before it closed down. First reading of this bill will be soon.
The Veterans Affairs Council had a lovely professional presentation that introduced the panel of distinguished advocates. Please keep doing what you do. We are relieved to see this move forward. There isn’t a lot of new information to report. Well, other than that a miracle of trans-partisanship that occurred when Bud Otis (unaffiliated), M.C. Keegan-Ayer (D), and Tony Chmelik (R) pared down the originally proposed bill, which had “timed out,” and according to the knowledgeable panel this bill is a reasonable step forward in accomplishing the goal of having a “one stop shop” for veterans to get assistance in accessing the services that are available to them. We know this is a huge problem, and the point that it is unreasonable to expect a veteran with PTSD to sit on the phone through a menu of options for 13 minutes is absolutely true. There were other ghastly anecdotes, so please know that we thank you all for working on this, and we apologize that we aren’t giving this the focus that it is due. There is just so much to say about so much today (and another meeting tonight, people!).
There was the Interagency Internal Audit Authority thing: a panel of accountants working on a bill to codify the existence, charges, and governance of their authority (the interagency aspect is the county, FCPS, and FCC). Work on this bill began in 2014 with the transition to charter government, and they are doing the formal work to ensure that the appointments to the body will not be under the control of those being audited. In other words, a county executive should never be making those appointments, nor should FCPS or FCC be sending their people to do the work. They propose that the current members will nominate future members. Sounds good.
Then we reach the issue of the proposed pipeline under the Potomac River at Hancock. Some environmentalists (yay! go Sierra Club!) ask that a letter be drafted–ideally from the Council, but if not, by individuals on the Council– asking for Governor Hogan to withhold the 401 Water Quality Certificate and request a full environmental impact review of this project from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). This is requested because:
We are downstream from an 8 inch pipeline that would tunnel under the Potomac River to connect a proposed pipeline in West Virginia with an existing one in West Virginia
A bunch of municipal governments both up and downstream have already said, “Hey, let’s be careful!” and sent their own letters, including Hagerstown, Boonsboro, Washington County, Montgomery County and P.G. County. hm.
The geology (that’s rock formations, yo) of the land they will tunnel under is extra risky, because the Karst geology (science term) is Swiss-cheesey, so if a blowout occurred, the chemicals could be dispersed in any direction. Many pipelines already go under the river, but none through this type of geological formation.
Frederick County get lots of our drinking water from the Potomac (91%). And the City of Frederick also gets some of its water supply there, too, (17%) so we would theoretically not want to risk poisoning our water supply.
The Chesapeake Bay is also downstream (for good measure).
This is all well and good for the reasonable, and even seems likely for the less reasonable eventually, reluctantly, however it pains them, to agree that we shouldn’t be reckless with our drinking water. However, it must be noted that we have two drilling savants, both Republican, on our esteemed County Council, so the curt reaction to the idea of a letter from Tony Chmelik was, “It depends on what the letter says.” Well, they only asked for a letter to exhibit caution and thorough review, not to declare pipeline construction forever abolished, so the hang up is hard to understand, but thank goodness we could be treated to some gassy emissions from these guys. We probably don’t even need a pipeline, since we create our own energy like that. Fun fact: one of your local ladies used to work in the gas pipeline accounting, so we know a thing or two round here, too. Gas is tricky to account for, as a matter of fact, due to particle dispersion. That and the Swiss-cheesy thing are a double tricky combo.
**Ten Minute Break because they’ve been there since 4:30; this is taking an eternity and there is a lot left.** Stay tuned. Holy moly, they’re trying to kill us, y’all. There’s another meeting tonight, you know.
So it seems kind of like Billy’s blissful absence and Kirby “#ImReallyRunning4CountyExecutive” Delauter’s recently located partial degree of restraint (NB: we didn’t watch Council Member Comments, so we could be wrong about that) freed the air for Tony Chmelik to fill the role of council insurgent. At this point we are losing all the patience that we never had, but Ray Barnes and the legal advice come with him, and also Steve McKay, think that the move to ax the section of the code pertaining to DRRAs entirely is no bueno and will cause a bunch of legal problems and their advice is to not move forward with that. They have other ideas. And obviously Tony has a problem with them going before Dog and Everyone implying that he meant to do away with DRRAs forever (“What would the developers think???” <<clutches pearls>>) when he would NEVER. He and Jerry Donald have a back and forth that is pretty priceless, wherein Jerry admits that was his goal, and he also thought that was what Tony wanted. We are pleased with Jerry Donald. He is funny but not mean. We have a hard time with that. Then Jessica Fitzwater asks the question we are wondering too, which was, to paraphrase in LocalYokel jargon, “WTF were we trying to do for real then?”
We have finally thought to ourselves somewhere in the midst of the MXD discussion: we do not like this bill either. We would all be pissed if we bought a house and then they changed the zoning and we lived next to a warehouse now. We aren’t going to listen to this anymore. We. Are. So. Done.
Our current favorite is Billy Shreve’s (failed) proposal that mobile homes be sold as real property and not as vehicles. Here is the best way to explain why it ain’t never gonna happen: what mortgage lender would find it in their interest to make a loan where the collateral can be up and VROOM VROOM coal-rolled right off into the sunset? He had another one about exemptions from the Forest Resource Ordinance that fell flat due to insufficient information provided. Why can’t they have a staff to understand things for him, freeing him from the obligations of his job?
Jerry Donald FTW with a measure to deregulate the liquor industry (if you click on the FNP link up above they say it’s come about because of something impacting a Brunswick brewery). YEEHAW! The current code does not allow smaller banquet facilities–those with less than a quarter of a million dollars invested in non real estate type stuff–to have a liquor license. Donald points out that this seems to be a measure to eliminate competition. Look, we’re all Republicans on this one. More competition! Oh wait, when was the last time a Republican busted up a monopoly? Never mind then. Still not Republicans.
Modest hat tip to hoodie clad and newly beardless Tony Chmelik (we get the feeling he was under the weather with that awful thing going around, and boy do we sympathize: get well soon, Mr. Chmelik!) for moving his school related priority through the Board of Ed. ICYMI, he wants homeschoolers to be eligible for county school sports teams. Kudos to him for being the lone current Republican of the Council who seems to understand how processes and procedures best work.
Y’all aren’t going to believe this one. The King of the Deplorables and his buddy (these are Billy Shreve and Kirby Delauter, if you’re new here–we’ve written a bit about this particular issue) voted against a position statement favoring providing support to youth victims of human trafficking. Billy interjected a complaint about not knowing what it was until they saw it written out, which becomes ultra weird immediately afterward when…wait, no. It’s already ultra weird. Gross.
Kirby. He had an idea about investigating funding for school resources, so that perhaps funds from the state allocated to one project might be moved to another if they are not used for the one they were intended for. He tried to inexplicably call this a position statement. This already had us furrowing our brows, so when fellow semantics enthusiast Jessica Fitzwater pinpointed the issue we were grateful. More than position statement, this seemed a (likely reasonable) call to investigate. It needs to become a fully fledged idea, and that’s fine–even for Billy–to leave in the hands of Roger Wilson and the County Executive’s office, even though we certainly had the impression that we don’t currently know precisely what it says. Perhaps we should simply be glad for a rare sign of good faith. Passed 7-0, too! Well done! Was this a moment of bipartisan harmony? Perhaps we were hallucinating.
There was what felt like a long hearing about the Forest Resource Ordinance. It had us mostly sawing logs like it was a zoning discussion. We did perk up when Kirby mused about what this was actually protecting and was told that there is a definition of forest and the county and the state use the same one. Guffaw!
Loquacious lecturing Tony Chmelik–imagine our surprise when we fret that Shrelauter will muck things up, and then he takes the reins. He got into orator mode again this week, and man we can do without the Tony with a condescending tone schtick. Sighhhh.
There was long discussion of the River Board process, which had Councilman Chmelik frustrated with the time these things take and the lack of television air time, but the bulk of his grievances centered on County Executive Jan Gardner’s public briefing last week regarding the school capacity report and traffic study. And he wrote and delivered an exhausting, pompous speech on the matter, in lieu of discussing like a normal person.
Jessica Fitzwater criticized him for wanting to spend additional taxpayer dollars to find something that reached conclusions he agreed with, and after listening to him complain about money already spent and tiresome, lengthy processes, it was hard not to see her point. He had some great ideas in there, though, such as how it would be inaccurate to assume all the houses would actually be sold (????). We find that kind of funny coming from someone with as large a family as he has. Why didn’t the report assume families of twelve would move into every one of those homes? We can come at this from both sides, dude. It also bugged him out that increasing costs of construction weren’t factored in, and isn’t that shooting yourself in the foot, if you want to say maybe we don’t need to plan for big expenses? We have a confuse.
At any rate, that finally ended (if you’d like to know more, the Frederick News Post has a good run down that won’t make you want to stab yourself in the ears; we cannot recommend actually exposing yourself to the archives of this meeting) and they went into closed session. Chmelik helpfully acknowledged during Council Member Comments that we had probably heard enough from him. Hoo-boy. Truer words never spoken.
And then, apparently national laughingstock Kirby Delauter wanted to take it outside with Jerry Donald over that meme someone made with Jerry spanking Kirby. We’ll put it in here for educational purposes, since he’s opened the door to that (genius!), and ICYMI. It’s in reference to Jerry Donald using his social media account to publicize the inaccuracy of Kirby’s assertions that the Democrats on the Council are planning to make Frederick a sanctuary county. How dare he insist Misleading Push-Poll and Fake News Employer Kirby stick to the facts. This caused Kirby to (allegedly) call him another name for a trendy pink knitted lady hat, approximately one time for each woman who attended that march, it sounds like. He wants Jerry Donald to monitor his Facebooking more closely, which is beyond hilarious, considering the source. Maybe Kirby should worry about the damage he does with his own Facebook account. Or lippy outbursts.
A Miner Detail spoke with Delauter, who claims that M.C. Keegen-Ayer and Jerry Donald just want to make the council look foolish–an assertion that causes us to hoot in side-spitting, knee slapping laughter, given the dedication he has to looking like a fool all by his own self.
Do you know what? Billy Shreve wasn’t even worth mentioning. That’s how bad all this was!
The bulk of last night’s meeting is unfortunately going to get lost in one lady’s theatrics. Theatrics that we are oh so sure were orchestrated by Shrelauter. The only consolation being that one was the total number of people who answered their call to beat up on Bud. Click here to watch this hot mess for yourself!
So this angry lady, who has been before the council in the past to yell at Bud for not being the kind of Republican she thought he should be, is VERY, VERY ANGRY! Her litany of complaints against Bud include the very serious charges of:
Picnicking with Bernie Sanders supporters.
Not cutting taxes to her satisfaction
Not aligning himself with Shrelauter and thereby becoming a lap dog of a woman who (and this is the lady pedaling these rumors) has affairs at La Paz.
She calls Bud a scoundrel. We can’t help but wonder if Billy is going to start yelling civility code, but then we remember that is very situational for him. She concludes her tirade with some gifts for Bud!
Thankfully she was followed by local hero and Rational Republican Matt Seubert, who called her comments exactly what they were: LOW CLASS!
Billy decides to vote against the agenda and abstain on the budget adjustments, again.
There are two nice presentations from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Livable Frederick.
There is some discussion regarding changing county council rules and things get a little dicey. Billy and Kirby are all confused as to why the council can’t have good, productive discussions and we have to try really hard not to throw our computers out the window. It’s truly amazing the lack of insight some people have.
The two bills pass and then we are back to public comment. And sigh:
The VERY mad lady is back. In the true high drama fashion that she seems to enjoy, with a recording of Bud…which she plays into the microphone. Bud tries to object, since the comments aren’t hers but a voice recording of him, to which Billy yells 1st amendment! This lady is truly obsessed with Bud and how he allegedly wronged her in every way imaginable. We would encourage you dear readers, to email Mr. Otis at botis@FrederickCountyMD.gov, so when she and her ilk PIA all his email they can see your praise!
We roll on into Council Member Comments, which is again divided into Haters v. Boosters (and this seems to be more the difference in the frequent 4-3 split than partisanship, if you notice the tone of the comments section). Kirby gripes awhile in an effort to criticize Bud, and also because Matt Seubert said he was not a fiscal conservative. Ironically part of this griping includes a claim that tax dollars are rolling in but they don’t even spend them. He fixated on a bridge that he supposes they aren’t having to pay maintenance on right now. It’s a weird kind of logic. Plus, later Jessica Fitzwater clarifies that the TIF rolls future taxes over to the developer for community improvement projects, and so Kirby is not a common tax and tax and tax and don’t spend conservative? Also he tells us that he didn’t vote for charter government, which is weird because we don’t remember any public criticism of it until he had to live with its effects.
Jerry likes ice cream. (But seriously, the creamery sounds cool) Jerry also likes Middletown, and talks about positive stuff in the community.
Billy (and his old BOCC) takes credit for the creamery. Also Billy wants to complain about Bud and leadership and point fingers. Also Billy did not favor charter government. Who knew????!!! Seriously, if you all knew all this and nobody ever told us, we are gonna be upset. Why was this a secret? huh? Billy speculates that Jessica called the ACLU on the sheriff, to which he is refuted.
M.C. Keegan-Ayer declines to discuss the hooey, but does acknowledge the elephant in the room. She also talks about a bunch of cool stuff happening in the community. If you have summer guests arriving, look into the Whiskey Tasting and the Jazz Festival.
Bud says nice stuff and is nice again and doesn’t even get mad at the haters. He simply notes, “You can tell that the election campaign is heating up, and that’s fine,” since everyone is going to have their opportunity to tell the truth.
Is Matt Seubert going to run for something? We like the cut of his jib.
We were all busy last night, because at this time of year all moms are required to be in seven places at once. The FNP has good information about the important stuff that happened last night (and if you can’t read that because you aren’t subscribing to the paper, read this). We will just round things out with the gossip column details.
Tony Chmelik ducked out because he has relatives in town in celebration of his son’s wedding. Congratulations to the Chemliks and best wishes to the young couple. Lucky of Councilman Chmelik to have a solid reason to bounce, because the archives say that meeting is six hours long…and so we are just gonna trust the real news this week.
#KirbyDelauter gave kudos to Billy for his wood recycling bill, which is very important grown up legislating that he is finally getting around to on behalf of his constituents.
He also talked about illegal dumping and how that happens when fees are too high, which is possibly true (or also because some fools are lazy). Riddle me this, dingdong. How would we pay for it without “too high” fees? Spoiler alert: the answer is TAXES. And you hate those, so…illegal dumping it is?
Jerry Donald said nice things about Middletown’s 250th anniversary and what is being done in recognition of that, and also working together with the town for economic development in downtown Brunswick. He explained that his earlier vote against the water and sewer decision was based upon the timing falling during what we will call the “lame duck” period. He then reiterated his support for the bill that would limit this type of decision making.
Billy Trumpeter Shreve had an argument against that. Something like the other folks who did the decidering were also elected representatives, but as an UberTrumpet he is consistently a hypocrite, and Gorsuch/Garland–months and months ahead of the lame duck stage and still we had to wait for our new moronic overlords–so la di da. And now we’re dancing. Then he attacked Bud and the functioning of the council and how nobody gets to speak anymore, which seems weird since they added those extra public comments segments. The ones that people don’t so much seem to be coming to–although we certainly do not object to the opportunity not to have to listen to them until 0 Dark Thirty before you get your three minutes. And we think that was at Billy’s behest, so don’t say we never have anything positive to say about him! The numerous aggrieved people he described were upset about water runoff, which coming from a hater of fees destined to mitigate water runoff issues also seems like it should be filed in the “none of Shrelauter’s concern” box. Trumpeter Syndrome strikes again.
Jessica Fitzwater had words of congratulations for graduates of all stripes: high school seniors and fire and rescue recruits alike. She also highlighted that the Frederick region was recently named 8th in a list of the top 10 most vibrant arts communities in America. She also remarked upon celebrating the giving spirit of Frederick County with the United Way last week. It’s interesting to note how differently these people speak about the communities they live in. The boosters versus the haters.
M.C. Keegan-Ayer talked about numerous cool things happening (booster!). Teddy Bear Picnic at Everedy Square and Shab Row, FCC Kids on Campus, Barnstomers Tour (tickets available at the Visitor’s Center on East St.), Alive at Five, and family movie nights on Caroll Creek. Worth a Google for details on any of those.
And finally Bud explained that Billy’s real problem is that he still doesn’t know that there is a County Executive and he is not an administrator any more but a legislator, and the whole system has changed. He was very polite and patient about it, which is simply amazing, since it is only the eleventybillionth time this has come up since the charter government was formed.
If you want to hear about the three hearings last night, read this report in the FNP. We just don’t have the time to sit through all that public testimony. We won’t deprive you, however, of the council member comments!
We first had to backtrack to public comment. We heard that Friend of the Yokel, Steve McKay, caused Billy to have a hissy fit. And oh what a sight that was! Billy thought that Steve was breaking the civility code because he mentioned someone else who had also given public comment. Billy demands an opinion from legal council. While we wait, we couldn’t help but think: “Doesn’t the civility code only apply to the council council?” That language was pretty specific if we remember it correctly. And YEP! Legal says it only applies to the council! Talk away Steve!
Tony wasn’t going to talk. And how we wish he hadn’t. Rambles on about some client of his in Carroll County that is trying to subdivide a property and all the steps they have to go through, in Carroll County, to do that. And why can’t we just de-regulate everything and use cheap materials?! In case you didn’t know where this was leading, it is definitely why we don’t have affordable housing in Frederick County.
Kirby, sweet cracker in a basket, Kirby. After he agrees with Tony and spews out some arcane Reagan quote, we are dead horsing his school lease back idea. Then he bores the snot out of everyone ranting about lawn mowers and throwing out phrases such as:
“These are the facts!”
“Just putting the numbers out there!”
“Do the math!”
Then, there’s talk of privatizing everything and didn’t they try that already?! Good gracious!
Our favorite “Kirby Quote” comes when he tries to make an analogy between sausage and how he has to be the big meanie that says no to all the budget stuff:
“People like to eat sausage, but don’t like to see how it’s made!”
He really is a treasure! What are we going to do without him come 2018?
Jerry has some nice things to say and then mysteriously, our feed keeps skipping back to the beginning of the meeting . Kind of like the recording is rejecting a certain someone:
Billy thinks that people should take care of their pets ANY WAY that they want!! Guess he’s never heard of animal cruelty. We also need more manufactured housing. He wants to know if we’ve ever heard of some guy named Henry Ford and his manufacturing.
Jessica thanks everyone who came out and Councilwoman Keegan-Ayre for all of her hard work on the solar panel bill.
M.C. reminds us to lock our cars, as 90% of vehicle theft happens to those of us who don’t! Then she has to address some nonsense that was said by Billy on the radio last week.
We know exactly of what she speaks. Some guy who pretends to be a Norse god and has a low rated AM radio show. Random super hero fetish guy was joined last week by not only Billy, but some kid who has been going around Facebook pretending that he’s both a liberal and conservative! Sometimes even arguing between his fake and real profiles for all to see!! They should actually thank us for listening, a mistake we will not be making again, no matter who the guest may be, since the three of us probably increased his listener-ship by 50%! It was that bad people, so bad that we have to equate it with Blaine’s mess of a program that used to run on WFMD. Such a bunch of hyperbolic nonsense! We cannot abide a program that will trot Billy out as though he’s some kind of serious legislator. Jessica and M.C. were called anti-environmentalists because they took their time with the solar bill. They, cruelly, called Bud a Wal-Mart greeter while questioning his mental abilities. The Marvel Comics wanna be even promised to show up at a county council meeting wearing a Wal-Mart vest.
The accusation that M.C. was specifically addressing was the one that Billy made stating that “certain” members of the council were receiving texts from Jan (who watches the live feed of the council meetings in some secret compartment of Winchester Hall) to vote yay or nay on certain parts of the agenda. One of the mental giants on this show then gets the idea to P.I.A. the cell phone texts of the council members (sans Billy, Tony and Kirby of course!), which CANNOT be done because the county doesn’t store the private text messages of the council members!
M.C. explains that the last two times she used her phone during the meetings was due to family emergencies. She assures us (not that the sane among us needed reassurance) that there isn’t any espionage afoot!
Bud is going to allow Kirby to put forth his school leaseback idea…again.
Next week, the budget will be voted on!!! Can’t wait to see what hi jinks are in store for us all!