Procrastination update: Frederick County Council 3/21/2017

Sorry y’all. We are tiring of same ol same ol. It was really hard to get back to this and give it our attention. However, a bright spot occurred during the discussion of the Bill regarding Farm Distilleries and Tasting Rooms. This process seemed to be a model of good governance–citizens and representative legislators coming together to get things done. It showed our community in a charming light. Robert Ramsburg, President of the Frederick County Farm Bureau, even mused that this bill may come with the blessing of Jesus, who turned water into wine at a wedding venue. One of our Junior Yokels was intrigued by the discussion, and it proved a wonderful teachable moment. These people want music and Jerry’s constituents want peace and quiet and they will work on amendment to try and resolve this. This would also be a useful primer for some U.S. Congresspersons regarding how compromise and efficacy are intended to be a part of the gig.

Of course, there was plenty to find fault at other points. Most especially Council Member Comments continues to be A Festivus Celebration: Airing of Kirby Delauter’s Many and Unvaried Grievances. This is why we had such a hard time returning to torture ourselves: if we wanted to listen to someone rant and rave tirelessly about the same stupid crap, we would call our own Drunk Uncles during the late evening hours. You sit, hold the phone to your ear while patiently waiting for the end of the bellyaching over a litany of things that don’t entirely make sense, but everyone knows contradictory evidence is futile in these circumstances. You just ride it out.

Most of the council members regularly reflect on positive things in our community. Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber rarely mention anything that would make you think they have any pride in this county. It’s truly astonishing that this is a regular feature of these events.

Billy was worse than Kirby this week, as he is a flagrant asshole (although mercifully brief). He asks without a hint of irony, “Why do we hate solar?” This, understandably, was noted by both M.C. and Jessica, as they have authored a bill, scrapped it, and started again with a new bill. This is the one they are currently in the process of trying to work through to expand the solar industry in Frederick. It’s the weirdest hatred of solar power in history.

Worse, though, after Kirby’s regular rehash of the teachers voting on the budget that funds the BOE, Jerry explained that he is earning less than he did before joining the Council and has the W2s to prove it. Riding on this, Billy tried to question the validity of this statement because Jerry gets paid for the part time work of Council Member. Shut up, Billy. Just stop. The council salary has nothin’ to do with the teaching position. He took on the additional work of council person to do it. Furthermore, he does the things in the job description of councilperson, and should be compensated appropriately. This still does not discount the possibility that he is in sum making less, or maybe just making less at FCPS (where he bowed out of the new salary scale to be sure no conflict of interest could be found–not that it will stop the rambling about one), but who cares. It’s irrelevant. Shut up. Really.

Jerry addressed the theatrics involved in all of this, noting that the same person who trots out a ridiculous fantasy budget each year and expects to be praised for it, actually voted against Tony Chmelik’s proposed charter amendment that would have allowed his suggested changes to the budget to be useful.

Also picking up on this theatrical flair, Jessica seized upon the fact that Billy claims a simple text amendment would solve the issues Kirby has regarding the mulch business. This is the issue that was central to this weeks extensive griping. Jessica noted that she would hope we could expect some focus on problem solving in lieu of complaining. She also suggested that if a simple text amendment were all that is required, perhaps one of the concerned Councilpersons might solve the problem by drafting a simple text amendment. Wouldn’t that be a Festivus Miracle for the ages? Hmmmmmm. She managed to so without sarcasm, which frankly makes her a freaking superhero. We would also like to see our Councildolts make a doody or get off the pot. We will never run for office, because we would probably word it that way, but harsher.

Happy to sad in less than 60 minutes -Your Yokel breakdown of the second half of last night’s meeting.

60462792

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:

  1. The AstraZeneca deal
  2. Tax credit for manufacturers
  3. 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.

17197848_10154734943572599_796730990_n
A Shrelauter paradise!

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.

 

 

A child’s view of rezoning applications

We’ve been trying to follow this riveting rezoning application discussion (from yesterday) and the cross examination process. None of us live in Urbana, so while we sympathize BIGLIG with the concerns about adequate public facilities and overdevelopment, it has been difficult to stay awake.

bored-cats

What we know is that 75 townhouses and 700 age restricted units and maybe an assisted living facility, too, plus some additional market place development are part of this rezoning application–and the estimated figures are that this will add 30 elementary school, 10 middle school, and 11 high school students.

To liven this up as best we can, we will tell you what observations were made by the children who were innocent bystanders during the viewing of this event.

  • They’re talking about bonds! We just learned about that at school! (ok, that was really during the first half, but how often do you hear a child get excited about a bond proposal?)
  • Wait, he doesn’t vote for the minutes. Why not?????
  • Look at Billy and Kirby! They are all slouched in their chairs!
  • Do you like her? She seems smart.
  • Do you like the younger lady? She seems smart, too.
  • What is he (Billy Shreve) playing with? Does he have yarn?
  • Why does that man with the sweater always have his hands on his face? Do you think he’s just really tired?
  • Ohmygosh! He (Billy Shreve) is such a BUTT!!!
  • How long do these last??????

whatcha-playin-with

Mark Jafari gets our award tonight for asking good questions, especially the one about having the age restricted community and the high school traffic all concentrated in the same area. Like most good questions, the answer was something like, “Well, we deal with that kind of thing at a later phase.”

Rat and roach report: a partial account

So FredCo’s archives do not yet include lasterday’s meeting, and we can only update you kind folks on the parts we caught. That doesn’t include council member comments, and the regulars will know that’s where things consistently go off the rails.

Now that the custom is to just make up whatheheckever you might want reality to have been anyway, we don’t even know why we should bother looking for the rest later, TBH. We always joke on the sidelines that we could pretty much predict what is going to happen without watching and that we should try it out sometime and see how it compares.

Just wait til we get our Ouija Board and start discussing our dimwits with long dead historical figures a la Frederick Douglass.
Just wait til we get our Ouija Board and start discussing our dimwits with long dead historical figures a la Frederick Douglass.

What did happen while we were juggling parenting and citizenshipping? There was a discussion about establishing procedures for rezoning application hearings that sounded like some good stuff for the people. Billy was adversarial. If Billy is reading this, adversarial means acting like a teenage boy does when his parents tell him he can’t drink beer and ride dirt bikes on a school night. What ever in the world would be wrong with just offering constructive criticism?

Tony Chmelik tried to reason through it for him for a second, and Jessica Fitzwater explained that some stuff he didn’t like was exactly as it had been done during his tenure on the BOCC. Pretty regular stuff. We would go back and review it and tell you which part exactly, but maybe later. Or not. We’re unpaid writers. You’re lucky we don’t move to Macedonia and put some teenagers out of work, at this point. Our patience is wearing thin with reality, anyway.

Speaking of which, that’s the other part we caught, after the break. A lot of people came to talk about M.C. Keegan-Ayer’s legislation for permitting solar collection on farmland. Everyone seemed to like the idea in some form, but there were many suggestions about how to improve what was written. None of the public commenters behaved the way some of our council members do on a regular basis. Perhaps one of these kind folks could unseat Billy in the next election.

We thought Billy had a visual aid and we were super looking forward to that. Maybe it happened in the negative space here. Or maybe it was emasculated by M.C.’s two large and colorful ones with easels. Who can say?

Drunk Agenda: Game plus Standing Rules for 2017!

Standing Rules for the remainder of 2017:

Take a swig of anything you’ve got for the regular stuff: Billy abstains for no obvious reason, Billy and Kirby eschew yea and nea for yes or no just to behave poorly, Billy votes no on mundane stuff like the minutes, the agenda, going into closed session, or budget adjustments.

***Very, very important 2017 Wild Turkey addendum: if at any point during this year either half of Shrelauter introduces their own legislation, participants must consume an entire bottle of Wild Turkey in one sitting***

If you find yourself with the irresistible urge to repeal and replace one of the council persons serving as bookends on the dias with a more knowledgeable and engaged public commenter, mix a Papa Joe’s Healthcare (this is for everyone’s mental healthcare, in lieu of a better plan).

If any council member ever again mentions Donald Trump as a role model or by way of example, drink a Pink Pussycat. *Cautionary tales do not count.

Worst ad campaign ever, but irresistible to suggest that we give Billy and Kirby the bird.
Worst ad campaign ever, but irresistible to suggest that we give Billy and Kirby the bird.

And today. If our Republicans find a reason to complain about M.C. and Jessica’s solar energy collection bill, have a Midnight Sun.

BUT if the same subset suddenly finds themselves in favor of taxes because the assembled collection of Democrats appear to favor the small business tax credit program, make a Bullshit Sunrise instead. Full disclosure: this contains disgusting Sunny Delight, so maybe drink neither and save your liver function for the other stuff you’re gonna need it for this week.

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-11-17-21-pm

Namaste and all that jazz, y’all.

 

You didn’t think we were going to get off easy tonight, did ya!? Your December 6th meeting roundup!

We previously posted who will be the president and vice president of the county council for the next two years. In case you missed it, Bud will remain president and M.C. will keep her position as vice president. Now, we will we recount the severe pain that it took to get us to this result.

When nominations were first called we had this slate:

M.C. nominates Bud

Tony nominates M.C.

Kirby nominates Billy

If only these three names could have just gone to a vote. Maybe then a little piece of our faith in humankind would still be intact. But the world is a topsy turvy place and things are often out of control. So in that spirit; Enter Tony stage right!

Tony wants M.C. to explain her nomination of Bud. She replies that while she appreciates Tony’s nomination, issues in her personal life would keep her from performing the job in the manner she believes it should be performed. Tony, oh so sensitively, lets her know that since she was elected she should be able to give the time. He presses her to justify her nomination which results in her stating that Bud has the patience, tenacity and skills necessary for this job. Well, this was all a big set up for some “prepared” remarks that Tony has about Bud.

120kq6
We wish we had some warning beforehand!

Tony recites a list of all his grievances with the way the council works and Bud himself. He accuses the others on the council of having back door meetings with the County Executive. But what’s the prob guys, Tony also said he doesn’t mean any disrespect. He’ll just accuse away and then say please don’t take that the wrong way. So it’s all good right?

Jessica alerts us to the fact that all these “back door ” meetings have the Chief of Staff present whom kindly takes notes that everyone can read. Then Shreve chimes in. Whines about Bud telling him to get on his knees. States that if this kind of language is appropriate for our children to see then he is going to start (!) using it on the dais. And we would be remiss if we didn’t point out that Billy was Trump’s #1 fan! So it’s clear that saying terrible things does not bother Billy one little bit.  We are then informed that because of everything Bud has done Trump won! There is an absolute direct correlation between these two things! Billy’s just spewing them facts!

Kirby also wants us to know that no one in the leadership called or emailed him except when they threatened his business. Wonder why that could be? Tis truly baffling. Also, shouts out one of his many trademark phrases: “We are just a rubber stamp to the County Executive!”

M.C. addresses this rubber stamp claim quite succinctly. She explains to Kirby that the council pushes back on the County Executive plenty. When meetings take place concerning  bills to be introduced they compromise and collaborate. Therefore, by the time the bill reaches the council many of the issues have already been hashed out. But what’s that worth if you don’t get to do it publicly?  How’s an idiot to grandstand ?15354217_10154462793367599_242526508_o

Anyhoo, votes are cast and Bud is the winner. Bud then nominates M.C. for VP and Kirby nominates Tony and thankfully M.C. emerges the winner with no more drama. We must apologize for our drinking game this evening. For if you followed it you probably were not conscious for the remainder of the meeting.

Next up is council member comments. But before we get there, we feel the need to share what the editorial page of the newspaper is for. It is not reporting in the sense that one needs to be objective. It is the OPINION page of the newspaper. The place where readers and the editorial board can post their OPINIONS.  In case that isn’t clear here’s an article from How Stuff Works that may explain it better than we can. The reason we need to clear that up is that three of our council members are truly confused about the function of the Editorial Page.

Tony is flabbergasted that the FNP would lump him in with Shrelauter. He takes special exception over an online comment posted by a READER of the paper:

“Chmelik is just as bad as Shreve and Delauter. He is with them plotting and planning in secret with Blaine Young behind the scenes on how best to obstruct any progress at all.”

Now Tony wants to the FNP to investigate before they print stuff like this! Hear that FNP ?You have now been tasked with the responsibility to investigate all online comments. Good luck! Tony also wants to know how the FNP would know that he meets in secret with the fellas. This is then followed by some nervous laughter because he probably just realized he invited a Gary Hart like challenge to the press.

Kirby starts normal style. Talks about a road meeting he attended, offers condolences to the loved ones of someone he knew, but it’s not to last. There’s some talk in the county about taking some easements around the Monocacy River in order to clean the river up. You know the dreaded water buffers. About 300 homeowners will be affected in Frederick and Carroll counties. Now mind you, this is only a recommendation. No legislation has been proposed, no hearings held, just a group of people thinking of solutions to the river’s pollution. Well, its enough for Kirby to shout out:

“Environmentalism is the new Socialism”

youreaspecialkindofstupidarentyou_f410588eebd315cfe6baa5e560b98c48
Tell him Harry!

Then to prove that Bud’s comment about constituency services is all wrong, Kirby is going to read on and on and on and on and on and on from a list that the council uses to record when a citizen calls in, what the problem is and how that problem was addressed. Curiously, he focuses on Jerry’s calls with one of Bud’s thrown in. He wants to know why Jerry has special privileges (more on that soon) that he doesn’t seem to have. Assures us that he’s going to try his best for the next two years to tell us all what is correct!

Jerry let’s us know the source of his magical powers that allow him to get information  from county staff. He simply uses the words please and thank you.

14017833_1273894092622171_386452464_n
That’s P-L-E-A-S-E and T-H-A-N-K_Y-O-U Kirby!

It really is astounding how much you can get done when you are nice to people.

Billy is threatening to actually write legislation to establish a People’s Court. But does remind us that it will take quite some time before such magical legislation appears. He also goes off on the Editorial Board of the FNP. Shreve claims that he had a meeting with the new Editorial Editor (because you know what a big meanie Cliff Cumber was to him) and he was assured that he would be treated fairly. (Man, to be a fly on the wall during that meeting!) And now the new meanie Editor is still saying horrible things too! Why does the conspiracy to point out all the stupid things that Billy does continue?

Jessica talks about hosting some Boy Scouts at Winchester Hall (and we saw some pics, curiously enough no political signs were involved). She also brings up the list Kirby was reading off of. You know the one that PROVED that Jerry got all this special treatment. Well lo and behold guess who else’s name is on said list? That’s right, Old Hashtag himself! With his very own problems and resolutions. Good gravy this guy!

M.C. reminds “someone” that you get more flies with honey than vinegar. And also , that sometimes it’s better to bite your tongue and not say anything. Wink, nudge Billy.

Bud clears up his comment about the council not being a constituency service. He explains that when he worked in Congress they had all of the government organizations open to them in order to help people resolve issues. However, the way the charter is written, all citizen concerns need to go through the County Executive’s  office. The council can of course hear the complaints, but aside of writing legislation to fix grievances, it is the charter mandated responsibility of the County Executive to handle constituent problems.

Now back to the rubber stamp comment that Kirby made earlier. Bud has some numbers about all that. In 2015, 11 bills were passed 9 of which passed with a super majority. Only 2 were passed with the 4-3 breakdown. So far this year, 14 bills were passed with 11 passing with a super majority and only 3 with the 4-3 breakdown that Kirby so laments. But don’t let numbers get in the way of your complaining.

Next meeting is Tuesday, December 13th. Same bat time, same bat channel.

 

Better go grab that liquor before it’s all gone! Your December 6th drinking fun!

eae05f0a8b82216f6116ec6fe45f888194ff970973672a45c5d33249bf7172b3

If you had a chance to see last Sunday’s paper, you would have noticed a front page story and an editorial about the dysfunction  Kirby and Billy cause on our beloved county council. The big story this evening is the election of a county council president and vice president. No one seems to know which way the wind is blowing on this one, so your Lady Yokels are very, very nervous. Not because Kirby and/or Billy could obtain either one of those positions, but because of the potential for some flinging o’ the insults. Grab your agenda and let’s start from the beginning.

If there is any drama during the public comments, budget transfers, approval of minutes or confirmation of the County Executive appointment, take really big gulps of your Failure cocktail.

Now for the drama of the evening. Straight from the Charter here are the steps necessary to vote for the president and  vice president:

2016-12-04 (2).png

1fc9pi
We are nervous too Pancakes!

Do you see why your Lady Yokels are nervous?! There is no way in Hades’ cold underworld that this is going to go well. Every single time one of the three potential trouble makers (that’s right we said three!) cause some drama guzzle down your Jack Frost. Things are about to get super icy in Winchester Hall!

Believe it or not they are going to try and do some more work after this! There’s the first reading of a bill to give small businesses a real property tax credit. Now, Billy and Kirby commonly lament the plight of the small business owner. But alas, a Democrat has introduced it so there’s no way they can support it now! If any objections are made, and none should be made during a first reading, slam back a Fall of Rome. 

Motion to go into closed session will be voted against by the resident fool. And onto public comment we go.

If you are still looking for that perfect gift for your Local Yokel reader, visit our store on Zazzle! 

2016-11-30-2