Tonight the council is having a workshop on a variety of issues:
We can just imagine all the folks lined up to talk about the erroneous belief that everyone’s land is getting snatched up by the River Plan. Which is a list of suggestions, not even a law, and which basically is trying to save the river which all of us have a vested interest in since, you know, we kinda need water to live. Which now gives us a Yokel flashback to when Billy said you could drink out of any waterway in Frederick and not get sick! I wonder how many of these naysayers would take the Monocacy River drinking challenge! Anyhoo, we’ll let you know how this all turns out!
Can you believe that Shrelauter will be off the council dais in just 6 short months?! Billy isn’t even trying to run in his primary election, and Kirby? Well, we can’t predict the future, but things haven’t been looking so good for his CE race either! Hopefully the new council won’t be as cray cray as this one and we can take it easy around Yokel headquarters for a while.
This evening’s agenda is oh so very full. We have a myriad of budget adjustments, approval of FCC’s budget (will FCC’s president have to slap down Billy’s outsourcing ideas again?), and then…oh dear…an amendment to the ethics code. Will Kirby be able to control himself?
Then we have two hearings on community block grants. We are sure Tony is going to pipe up here, since he doesn’t believe the government should be giving out grants and picking all those winners and losers. We end the evening with two more hearings on sustainability and holy moly macaroni… the Monocacy River Plan. We’ll leave the game up to you. Use whatever beverage you need, if you want to drink after a traditional bingo, or any square you mark that’s up to you! Just remember to be safe, don’t call Billy, and VOTE! #localelectionsmatter!
We have to say gentle readers, listening to the meeting tonight was very hard. There was so much bickering, condescension, and rudeness, it was almost too much to take. However, we want you to stay informed in this election year so here goes!
The first discussion focuses on a resolution that M.C. has put forth to alleviate some of the concerns that residents, The Farm Bureau, and the planning commission brought up with regards to the river plan that was approved back in August. Let’s present the facts first before we get in to the hullabaloo that took place there after!
FACT ONE: These recommendations come from a state mandated board that is tasked with preserving the river for future generations. You know so we can live,..because without clean water that is impossible.
FACT TWO: This plan and the accompanying resolution is not a land grab. This point is reiterated by pages 4-5 of the resolution before the council:
We do find it sad that the county government has to take the time and energy to combat all the misinformation that has been spread by people like Kirby. I guess they have to do what they have to do though.
FACT THREE: These recommendations are voluntary, not compulsory. There are no fines or other punishments for not following them.
FACT FOUR: The resolution M.C. brought before the council this evening is to simply allow the resolution to go before the public in order to hear what people have to say. It is not voting to implement the plan, just suggesting some changes.
Well, well, well, some are not going to let go of the land grabbing narrative. Kirby smells a rat! He believes that since there are some new members on the river board we should just wait, who knows how long, to see what they have to say. Tony agrees and thinks this has to do with politics. Kirby claims the cart is before the horse(?), and Billy claims that all the landowners are unhappy because that’s the emails he received. Because, we all know how people love to write their legislators when they are happy about something! Kirby also claims that nobody is going to die and there hasn’t been any flooding! (Where the hell has he been the last week ?) Billy gets super insulting and tells M.C. that she just took orders from the top! M.C. and Jessica are both outraged at this because M.C. spent A LOT of time talking to people on both sides of this issue to come up with this resolution. Will it make everyone happy? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean that a GOOD legislator doesn’t try. This conversation goes on and on and it’s entirely unproductive to the point that M.C. says that we’ve beaten this dead horse to the point it’s bloody and lying in the gutter. And you know what that means!!! We get to bring this classic back:
Motion passes 4-3, the resolution goes to a public hearing on June 5th.
The last part of the evening is to discuss three additional charter amendments to be sent to public hearing. The first one is proposed by Shreve and has to do with what happens when a councilperson has to vacate their seat. Billy thinks that the party should get to decide who either gets appointed or nominated. Jerry agrees with Billy, Kirby, and Tony that this should go to public hearing.
The next amendment is put forth and then quickly taken back by Tony. No one is sure what he intended to do here. Everyone, including the county attorney, argues that the council already has the ability to do this during budget season if they would, you know, just meet with the CE and talk things through. Tony doesn’t even seem to know what he wants to do, something about not giving non profits money? Anyhoo, we won’t waste anymore of your time because it’s a moot point anyway.
The last amendment is also brought forth by Shreve. We are honored to hold witness to the Dunning Kruger effect in real time:
Billy wants to mandate that the budget be presented to the council 30 days earlier than it is now. M.C. brings up the point that the county doesn’t know what money we will get from Annapolis until the beginning of April, so this is impossible. Rick Harcum and Lori Depies also make a special trip to tell Billy how: a. very unnecessary this charter amendment is b. how they could never have the numbers ready this early and c. don’t you think some thought went into the date before it was put in the charter dummy!? (the dummy is our nice edition, but hey they were certainly thinking it!) This doesn’t deter Billy from arguing his moot point, even though he clearly doesn’t understand what it takes to form a budget. All come through in the end though. Voted down 6-1! Isn’t it astounding that after all of his years as a legislator, Billy still doesn’t know how things work? We still can’t believe that he thinks anyone should vote for him to represent us in Annapolis!!! Dunning-Kruger strikes again!
If you are in tuned to local issues, it’s very likely you’ve heard about the recommendations of the Monocacy Scenic River Advisory Citizen’s Board. If you are interested (and who isn’t interested in clean water am I right?) please peruse the report available on the Frederick County website.
Since the river does not belong to any one person, and there is lots of science on the effects of riparian buffers on waterways, it is in our collective interest to protect this valuable resource. Clean water is a RIGHT. That’s right a RIGHT. For without it we cannot live. Perhaps you know that the human body is around 65% full of it! Wait..what’s that Council member #?”
Kirby would you read the damn report!!!! The whole thing! Not just that report but also the Lake Linganore Source Water Protection Plan! The river belongs to all of us and we need to discuss how to protect it! Farmers, citizens, government officials, and scientists (yes scientists!) need to come together and rationally discuss how to best do that. And guess what? Not everyone is going to get their way! Some sacrifices, in the way of planting trees around the river, are going to have to be made.
According to numerous reports, we are in danger of having either a scarcity of clean water OR water that is too expensive for many to afford. IN THIS COUNTRY. Read about the scarcity report here and the report about how 1/3 of Americans will not be able to afford clean water soon here. Due to global climate change, hydraulic fracking, and lack of investment in water infrastructure we are on the cusp of having a major problem in this country. We need to protect our waterways. You don’t have the RIGHT to pollute a communal water way because you own the property next to it.
If property rights are so important,even more than the right to that life sustaining combonation of hydrogen and oxygen, then can Kirby please explain his support for a wall along the border? You know the one that Texans aren’t so keen on because of all the land that will have to be grabbed up ? Oh, wait, that’s different right? #alternative facts
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.
This morning’s Political Notes is chock full of good information. First off, Governor Hogan is commanding each school system come before the next Public Works meeting to beg for school construction money! If the school districts dare not appear then screw all the students in your district! Hogan said if they do not appear “..they won’t be getting any money”. Even though lawmakers and school officials have asked for this annual “Beg-A-Thon” to stop the governor is going to continue to make you grovel before his divine presence.
Here’s how State Treasurer Nancy Kopp has characterized these meetings:
Kopp said she agreed with her colleagues about the board’s ultimate authority to approve the school construction funds, but also said the Beg-a-Thon has turned into a “political barrage” and “bullying” in recent years.
Sounds great! Next up in the column is Kirby. At the last council meeting Kirby tried to characterize Jan as some greedy land confiscator. He had a whole list of offenses Jan had committed against the poor citizens of Frederick County. However, he appears to have exaggerated those claims. On the accusation that Jan gobbled up all the land along Route 15 the County Executive had this to say:
She said the 2001 rezoning action was at the Frederick County Planning Commission, and though she was the county commissioners’ liaison to the board, she was at another political event when the U.S. 15 rezonings were voted on. That move by her colleagues on the planning commission ultimately had unintended consequences and was rolled back, she said.
Huh. Well, Kirby can’t be right all the time can he? The new recommendations (that’s right recommendations not a law or Executive Order) concerning the Monocacy River and water buffer zones is what has gotten Kirby all in a pinch. The Monocacy Scenic River Citizens Advisory Board has recommended that properties along the river have a protected water buffer of 300-500 feet. You know to prevent the Monocacy from becoming a simmering cess pool of chemicals and pollutants. Some potentially affected landowners are understandably upset. Nobody likes having to part with their property. And when they have to they should be justly compensated. We need to protect our waterways, even when it upsets some. All interested parties should lay their arguments before the government and said evidence should be weighed with the public good as the ultimate goal. In case you want to read up on the science of what water buffers do here is an informative joint study by Virginia Tech and Virginia State University. We need good, educated discussion with a result that is fair as possible to all parties involved. Not knee jerk statements like this, from someone whose only goal it seems is to be outraged about everything all the time:
“Environmentalism is the new socialism. You know, if you want to take something, just call it environmental. Just call it somehow environmental and everyone’s got to bow down and give up all their rights for that. It’s ridiculous,” Delauter said.