Surely many of our readers will have already read this interview with Billy Shreve where he touts his fabulous record of accomplishments. Honestly, we are still laughing that Billy has attending the Winter Olympics and Tour de France listed as accomplishments. Those are cool things, sure, but most of us don’t list our vacations as part of our CV.
We just want to remind you of some of his highlights we have taken note of over the last several years. This is not a complete list of everything we have written about him.
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!
We don’t make drinking games for workshops, but we did want to let y’all know what’s going on this evening.
Kirby, Billy and Tony have all claimed that this Monocacy River Plan is just Jan grabbing up all the land. We suppose to build herself a mansion along the banks of the river? Read the board’s suggestions and keep in mind that the goal of all this is to protect the river, not take anyone’s land away from them.
The second item on the agenda is to go through the charter amendments that could appear on the ballot come November. And remember, if you support our EMS workers, then you should support Jessica’s collective bargaining amendment. We’ve been told by our firefighter friends that this amendment will help them in their yearly budget negotiations with the county.
We were in and out of the meeting this evening. May is really something for your gang of Lady Yokels. All of us have youngsters and it seems as though this is the month that we all have to be in a million places at once.
We were lucky enough to catch some of the people that came to public comment. They were all in support of the county safeguarding $500,000 that wasn’t used in the 2018 weather budget in order to enter a public/private partnership to open a detox center. Some very brave ladies told of their own struggles, and one let us know that when she was having problems she would have to drive down to MoCo for treatment. This passes without incident. The High Sheriff shows up after the vote and tells us that he supports this because we have a huge epidemic on our hands right now. This is what we would like to see him spend his time on rather than going on Fox News in his finery to talk about MS-13. So, brace yourselves people, but thank you Sheriff for reiterating the importance of treatment facilities in our fine county.
We missed the budget adjustments and some of the county executive appointments, but join up again when it comes to appointments to the ethics board. Thankfully all are approved WITHOUT incident.
There’s a lot of hullabaloo over the Comcast agreement. It’s a proven fact that people don’t like Comcast. And, because of that, the council got a lot of emails and calls telling them not to vote for this agreement. However, that would have been a bad thing to do. The fact is they hold a monopoly over this area. This agreement makes it so that both the county government and FCPS pay a lower rate for internet services. It also will give the county an HD channel. Kirby thinks it’s unethical that Jan took money from Comcast (note to selves: check Kirby’s donation list) even though she was not a part of the negotiations . And for that reason he will not vote for this “tainted” agreement. Attorney Chomel reminds them if they don’t vote for this, it will be VERY expensive for the county and therefore the tax payers. Sometimes you have to work within the system you have. Passes 4-3.
Tax rate is going to stay the same. $1.06. Tony, Billy, and Kirby vote against this. Presumably because they want it lowered. Which is very curious since they go on to lament the fact that the Fire Department needs more money. How do numbers work again? Jeeze people! If we cut the tax rate that’s less money! So, you cannot advocate for that and then lament the fact that we don’t have enough money!
Anyhoo, we are off to the approval of the FY 2019 budget. Tony puts forth a motion to strip $3 million for the non-uniformed county employees’ raises. Even though their salaries, like the fire fighters, are below par. The biggest problem with all of this is that the council can’t do this. And Tony knows it! He wants to, as Jessica puts it, rob Peter to pay Paul.
We can’t take money from one group of county employees to fix another. And the council can’t move around money period! Though we agree with Tony’s general premise that something needs to be done to strengthen the pay of our firefighters as they are essential to the safety of our community, this isn’t the way to do it. Billy offers no good commentary, so we’ll skip over the fact that he basically called Fire Chief Tom Owens a liar when he stated that firefighters got vacation time. We are friends of our firefighters and hope that Jessica’s suggestion that they be given collective bargaining rights sees fruition. Kirby jumps in to tell us that his alternative budget would have cut out all that environmental crap that we are paying too much money for. Ignoring the fact that many of us would like to keep the environment in good shape AND many of these mandates HAVE to be funded due to state and federal laws. We are pretty sure he’s been told that about a gazillion times before. Tony’s motion fails.
FY 2019 Budget passes 4-3! Thank goodness that Bud is back!
Emergency Management Assistant Director position is funded. Hopefully this helps. Passes 7-0.
Kirby and Jerry’s joint tax credit passes 7-0.
There is a hearing on a very nice development that will include some affordable workforce housing and some nice amenities! We love to hear about nice things! And we got to see Mark Long, candidate for at-large county council and a representative of Affordable Housing give testimony! This tax agreement is passed 7-0.
Ethics hearing also goes nicely.
Public comments are pretty tame, except for Kirby who uses this as a chance to grandstand about the Bussard Brothers and their not being fined, but how it’s going to put them out of business. But blah, blah, blah. There’s only so much energy we can give to these dead horse arguments.
This week’s council agendais SUPER ambitious! So instead of alcohol we are going to suggest some funny sodas to drink. We need all of our Yokels alert and ready to vote next month!
We are going to skip the part where Billy votes against the agenda, abstains on the budget adjustments, and then maybe votes for the minutes and maybe doesn’t. Because…we are tired of him and if Facebook likesare any indication, we won’t have to put up with the likes of him much longer.
The council has lots of county executive appointments to fill, plus a separate motion to fill some spots on the ethics board. We know from past experience that Kirby gets triggeredwhen he hears the word “ethics”, so if he should have any objections sip on a Mr. Aahh!
It’s also time to vote on Jerry and Kirby’s merged Senior Tax Credit bill which we predict will make it through. Afterwards Bud is going to make a motion to create a workshop on school construction fees. A contentious issue in these here parts.
Due to the craziness of the evening, your Lady Yokels joined the meeting seven minutes late. There was a nice gentlemen from Middletown giving some public comment. Apparently, Kirby contacted the Middletown city manager and constructed some budget amendment that has everyone believing that he wants to cut funding from the new library. After three years of sitting through Kirby’s amendments we are very sympathetic to anyone who has to try and parse them out.
After M.C. suggests that Kirby go back and look at his 39th amendment (and my God people are we going to have to sit through HOURS of his amendments again!!!), which he does. He then insists that this amendment only applies to 2019. And look people he’s just trying to look out for the taxpayer!
There is a First Reading on the Frederick County Sustainability Commission that you can read about here.
Then we have three Third Readings to get through. First off is Billy’s bill concerning the Senior/Retired Military tax credit. You know, the one that Tony had to practically re-write for him. Well, Jerry, M.C., and Jessica want an income cap added to this bill. Because not every retired military person is in need of a tax break! Added to that is the fact that every other tax credit has an income cap, but for some reason this one sailed through without one. Probably because there were so many other problems with it! Anyhoo, Billy predictably says that Jerry doesn’t like veterans and old people. To which Jerry replies, “I knew you were going to say something like that!”
Jerry wants the cap to be $80,000, but the bill passes with Bud being the deciding vote, 4-3.
Next up is Tony’s off-track gambling bill. Tony thinks allowing this will help tourism and that horse gambling is different from different kinds of gambling. M.C. is the only one who disagrees and this bill passes 6-1.
The last third reader is the Veteran’s Advisory Council bill and that passes with little fanfare, 7-0.
Now, there are three public hearings. We kind of space out on some of these issues, so you can go ahead and look at these slides regarding the FY 2018 Installment Purchase Application Farm/Land Preservation Program:
The top ten applications were approved 7-0.
Next we have a public hearing on the City of Frederick Enterprise Zone on the Golden Mile. The city is the main entity affected by this, but the county plays a part and must also vote for it. The Golden Mile qualifies for this tax program because of the poverty and vacant buildings in that area Anyone who lives here wants to see that strip do well again. Especially since they are going to lose Toys R Us soon. Well, there’s lots of questions from the peanut gallery, but nothing too bad or out of the ordinary. Until Billy…. He ‘finds it interesting” that those who voted against his tax credit bill are for giving ‘Wall Street corporations” tax welfare. But get this people, Billy is also for this credit. Jerry points out that these bills are “different animals altogether” and Jessica points out these are small businesses not Wall Street corporations. Billy tries again to make his point to which Jessica snaps and tells him to keep on with his talking points, maybe one day it will work out for ya!
The last hearing, before the break, concerns a Petition to Alter County Roads in the Frederick City Watershed. The City of Frederick is trying to alter roads and put up gates in an effort to stop all the illegal dumping that goes on back there. We couldn’t watch the rest of this, so we’ll have to check back on it tomorrow.
Meeting reconvenes at 7:00 for a bunch of public hearings. We predict a big crowd in the house tonight!
We saw this articleand guess what? A study has found that one fifth of human trafficking victims are homeless youth. Please read the article, and remember that our very own Billy Shreve once said there are people for human trafficking as if both sides was a valid arguement. If you don’t remember, it is a good thing we are here and we will #neverforget. Read about it here and here.
Guess what else this research found?
The research also highlights the connection between sex trafficking and online advertising, including Backpage.com, which has recently been shut down by the FBI with federal indictments against the online marketplace. Researchers found that 44 percent of the sex trafficking victims were subjects of an online ad, with half of them reporting that they were advertised on Backpage.
Why is Backpage so familiar??? Have we heard about that website in Frederick for some local reason? Hmmm. Oh, yeah. We read about when abastion scourge of our community was arrested. Human trafficking is a real issue. Neither Frederick, nor Maryland needs leaders who are unwilling and unable to understand there are no pros to this issue.