September 15th meeting roundup. How a question is different from an observation edition.

Hello Local Yokel fans! We didn’t think this would be a very long meeting, but hey, why do we underestimate people’s ability to waste large amounts of time on personal vendettas? Sometimes I think we should watch our neighboring counties’meetings to see if they are anything like ours. Truly curious to know if we are unique. Anyone with any knowledge of this please comment.

If you were following our drinking game you had to take a shot of the usual right out of the gate. And then blah, blah, blah, Billy abstains from the agenda. (Doesn’t that mean he should abstain from having any input on anything on that agenda?) Let’s move on to Budget Transfers:

Listen to the baby possum Kirby!
Listen to the baby possum Kirby!

Everything is going smoothly. Kirby says he has a question on BT-16-051, a project for the Public Works Division. The nice fellas from this division sit at the table expecting an actual question. For those of you who are parents, do you remember when your kids were young (or perhaps they are still at this age) and someone would ask them if they had any questions? Instead of actually having a question, which of course your child insisted that they did, it’s just a story or an observation. Well, that’s what happened here. Instead of asking them anything, Kirby goes on about some previous project (one that it turns out he wanted to bid on), making some point that we really can’t follow about the bids being over the engineer’s estimate and he swears it’s a comparison. The nice fella tells Kirby that he’s only prepared to talk about this project and does he actually have a question. The answer to that is no, just an observation. So why did you make them get up and come to the table Kirby? Billy abstains on all of the budget transfers, we know yawn!

Confirmation of County Executives Appointments. All pass.

Ethics discussion. Read this nice article in the FNP today that breaks down the changes the panel is suggesting the council make. Predictably, Kirby has something to say about it. He wants to know why we have a commission if the County Executive is going to override it. It’s a complete waste of time in his mind. The only difference being that now 71% of the board can now resign in protest. Billy isn’t much better when he tries to make a point about the quorum. Now 3 out of the 5 have to show up. This change will make it so that 4 out  of 7 will make a quorum. That’s one more person than before, Billy points out. Mathias tries to explain to him that there will be more people on the board and that this really isn’t a point that he wants to get mired down in. (We hear ya!) After this, some good discussion from just about everyone takes place. What about having the commission members appointed by an independent body? That’s worth discussing. But then Tony takes it in a different direction and tries to reject the entire bill promising that he will sponsor it in the future. That motion is defeated. There will be  county workshop on this on October 6th and a future public hearing. If you have any input on this be sure to contact the council before that date.

A break was put on the agenda to reconvene at 7:00. Billy doesn’t like that he has to twiddle his thumbs until then. Which could be a valid point if Bud could reasonably predict how long the first half of the meeting will take. But since he can’t……(Actually Billy’s last parting shot was: “Well let’s not make any decisions like that again.” Nice, huh?)

After Billy sat in his office twiddling his thumbs for an hour and a half, the council reconvened to take up two public hearings.

The first was concerning the bill to amend the Water, Sewers and Sewage Disposal code:

Remember during the first reading of this bill when Billy said the government shouldn't collect small fines? Well, poor kitty cat took him literally.
Remember during the first reading of this bill when Billy said the government shouldn’t collect small fines? Well, poor kitty cat took him literally.

This bill is to fine people $250 for taking water from hydrants. Last time Billy said the county shouldn’t take people to court to collect small fines because it wasn’t fiscally sound. And tonight he reiterated that notion by saying $250 is not enough to stop offenders. So is he advocating for making the fine larger? There’s some discussion of the WSSC method of giving contractors a meter, which is not feasible for the way we do things. Especially since our water and sewer department doesn’t have the manpower. Kirby has some reasonable questions here. This is the Kirby we wish we could see all the time. And the fine representative from this department is more than prepared to answer them. We like good questions. Not observations not so subtlety masked as complaints. Bill is moved on.

Next up is discussion of the expansion of the MedImmune facility. We will leave you with this article if you want to read more. Very ably presented by Helen and Company. Passed as well, with only Billy saying no.

Public comment was only two fellas this evening. Steve McKay gave a very informative comment about his take on the ethics law. (Can we see the power point Steve?) And hopefully his comments will be taken seriously.


Another commenter asked the council to look into some building code violations that were going to jeopardize his solar panel business. And we have to say we love how respectfully this man was treated. Let’s keep that level of respect going!

And now…Council Member comments.

So it’s not a surprise to any of us that Kirby and Tony are against the prevailing wage. And that they are encouraging the public to attend Delegate Afzali’s meeting tonight. But we’ve said enough about that so let’s move on.

Billy. If only Thor had sent down a thunderbolt to knock out the power, then we could have been spared this last bit of nonsense. Billy wants it to be known that Paul and Blaine were not issued their proper engraved invitations to sit before the dais of the county council. How could they have known when to come? (David Gray somehow figured it out.) Billy wants to make a change to the record so it’s known to one and all that they were not invited. He gets into a verbal back and forth with Chomel, who tells him that council member comments are not about making motions. But somehow it happens anyway. But not before Jerry Donald gives Billy a good dressing down as to how their presence before the council would not have made a difference. And, Jerry continues, the council didn’t ask for this issue, it was given to them and they need to make the best decision based on the record not what was going on in Paul and Blaine’s heads. Billy’s motion fails. As do we all when our time is wasted so egregiously.

Who is calling the county council rudderless?

Right this way folks!
Right this way folks!

We are all familiar with last week’s county council meeting’s outcome. The Monrovia Town Center process is starting over from the beginning. We wrote about it, the Frederick News Post wrote about it and today Billy wrote about it:


Great Gods on Mount Olympus hear our cries for mercy!!!! So many things to point out here folks. Let’s do a nice bullet list:

  1. Why is Billy using the Fox News lie “Fair and Balanced”?
  2. Paul Smith very specifically said in his letter that he WOULD not submit an affidavit. And refused to even talk about it with the Frederick News Post. Why would he come and testify before the county council?
  3. Then there’s Blaine who said it was a “boldface lie” that he was invited. But somehow his fellow BOCC member, David Gray, was able to find out the day of the hearing and had no problem standing in line to testify. Maybe Blaine feels as though he needs a special engraved invitation to speak.
  4. And Kirby…what the hell are you talking about rudderless? Perhaps he needs one of these:
It's under R.
It’s under R.

Finally Billy uses this quote from the judge’s order:

Read the Judges instructions on page 3, the last 3 lines: “Therefore, this Court must remand the matter to the County for further proceedings, including testimony, to resolve the issues raised in this Opinion

I don’t see how this proves his point. In fact it seems to support starting the process over. This is how the council has chosen to deal with the problems with the record, these two need to get over it and get on board. The vessel isn’t rudderless. Just because you don’t like the course, Kirby and Billy, doesn’t mean it isn’t going anywhere.

Maybe these guys need to stop using social media. Then again, it provides us with an endless source of information.

Best wishes to Mrs. Otis and Billy behave!

On this last day of June, a fine, fairly mild summer day, the Frederick County Council convened to take care of the business at hand. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of tonight’s meeting , dear readers, we must start off with a message to our BFF Bud Otis. We here at the Local Yokel sincerely hope that your wife is on the mend. We are very glad to hear that our EMT and 911 services are top-notch. And we are sure that since the “everything must be privatized” majority is gone they will continue to receive the funding necessary to keep them so.  Mrs. Otis please accept our virtual flowers and very real well wishes:


Now to the business at hand. If you were following our drinking game then you had a Stars and Stripes right out of the gate:

imageAt the top of the agenda was Budget Transfers. A fairly common occurrence, quickly discussed and voted on. Should be no surprise that Billy was the main hold out. But that’s become boring to us so let’s go to the next item.

Approval of the Frederick Community College FY 2016 operating budget. Very nicely presented by FCC representative Dana McDonald I must say. She explains how the county contribution has helped the school. Most importantly, how the contribution has helped keep tuition increases low. I don’t know about you but I believe that FCC is a wonderful institution. It’s a great place to start college without the high price tag or to gain a certification or simply expand your knowledge. One would have to be living under a rock to have not heard of the crippling student debt that many young people carry. It would be very hard to imagine that an elected public official would be ignorant of the fact that the high price tag of a Bachelor’s degree is a real concern in these United States of America.

Who is living here?
Who is living here?

Just kidding, we totally can image who…Billy! Not only is he the only one to give this poor woman any grief, but he once again renders a presenter speechless with his inquiries. He wants to know why county residents can’t pay more in tuition if they want to! He wants to know why county residents are given any special “subsidy” at all, because folks he would love to charge them all the out-of-state rate! Every single meeting we are presented with more and more proof that Mr. Shreve is not a big picture kind of guy. I offer this article on the economic impacts of high student debt so Billy can come out of the darkness and into the light. Fortunately, the other council members see the value in an affordable post-secondary educational institution and the budget was approved 6-1.

Time for another item of common occurrence…County Executive appointments. All passed unanimously, except for the planning commission in which Billy is trying to make some point about Trout Run by voting no.

Earlier in the week we posted about item d. on the agenda. Local Yokel is not a fan of giving Mr. Smith any money at this point. Well, the only council member who agreed with us was M.C.. She argued that, “as a lawyer he should have known better.” But with 6-1 she was clearly in the minority and Mr. Smith will be receiving almost $12,000 in legal fees that he claims were associated with his duties as a former county commissioner.

A couple of items about plumbing code and an amendment to the moderately priced dwelling unit bill and then we are on to the big-ticket item: Monrovia Town Center. In short, no decision. Of course Tony would love to see this rushed through and at one point he became very agitated at Jessica for asking a question that he deemed irrelevant. Thankfully, because of the leadership of M.C. Keegan-Ayer, the council is going to review this information on the MTC dating from January 2014 to the present. The council wants to make sure they can make a thoughtful, educated decision about what has certainly turned into a nightmare for everyone involved. Even though Tony wanted a 30 day limit to this thoughtful deliberation, more reasonable heads prevailed and a decision will be deferred until September.

A few thoughts on public comment. It is very sad to us that people have to thank the county council for behaving in a thoughtful, deliberate manner. Shouldn’t that be a given? But that’s exactly what speaker after speaker did this evening. Whether Kirby or Billy want to admit it, the last four years of the board of county commissioners was a dark time in our county’s history. Citizens felt disrespected and it was really frightening to us that our county government was in the hands of a group of people who don’t really believe that government should exist at all.  Billy gave us a flash back of this disrespectful behavior when he openly sparred with a member of our community, and then Jessica, over some concerns this community member has over Route 75. Billy was consistently rude and out-of-order during this whole interaction. As one woman stated, it is embarrassing to think this man represents our county.

Blaine's not there to back you up anymore! It's time to behave if you want to sit at the grown up table!
Blaine’s not there to back you up anymore! It’s time to behave if you want to sit at the grown up table!

Another point concerning public comments is that Tony took the brunt of the criticisms this evening. He was accused of not answering communications, not properly representing his district and the people are not happy! He tried to answer these accusations in his comments, telling people to stop smirking, but it’s fairly evident where Tony’s loyalties lay. He’s got a lot of fences to mend if he hopes for another shot at this council seat.

Is he listening? Time will tell.
Is he listening? Time will tell.

Not sure what’s going on with Kirby lately. He needs someone to fix his microphone because once again it was very hard to hear him. His comment at the end of the meeting was very strange. He announced that he received a text that a cement truck dumped its load on the side of a road and will someone look into it? This all seemed really out-of-place. Why is someone texting Kirby with this information? And why announce it at the meeting? Does he want us to know that people call him as well? Maybe he’s tired of Billy getting all the credit.

We will end this post with a Twitter update from Jen Fifield of the Frederick News Post:

What's this about? What is the developer getting a police escort?
What’s this about? Why is the developer getting a police escort?