It’s Awards Season–and we have some in mind for the 2/5 County Council Meeting

Your locals bounced into the show late mid-Monocacy River Plan Presentation and it does sound like the early part of the meeting was worth listening to because there were some comments made with bipartisan concerns about things that were eliminated from the plan and we don’t have the low down on that. Our chief take away really is that it is a plan. It isn’t legislation, although it may be the basis for crafting legislation that uses the plan as a resource. If that’s the case, then you get to go through the whole process that is normal when you have an elected public official you have to talk to. Part of the plan is specifically that eminent domain should not be used, so the entire land grabbing narrative is silly. Like so many things. And we will have to return to how representative democracy works later when we had to consume the entire bottle of Barefoot Bubbly.

They ticked through the public hearing portion of the bills the council is considering rather quickly, after a brief interlude of disco video game psychedelic electronica music. Who picks that stuff?

Then there was a discussion about bills for the council to offer support to or withhold sending support to for the state delegation, and holy moly. It would be appropriate to hit the sauce just so that we can address this in writing. We are going to award the nickname Philly to Phil Dacey, due to an uncanny likeness this evening to Billy Shreve’s confusion over Roberts’ Rules everything. Tonight he was incensed that they must quickly offer opinions on items they don’t know enough about. This would seem like a BFD, if it were true that the public never gets to weigh in. But here is the thing: the public elected Delegates and Senators and Joseph(ina) Q. Public is perfectly free to contact the people who will actually be voting on these bills to let them know what their priorities are. The council opinion is not meant to convey the constituents’ opinions, so much as it is meant to offer insight from the standpoint of officials who have a closer relationship with all the invested players in the business community and pertinent county agencies. And hey, we can understand if you aren’t familiar with this process that it seems a little crazy, but at least they asked for your opinion. You can give it, or not. And there’s a little foreshadowing for you folks…

First they were to offer support or decline to support a bill to establish a registry of private laboratories that have biohazardous materials so that in the event of an emergency the first responders know about the biohazards. This is of particular concern to Frederick County for reasons that are hopefully obvious to most everyone. Steve McKay referred to this bill as a “no-brainer” because (per his explanation) basically we are talking about nasty stuff that is one step away from being weaponized. Philly indignantly snapped, “Are you implying the state delegation has no brain?” There was more agony with the hand wringing over not knowing anything about this and having to decide in a hurry (glug, glug, glug) and Kai piled on, seconding the “no-brainer” quality of this needed legislation. I mean, whoever heard of it being a big deal if anthrax happens to get out into the environment, right? Oh and also this has come up thrice already with unanimous support from the Council in every previous year, but it has passed the House of Delegates and failed in the Senate repeatedly. Jerry Donald contributed that Ron Young is optimistic that it can be passed at long last because the thorn in the Senate is not longer in office. Fingers crossed. 6 ayes, 1 abstention on this one. You can’t make this stuff up.

Phil Dacey gets the “Abstinence-Only Doesn’t Work” Award. In this case it literally means you aren’t working. Sigh.

That he was getting nowhere with tabling the opportunity to give an opinion to the delegation started to really grate at Dacey, and in turn agitate your Yokel on duty. The next one was somewhat confusing, because of a sort of double negative setup. Here’s the query: Should the Council oppose including Frederick County in State Legislation exempting Agritourism businesses from being required to meet certain life safety building and zoning standards.

Some of the more interesting work of the previous Council was working to have farm wineries and breweries and allow special events in these spaces. Because many of them are charming old barns they are susceptible to certain safety hazards (like flammability), and so this having been a thing that was extensively cultivated involving the various interested parties like brewers and vintners and farmers and county agencies, the thinking was, “Nah, we’d not like to have gone through all that and have these things exempted from safety measures.” Fire safety regulation has had its opponents previously, if you followed the rogue wedding venues dramas of the past year or so. (If not: Here, here, here.) Philly moved to table the opportunity for opinion giving. Back and forth and forth and back and then got snippy that he had a motion and M.C. had to explain that nobody seconded the motion, and then no one did, so the motion failed.

And.

He.

Kept.

Going.

There was so much whining and undignified begging. It was truly disrespectful of the process that he was so desperately trying to knight-in-shining-armor save from itself. Steve McKay and Jessica Fitzwater both said they were comfortable with taking a position, because it was a position not to do something rather than a position favoring a new measure. We have to disagree here. That is entirely beside the point, which is up above, but we will revisit. We are all free to contact our representatives in Annapolis. That is how government works. We don’t need it to pass from us through Kai Hagen and Michael Blue or whomever. Annnnnd…On that note, we are so terribly remiss in bestowing an award of gratitude upon Michael the Miracle of District 5–this is such an improvement from He Who Shan’t Be Named. With that, we will end on a positive note. Deep breaths.

Special Council Bulletin: Marathon Meeting Madness Warning

We are looking at the agenda for tonight’s meeting and thinking that there’s a lot to cover, possibly due to the cancelation last week. Budget Adjustments get the party started, as is the custom. The fact that Billy is not available to dork around in a petulant manner at this point is cause for a swig of Barefoot Bubbly. The fact that we are scared that Phil Dacey is willing and able to fill that role makes us wonder if we won’t need something harder for these things in the future.

Other matters for the meeting include appointment confirmations, Monocacy River Plan Presentation, Maryland General Assembly Legislative Items. After the break there will be some bills for public hearing. Here they are (if you use the link above for the agenda then the links to the bills there will be active).

We kind of miss the games, but this Council offers more dignity than we are accustomed to. The rules for this meeting are simple: take a gulp of that cheap bubbly every time Phil reminds you of Billy in a suit.

We aren’t out of a hobby yet!

Ladies and gentlemen, Frederick Countians of all ages, we regret to inform you that we are some bit afeared of what we are hoping is not a trend. The early part–and extremely educational segment–of the meeting was focused on the budget decision held over from the previous meeting with regards to allowing the health department to buy a vehicle. In order for Phil Dacey to better understand the situation, Dr. Barbara Brookmyer came and gave an awesome tutorial, and we are all the better for knowing what we know now. Recommended viewing, in fact. Much like the Human Trafficking Workshop of the previous council, we learned a lot about a matter that has serious impact upon the well-being of our community.

Today we learned the health department is a dually led entity that is part state and part county. The state wants the county to procure a vehicle for a safe syringes program. NB: this will not cost the county money. The program in the state of Maryland involves several different mandatory elements, including collecting dirty needles, supplying clean needles, and undergoing disease testing for stuff like HIV and hepatitis C. Reasons they would like for this program to be successful in Frederick County include our geographic location on “The Heroin Highway” and our neighboring two abysmally afflicted counties in West Virginia. Dr. Brookmyer used a specific example of a jurisdiction that traced all 190 HIV cases to a single syringe, she stressed that the price of treating a single case of HIV can run to $600,000 (times 190 is $114,000,000.00) and a clean syringe costs 10 whole cents (times 190 is $19.00. Cost benefits analysis, bro.

Other reasons they would like to keep this thing mobile is the NIMBY’s preferring not to have a drug treatment program run on their corner (Weird, right! Have y’all heard about our totally uncontroversial Downtown Frederick Marriott, though?) and also that our county is hugenormous, and furthermore that people who do the drugs don’t necessarily come to your central office, especially because often they are not super interested in going to all that trouble for the express purpose of not doing the drugs. However, meeting them where they are at often establishes relationships that show them where to go and who will help when they do decide they ready to stop doing the drugs. Phil Dacey told us basically that it’s cool if many of us are infected with HIV, because he is a libertarian ideologue. Besides, he notes that he’s better than we think because he didn’t call it Uber for Needles. Har har. Honk if you love Frednecks in a suit. Opioids anyone? Hat tip to M.C. Keegan-Ayer for the adult perspective of child rearing in the days where your kids have lost someone to drugs. By all means, ideologue away by your lonesome. This decision passed 6-1, but at least our NewBilly can say “nay.”

There were also presentations on Public Information Act Requests, and Ethics, and Open Meetings. We learned all kinds of wise advice from this. You should not write out things you don’t want to see in print. Also probably don’t send your Anthony Weiner if you don’t want to see it in the news. That part, which we like to think was implied, was not covered, nor was, “He won’t buy the cow, dear, if you give him the milk for free,” but mostly this stuff was common sense responsibility. Also, too, no public money campaigning (but what about if you want to put your campaign sign and the Boy Scouts in Winchester Hall…still no? ok then…).

Then we had the final brouhaha in which we both kind of agree with Phil Dacey and simultaneously are in danger of having a stroke. He does not want to go into closed session to talk to the BOE appointee who would potentially fill Ken Kerr’s vacated seat, because he feels that elected people get elected in public, not quietly in an office. That’s true, and everyone kind of sees what he is saying, but there’s some reluctance to just up and change everything on this candidate mid-process because this was how they handled personnel changes before, and because doing like that’s frankly a bit obnoxious and unprofessional. Lots of back and forth ensues about whether or not they will ask this candidate about willingness to answer stuff in public, but he is still going to vote no about the closed session motion. At this point we are screaming at our TV: HOW WILL YOU ASK HER TO DO THAT IF YOU DO NOT LEAVE AND GO ASK? When will this magic take place? Please make it stop!!!!

Party Bonus: Dacey brought a fan club for public comment. Then Steve McKay reined that in with some diplomacy and knowledge about the authority behind this BOE replacement idea, which is The Code of Maryland Regulations (a.k.a. COMAR).

 

Picturegate

As soon as your Lady Yokels saw this pic, we knew some tomfoolery was afoot:

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Look at Phil Dacey. 

But, without proof we didn’t want to make any accusations. Luckily, the local Republicans are in full cannibal mode and broke the case for us. Behold:

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Oh Good Lord People! Why would you do this? Why?

There must have been at least 100 people at this event, they had to have known that more than one camera would have been clicking away. But according to  Frederick County Council At-Large candidate Danny Farrar, tis no big deal:

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So, because it was so poorly done and obvious and didn’t’ take place in Iraq there is no deceit to be found! And, if everyone was going to know anyway why not put it in the caption that he was unable to attend?!

For anyone who pays attention around these here parts, not showing up is kind of Phil Dacey’s thing. According to The Frederick Extra  during his tenure as a Frederick City Alderman he was absent from 31 workshops and 5 public hearings! He was also late 21 times! How do voters know he’s going to show up for county meetings? After all, past behavior is a great predictor of future behavior. Pretending that someone was at event when he clearly was not, no matter how poorly done, is deceitful. And in Phil Dacey’s case shows a pattern of not showing up for his public duties.

We happen to be of the opinion that it is a big deal to photoshop in a notorious no-show. #notoriousnoshow

Your Yokel week in review!

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We’ll help you out, Marmalade!

There is so much to point out to you this week, we thought it was best to do one Friday post to wrap it all up for y’all!

Let’s start with the FNP’s snazzy photo, which you may or may not have seen flying around the intertubes. Definitely check out the link to the interview below if you missed it, because our very own Sheriff talks about his meeting with Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard “I ain’t answering none of your questions” Sessions! Sessions is wearing a yellow tie, and according to some nouveau Victorian tie custom (we guess) this means Sessions is a coward! Wow, don’t y’all feel so much safer with these two in charge? You can read the write up of the FNP”s interview with Jenkins, but not Sessions! Because he don’t have no time for y’all’s inquiries!

On the subject of Jenkins and his immigration stance, there was a brilliant LTE from a nice fella that was in attendance during last week’s 287 (g) meeting.

While we are on the subject of LTE’s. Let us direct you to this one regarding the festering dead horse beating of Jessica and Jerry voting for their own salaries  and this one regarding Kathy Afzali’s legislative style! Keep up the good work fellow citizens of Frederick County!

Speaking of Kathy, she sent out a little note letting us all know that she is not running for her Delegate seat, but she’s got some plans! Plans that will be revealed AFTER Labor Day!

Well, some of those who have the same “plans” have officially filed their paperwork. Check out The Frederick Extra’s story on Blaine’s former flame, Regina Williams.

Let’s move on to the city of Frederick. Two stories out of there. First of all, Randy McClement has filed for re-election. Putting him in the ring with Alderman Michael O’Connor and former mayor, Jennifer Doughtery.

The only Republican on the Frederick City board of Alderman, Phil Dacey, has announced that he will not seek re-election to that post. However, he is interested in pursuing the At-Large County Council seat. If he didn’t have the wherewithal to fulfill his duties as an alderman, how can he expect us to vote him onto the council?

This Tuesday, the county council will have a workshop. We don’t do drinking games for workshops, but don’t worry we won’t judge! Whatever works peeps!