It’s for the children!

You may have seen multiple posts from different sources like Stand Up Frederick and Steve McKay 4 Frederick County about tomorrow night’s County Council meeting. If you haven’t check them out. We are going to share this one.

From Oakdale Tomorrow:

ACTION ALERT ON MITIGATION BILL:
Please attend the TUESDAY MAY 1st hearing at 7 pm at Winchester Hall wearing your Oakdale Tomorrow shirts or any green shirt. If you plan to attend please leave a comment below so we can keep track. We need numbers.

If you cannot attend, please email comments to the County Council prior to that date at: Councilmembers@FrederickCountyMD.gov. Please also copy their Chief of Staff, Ragen Cherney, at RCherney@FrederickCountyMD.gov so he can add all comments to the record and copy jspiegel@frederickcountymd.gov, CE Gardner’s Education Liaison.

WHAT DO YOU SAY? Ask the County Council members to support the Mitigation Fee bill because every kid deserves a seat in school and it’s not their job to subsidize developers but rather to make sure that residential growth takes place at the pace of schools, roads, etc. Tell them you want principled leadership that isn’t influenced by special interests. Tell them this is not a party issue but a common sense one. Tell them that for the 15 developments still affected by this fee, they need to pay what it actually costs the county to build a seat for a child, not some imaginary cost of what they or we think it should be. Tell them that despite others’ best efforts to drag this out, play games, spin this as a “job killer” issue, you’re not stupid and you REFUSE TO BE APATHETIC. That if you can manage your job, your kids, your life, they can get this ONE THING RIGHT. And don’t forget to tell them they you’ll remember how they voted when it’s your turn to vote this November.

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If you can make it to Winchester Hall tomorrow night at 7, please do. If not, please send an email to let the council know your thoughts on making sure our schools don’t continue on to be overcrowded. The developer will be self advocating. Let’s make sure we do too!

Why can’t some people just be still? Your first half of the meeting run-down, February 13th edition.

Our meeting starts off with a nice recognition of the Linganore High School football team. Billy votes against the whole agenda, so can’t he just leave now? We have four nice public commenters. Many are present to talk about the amendments to the Forest Ordinance Bill. Melanie Cox, of the League of Women Voters, also commends the council for putting the hearing concerning DRRAs back on the agenda. The league has researched this issue, and believes this bill is a good way to balance growth in our community.

Next up is a rather lengthly discussion from Carson Bise on impact fees. You can read the whole report if you like. Basically, elementary and high schools will be severely overcrowded by 2026-27 if we aren’t careful.

Most of the council members have thoughtful comments and questions, but not Kirby! He seems to want to argue over the cost of the study, then doesn’t. Then he tells us that WE should have planned better for all this growth!

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Is he actually admitting fault, or trying to pretend he hasn’t been on the board/council since 2010? He was a significant part of the “we” who should have done this hypothetical planning. Anyhoo, Kirby doesn’t think it’s much of a crisis yet. And, we have all these homes in the pipeline and all these homes were in the pipeline in the past, so all’s good?

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Billy wants to know if FCPS is going to redistrict the whole county any time soon, you know because that’s such an easy, uncomplicated process! So, Urbana folks don’t be surprised when Billy starts advocating that your kids be shipped up to Thurmont!

John Mathias, our esteemed county attorney, is here to make a presentation on the legal side of DRRAs. He explains their history, court cases, and implications for our county. He tells of a certain court case which ruled that you couldn’t change the type of development once vesting had occurred. Mostly because it isn’t fair to the people who already invested in said development. It seems as though Mr. Mathias was sent there to explain to some people how to do their job. More power to him! Tony has much to say, but we are to the point where his voice is just a buzzing noise, so you’ll have to figure all that out on your own.

Lastly, before the council breaks, Jessica and Tony introduce some amendments to the County Executive’s Forest Ordinance Bill. With input from the community they came up with some compromises. The amendments pass, with Billy and Kirby voting no. It will now go back to a public hearing.

Bud then moves to have his forest bill removed from consideration. He tells us that he wishes there was more discussion before hand, before he felt the need to write his own bill. He states that compromise is good for the community and the country. And, we would really like to know, Bud, when things all broke down. We are still perplexed and angry over all that’s gone down lately. Bill is removed with Billy abstaining and Kirby voting no.

The council then goes into closed session, we hear that more shenanigans went down with the DRAA hearing. Stay tuned!

It’s meeting time! This one is going to hurt big time!

We’re skipping the drinking game this week. Why? Well, it’s for your own good. There are some issues to be discussed this evening that are just so aggravating that we fear that the temptation to over imbibe may be  too strong. Like alcohol poisoning strong.  So, grab your agenda, tune into the highly rated FCGTV channel, and try not to break everything in your house.

First, on the agenda, is a road needs study for the New Market/Monrovia area. Read through this study and you’ll see why it is needed. Just try not to choke over the final price tag. Hopefully Steve Horn can make it out without Billy flinging an insult at him.

Now comes the part that may make you want to pack it in and move on. Janice Speigel will be in attendance to go over the School Capacity Needs Analysis report. Folks, it’s bad…real, real bad. With over 21,000 residential units in the pipeline we are in real trouble when it comes to our schools and overcrowding. It’s going to be really expensive, especially since the last BOCC allowed these developers to sign DRRA’s that made it so they didn’t have to pay up. Of course we expect Kirby to pipe up with his super discounted many-times-over-debunked leaseback idea, which would only spell more disaster for our fine county. Here’s a taste of what you can expect to hear about this evening:

And don’t forget that two people responsible for this mess want to run for County Executive and Maryland State Senate. Can you imagine?!

Lastly, we have dueling Senior Tax Credit bills from Jerry and Kirby. Quick poll! Before you even look at them, predict whose bill is more complete and helpful to our struggling seniors!

Nobody should be at the bottom of this totem pole

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Frederick County residents ought to be very concerned with what is going on with our schools. Teachers are leaving because the salaries here are not competitive, and do not align with the workload. The state under Governor Hogan’s leadership is no help, withholding funds from communities all over the place. Sign the petition, please.

Schools are crowded. Crazy crowded. Certain people (for same, for shame) want to build houses willy-nilly while we pit communities against each other in a frankly disgusting way, because everyone is so desperate. No one wishes for their kids to attend schools under these conditions. Adding portable classrooms does not add toilets and gymnasiums and computer labs and libraries. Who is going to sashay into a neighborhood with a trailer park for an elementary school and spend $500,000 on a house? (Not this guy, tell ya that for sure.)

Butterfly Ridge Elementary is intended to relieve overcrowding at Hillcrest Elementary School, which in June was at 144 percent of its state-rated capacity. Waverley Elementary School, also in that area, was rated at 149 percent capacity.

Urbana Elementary School and Centerville Elementary are at 138 and 152 percent of state-rated capacity, respectively. (Frederick News Post, September 5, 2015)

Do we need to point out that homeschool is not a realistic option for that many people? For some we probably do…

The Board of Education is holding a public hearing on the FCPS master plan of capital projects at 7:30 today (that’s Wednesday evening, Sept. 9th, at 191 S. East St., Frederick). They will be working to decide the outcome here, and boy we do not envy them, not one little bit. Everyone should be getting treated better, especially in a matter that is so critical to nearly everyone involved, whether you have kids or you don’t. Schools are the cornerstones of our communities. They prepare our children for their path forward in life. They protect your real estate investments. (TLDR: there is a correlation between per pupil spending and property value). In low income neighborhoods schools feed kids and do what they can to provide opportunity. In communities of recent immigrants, they teach English as a Second Language (something we apparently as a county feel PATHOLOGICALLY PASSIONATE about; Local Yokel has written volumes on this, rivaling the length of the Oxford English Dictionary maybe).

The locals of your most devoted mommy blog are totally down with this very tired mommy crusader. Folks in the city government have given voice to the needs of the community in the western part of the city, and it is up to the people who have less representation down in the Urbana area to make their voices heard. Everyone deserves better. It is sad contemplating the outcome of this. No matter what, it ain’t gonna be pretty, but we particularly dislike the taste of what is going to inevitably look like class warfare, even if it is not.