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From the Desk of
County Councilman Kirby Delauter

(11/2015) This month I am writing about three issues that are upon us in County government, first Iíll start with the Citizens / Montevue Nursing Home debacle. Our County Executive, Jan Gardner decided that breaching contracts and using eminent domain would show off our business friendly climate here in Frederick County. She breached the contracts with Aurora Holdings and used the threat of eminent domain to beat Aurora into submission and afterwards states, I canít understand why no one wants to do business here? . The threat of eminent domain against a private business is like holding a loaded revolver against someoneís head, cocking the hammer, and asking for their wallet. Once they hand it over, you walk away and say " I knew youíd see things my way, and look, I didnít even have to use force". We wonít know the final details of the shakedown, but Iíll give 2:1 odds that Aurora made out well and the County taxpayer will be paying more taxes to take this boondoggle back over. It lost well over $50 Million since the year 2000 while the County operated it, and our wonderful County Executive is so proud of her accomplishment of forcefully taking it back so we can repeat history. I asked County Manager Doug Browning if he would place a personal bond to help offset the losses if they occur once the County takes this back into operation. His answer was a bold " Absolutely Not! ". Why not Doug, youíre selling this as such a great deal, why not put Your money up? Doug will sail off in a few years into his taxpayer funded retirement leaving some other poor sap to clean up he and County Executiveís mess.

Itís kind of like a Steve Wright Ėism of having amnesia and deja-vu at the same time, I think weíve forgotten this before.

On another note, speaking of boondoggles, Council member Jerry Donald has introduced a Water Buffers Bill. This Bill will amend the current ordinance and will eliminate your ability to place open structures, pavilions, gravel paths, asphalt paths, within the water buffer area. These items are now acceptable in these buffers, but Council member Donald seems to think that encroaching on personal property rights is a good thing. Well, it is, if youíre Bernie Sanders or another avowed socialist. A few items that come to mind on this are questions Iíve had, which are, Is the Farm Bureau on board with this proposal? The answer is No, they have some reservations about it and they are likely the people it will affect the most. If we do this and pass this Bill, will the water be cleaner, or will we just have more regulations added to private land owners? My guess, the water not be any cleaner due to this Bill, but, your bank account will be cleaned out by added taxes needed to pay for the enforcement of inspectors to come on your property to tell you what you can and canít do. No thank you Council member Donald, Iíll keep my rights, you keep your socialism.

The last thing are the Transfer of Development rights for Farmers, or TDRís as theyíre called. The Young BoCC enacted this ordinance to help young farmers stay in farming and have an option to "transfer" their development rights to another farm if they so choose to do so. A few criteria need met, first, you have to have development rights on your farm, and second you have to have an approved farm to transfer those rights. This allows say, a farm in rural Creagerstown that has ten TDRís to sell those rights to another approved farm in say, the outskirts of Frederick, where development may be more useful. This does two things, it transfers development to a more acceptable area, and allows the more rural areas to stay that way, along with allowing a young farmer to create some income from his farm, without slicing his farm into smaller pieces and taking away the land for what he wanted it for in the first place, Farming.

These things are all coming from County Executive Gardner, as she throws them in the lap of the four Council members that are at her beckon call. They proceed with her agenda all the while acting as though they are being thoughtful and safeguarding us from ourselves with all of this radical legislation that does nothing but take more of your rights and more of your tax money. Mark my words, your taxes will go up over the next 3 years, and our bond rating will go down which will nothing but cause us to pay higher interest rates to borrow money to pay for all of this nonsense.

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