From the Desk of
County Councilman Kirby Delauter
(6/2015) As you are probably aware, the buzz in Frederick County is about ethics. As it currently stands Frederick County has the same ethics laws as the state of Maryland. As an elected official, I requested an ethics opinion as to whether or not I could bid on county ( CIP ) capital improvement projects. These are the
same type of projects this company has performed during our 60 years in business.
As a former County Commissioner, I asked the same question and was not only denied bidding on CIP work, they denied me bidding on any and all work in the county, even private work. I appealed and won that decision only to have Jan Gardner organize a closed-door meeting with Karl Bickel and several others who were then on the ethics board. They issued a revised (third
opinion without giving me due process or contacting me or my counsel. This opinion stated again that I could not do any work in Frederick County. I appealed again, won the appeal for the third time. A fourth complaint was waged against my company by a Mr. John Helms, another Jan Gardner lackey. I had the fourth hearing regarding Mr. Helmís bogus claims and won that hearing as well, which meant I
could do business in Frederick County while serving as a Commissioner. As a side note, both Karl Bickel and John Helms now serve on County Executive Jan Gardnerís ethic task force, imagine that.
This brings us now to 2015 where I requested the ethics board issue an opinion on whether or not I could do CIP work with the County as a County Councilman. The Council position is different from the former Commissioner position in that as a Commissioner I had both legislative and executive authority. As a Councilman, I only have legislative authority so I wanted a new
opinion based on my new role as Councilman. They issued a very lengthy opinion that stated I could in fact do business with the County with no violation of the ethics code.
No sooner did the independent ethics board issue this ruling, County Executive Jan Gardner along with Council President Bud Otis step in and issue an Executive order overriding the ethics boardís decision to allow my company to work in the County. So much for Jan Gardnerís "open and transparent government, where everyone can be part of the process." It appears the only
people Gardner wants as part of the process are people that agree with her.
As for Bud Otis, what a sorry disappointment he has been. I supported him during the election. Heís asked me to help him with certain things soon after we were elected, things like permitting, reviews by internal audit, fleet services and I was the only council member to propose any modifications to the executiveís budget. In every case he asked for my help, I gave it.
Itís very disappointing to have this executive order come down with no notice, no meeting, and with Bud Otis backing it without making a phone call to me to have any discussion whatsoever. What a coward we have in Bud Otis. What a lap dog for the Executive we have in Bud Otis. His lack of leadership is the only consistent thing about Bud Otis. He is consistently bad at leading this council.
As Iíve said many times, I will continue to do what I said I would do which is expose tax and spend policies, watch out for your tax money, and serve you honorably and with conviction. Once you get through the smoke and mirrors of the Jan Gardner and Bud Otis side show, you will see soon enough who is a businessman / politician, and who are the politicianís politician. One
looks out for others, the others look out for their own best interest.
Read other articles from Frederick County Government Officials