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County Council President Bud Otis

(10/2017) I hope you and your families are enjoying the lovely fall weather and activities thus far. We are so fortunate to live in the part of the country that not only has distinct seasons, but is rarely prone to severe weather such as what we saw in Houston, TX and Florida due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma this past August and September. Luckily my family and friends in those respective areas are all fine, and I hope all your loved ones are as well. We have donated support for the folks hit by these natural disasters and many of you have done so as well. Thank you.

There were festive parades and carnivals in our area which many of us enjoyed. It was great fun going to the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community show last month. They keep the FFA alive and showcase their talents well. Representative of our entire county is the Great Frederick Fair. It is a tremendous tradition and truly one of the best on the east coast. My wife Rose and I have a lot of appreciation for this continued institution as it shows off our spectacular farming industry and our respect for hard work and tough, sometimes dirty jobs.

As a council, we are focusing on some legislation including the Location of Recreational Facilities in PUD/MXD Bill which I sponsored on behalf of the Administration and a Wood Waste Recycling Bill sponsored by CM Tony Chmelik. Both these Bills are slated to go to public hearing on Tuesday, October 17th at 7 p.m. to hear from residents.

A workshop on October 24th will have a presentation on the Final Proposed Legislative Package for the 2018 Session of the MD General Assembly. If you have ideas for consideration of state wide impact, it’s not too late to have your message heard. Please email me at

Upcoming council workshops will include the DRRA Bill proposed by CE Gardner along with the School Needs Assessment Residential Pipeline data and the Roads Study. The Monocacy Scenic River Plan is tentatively scheduled for a workshop on Tuesday, November 14th, and on Tuesday, December 12th we will get an update on the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living facilities.

I am working on legislation to include tiny homes in our zoning codes and on two additional pieces of legislation….stay tuned!

This has been a busy summer and early fall. I really enjoy traveling this great county and the following events deeply touched my heart. The September 11th Patriots Day Remembrances at City Hall and Winchester Hall were very moving with stories of our own employees and how they came to the rescue on that tragic fateful day 16 years ago.

Another poignant event was the Seton Center’s Getting Ahead Graduation Ceremony celebrating seven individuals overcoming poverty in their own lives. One more inspiring event was Hood College’s President Dr. Andrea Chapdelaine presenting a Hood alumnae the Presidential Medal. It was bestowed on Special Agent Crystal Griner for stepping in when a gunman opened fire at a Congressional Republican baseball practice on June 25th.

We truly live among heroes every day in Frederick County – from Special Agent Griner to the men and women of our law enforcement personnel, our EMTs, paramedics and fire fighters, our doctors and nursing staff, to our teachers and various public servants….all serve to help the lives of others.

Switching gears for an update on our schools. An exciting ribbon cutting was held for Frederick High School on September 29th! I’m very proud of the community, the students, faculty, administrators and local businessmen for bringing this project to fruition. Thank you all.

On October 3rd, the Council will recognize Ms. April Clark, 6th grade science teacher at Oakdale Middle School as the sole 2017 recipient of the MD Association of Science Teachers (MAST) statewide middle school level Outstanding Educator Award! One more excellent example of our wonderful and talented teachers within FCPS.

Two upcoming groundbreakings: Sugarloaf Elementary and Butterfly Ridge Elementary - both celebrations on Thursday, October 19th. Wow, we are taking concrete action on supporting students and families here in Frederick County. I am very proud to have voted (along with CM Keegan-Ayer, CM Donald and CM Fitzwater) to pass the budgets for FY16, FY17 and FY18 which support these improvements to our FCPS system. Great school systems support economic development as firms which have the potential to move here look very closely at the stellar rating of our local school system as an important part of the rubric in their decision making process to move here. Way to go Frederick County!

If you’d like to chat, please call me at 301-600-1101. Thank you once again for giving me the honor of serving you.

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