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County Council President Bud Otis

(9/2017) Caring about each other brings a "good neighbor" stream of thought to mind. As the Frederick County Council, we passed Bill 16-15 Nuisance – Noise Levels and Enforcement. This Bill was brought forward by the Sheriff, Chuck Jenkins, and supported by our County Executive to "establish measurable criteria and enforcement to restrict generation of excessive noise and designate enforcing agencies and enforcement officials." During the day, the noise level may not exceed 65 dBA in residential areas, and at night, may not exceed 55 dBA. It also contains specific provisions related to the use of ATVs in proximity to neighboring residences.

A brief note: Section E 2 of the Bill states in part… "A person may not operate or permit to be operated an off-road internal combustion engine powered recreational vehicle, including, but not limited to, a dirt bike, an all-terrain vehicle, a go cart, a snowmobile, or a similar vehicle, closer than 300 feet to a neighboring residence, without the written permission of the affected resident…"

If you believe there exists a violation, please contact the Sheriff’s non-emergency number: 301-600-1046 or 301-600-2071.

We love our beautiful county. Many people move here to be in the country and get away from the hectic pace of the city, to relax, take in the sights and sounds of nature, ride horses and bikes, walk the trails, and just simply breathe.

I hope to encourage all neighbors to be mindful of each other. Racing motorbikes, ATVs and other vehicles can be great fun, but can also cause concern to your neighbors. Please be mindful of those around you and guide your children to be good stewards of the land as well.

Amongst some of the turmoil in our world today, it may be a nice respite to share some great news about our northern Frederick County neighbors and communities.

In mid-August Mayor John Kinnaird threw a parade for our very own Thurmont Little League 2017 State Champions! What a heartfelt event with so many folks out cheering and supporting this accomplished team with accolades from the Mayor, Town Commissioners Marty Burns, Wes Hamrick & Bill Buehrer, Chief of Police Greg Eyler, Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, myself and fellow councilman Kirby Delauter. It was a great outpouring of joy.

Our pride is overflowing for the tremendous sportsmanship of these young athletes. Each one of them are individually skilled in the sport of baseball and also embody the hidden attributes of humility, character, integrity and charm. It was a real pleasure to meet them in person and I am grateful for their team, coaches, manager, and for their parents who have raised such outstanding young men. It warms my heart to know that they will be our future leaders and will excel in whatever field they choose to challenge themselves.

This team made it all the way through to becoming the Mid-Atlantic Region Runner Up! We couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments individually and as a winning team. They showed the State of Maryland and this part of the east coast what a great team the Thurmont Little League produced and for that we are grateful to each of you. The team will attend one of our upcoming Council Meetings in September so we can formally recognize their accomplishments as well. I can’t wait to see them again. What a team, way to go!

Moving from sports to the aspect of education….Thurmont’s Catoctin High School. Principal Bernard Quesada and his staff have earned, for the fifth year running, the prestigious designation by the MD Center for Character Education at Stevenson University as School of the Year for 2016/2017. Another great accomplishment and reflection of the level of excellence we have in northern Frederick County! Catoctin High School’s focus on ethics and substansive character is important especially in our society today. The students learn from their curriculum and so much more internally from mentors and solid examples of human strength. I applaud the efforts of all those involved in making this achievement possible. Principal Quesada and Guidance Counselor Dana Braeshear came to our August 22nd Council Meeting to be recognized for their efforts by our full Council. Thank you!

Community service. I have been a proponent of protecting those less fortunate in our community for decades. As such, it was an honor to attend a recent ground breaking ceremony for the new site of Seton Center, Inc. in Emmitsburg. We had to move inside due to the weather, but it was even more meaningful to see the great cooperation and joy in getting to this point in the development process. The new site will be at 226 East Lincoln Avenue in Emmitsburg. There were many Sisters of Charity there to support the three Sisters who reside at our Seton Center. I counted about thirty hands in the air when I asked all Sisters to raise their hands during the ceremony. How impressive!

Their mission is grounded in the tradition of human services handed on by Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Their Center offers many programs for the residents of northern Frederick County including infant and child care, adult day services, in home care volunteers, performing arts programs and a thrift shop, Seton Family Store, which accepts donations and provides good products at a very low price.

As always, I’m open to any and all comments. Please email me at or call 301-600-1101. Thank you.

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