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From the Desk of
County Councilman Kirby Delauter

(1/2017) Just some observations on a recent Editorial by the Frederick News-Post titled "A County Council Divided". It starts off describing me speaking at a council meeting and goes through (with their best liberal effort) to describe the Council reactions.

They paint Billy Shreve as seeing the comment as comical, they try to show Tony Chmelik as embarrassed, and the remainder as studious and basically, annoyed. They describe the scene as tensions. They state that Jerry Donald rattled of items of success by the Democratic 4-3 majority such as the property tax remaining unchanged. Well, nice try but thatís not exactly true. Now for two years in a row, the constant yield was held which means the county collected more of your tax money in the process. The State of Maryland Comptroller calls that " a tax increase", and yes, I voted against it.

Jerry Donald States the Bond rating has gone up. Again, this is true but bond rating swings are like a cruise ship at sea, you do not turn them on a dime. In the case of bond rating swings (or in this case an increase) it started with the fiscal responsibility of the prior board of County Commissioners when we achieved the highest bond rating in County history. Nice try Jerry Donald, but you simply canít take credit for what was done prior to you being elected.

These, just of few of the items on his list of half-truths. Jerry Donald touts the 4-3 majority of 12 Bills passed, but fails to mention 73% of these came through the Council at the request of the County Executive, and yes, they came through with a rubber stamp etched with 4-3. Council member Donald likes to chide me for never introducing a Bill in two years. Well, yes, if I have to introduce legislation for civility and water buffers we donít need, then yes, you will see no Bills from me. I also want to reduce the size of government, not legislate your land rights and everything else under the sun to restrict your freedoms all in the name of " good government".

They talk about personalities and how the elections may have had something to do with how Council members act, but I can safely tell you it is simple common courtesy. When a 4-3 majority (Otis, Keegan Ayre, Fitzwater and Donald) come out day one in lockstep with the County Executive itís hard to garner much cohesiveness in this group.

When the County Executive targets business people she disagrees with and issue executive orders (backed by the council by 4-3), itís hard to gain cohesiveness as a group. When a Republican elected official, does a complete 180 degree turn from his election platform and throws his Republican counterparts under the bus at every turn, itís hard to gain cohesiveness in this group. When that same person (Unaffiliated) Bud Otis states in this FNP article that "We are not a constituency service" that speaks volumes as to his disdain for the voters who put him there.

There is no leadership on this council and itís been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. A prime example, by a 4-3 Bud Otis was again put in as Council President. Itís apparent nothing will change, the council we be an extension of the County Executive and she will run the county through fear and intimidation, just as she has for the 20 plus years sheís been involved in county government.

Iím in a minority on this Council, I get it, and Iím good with it. I will continue to bring out the nonsense and serve you as your elected representative in District 5.

On another note, I recently requested that the Frederick County State Delegation sponsor and support legislation to authorize tax credits for Frederick County residents who paid for Best Available Technology (BAT) septic systems. Under Governor Martin OíMalleyís Administration, the BAT system was implemented to work for the reduction of nitrogen on-site sewage disposal systems. Under that policy, new septic systems required homeowners to pay thousands of additional dollars to install. Many residents had to abide by the State requirement that has now been altered. Recently, Governor Larry Hogan announced the repeal of the regulations requiring the use of best available nitrogen removal technology for septic systems.

I believe that those residents who were forced to pay for that system to be installed should be entitled to off-setting tax credits to recoup their costs. I praise this common sense gesture by the Governor, this is exactly the type of tax payer responsible government that is needed in Maryland and Frederick County. For additional information please contact Council Member Kirby Delauter at 301-600-1034 or via e-mail at KDelauter@FrederickCountyMD.gov.

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