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Results of Frederick’s City-County Meeting: A Tale of Pomposity

Last Wednesday evening was an event that I really did not want to miss.

MacRo_OldSize_BlogPlaceholder (2).jpgYesterday in the Frederick News Post, staff writer Patti Borda, in her article “” gave a nice summary of what was “concluded” from the meeting by jumping right to that point in her second sentence.  However how these two bodies got there was an entirely different story.   As much as I have written and heard about the lack of good will between the County and City Governments, I admit that I had not witnessed one since the last Mayor and Board were in office.  Clearly, Mayor Randy McClement and the Board of Aldermen at the City Hall meeting continued to make a sincere attempt to work with the visiting team from down the street at Winchester Hall.

As Patti states very well in her article:

“The meeting was the state-mandated conference between the two bodies to discuss the municipal growth element section of the city”s updated comprehensive plan. The plan was approved in November as a guide to development over the next 20 years.”

While this is a state mandated meeting, it seems that if the Frederick County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) had worked more closely with the City during their Comprehensive Planning process to find full agreement on such issues as “the city”s adequate public facilities ordinance (APFO); the income tax projections from the prospective new residents of 10,000 houses; the phasing of development and road needs,” this meeting would have been nothing more than a simple celebratory high five session of collaborative civil servants.

It”s truly beyond me how the BOCC refuses to participate in the City of Frederick”s Comprehensive planning process by essentially ignoring the invitation … and then does not include the City in their process.   Again, I ask how is that a comprehensive approach to planning for the citizens of Frederick county … but Ah, I digress, as my friend Farrell Keough likes to say.

So there is this meeting .. and what fun it was … I hope that those who could not attend observed on TV the refreshing condescending style of the BOCC, as the nicest Mayor in the history of the City of Frederick presided over the gathering.

Yesterday morning as I wondered how I would summarize the events of the evening, I received an email from a fellow attendee.  He shared with me his words … and with permission from this anonymous donor (btw not Farrell), I am pleased to provide our readers with how it came about that these two bodies agreed to agree that they needed to try again (as they all bit their tongues)!

Here you go:

Joe Adkins, the director of planning for the City, opened with providing a very good explanation of the costs and benefits of the City’s growth plans.  He diffused a lot of the hostility that was present at the April 13 meeting. 

 But the BOCC just cannot stop acting like the wise old mother who treats the City like ugly step children who can do nothing right. It is really infuriating. 

 Joe Adkins:  ”Here are all the numbers. I used your growth numbers and they work for the City.” 

 County:   ”Well, who do you think is going to pay for all that growth you are planning?”

 City:   ”We are only planning to grow in the next 20 years by the exact same amount that you wanted us to grow in your Comprehensive Plan.” 

 County:  ”Well, OK, but it is going to be really expensive and you don’t care about us or the children.”

City:  “We want to bring more high paying jobs to our community so that people can spend more time with their children.”

County:  “You are  living in a dream world!  Wake up! Everybody knows that ALL the high paying jobs are down I-270!  People here just want to watch the corn grow!”

 City:   ”That is absurd.  You just want to stop us from doing what is good for the City, and by the way, it is exactly what you told us to do.”

 County:   ”But what about traffic?  What about fire and rescue?  Your APFO stinks … so you need to adopt one just like ours.”

 City:   ”We think ours works pretty well, thank you … but we are willing to listen.”

 County:   ”You need to get rid of Tier 3 property plan and the North South Parallel Road, or tell the citizens how you are going to pay for it!””

 City:   ” We beg to differ with you.  That road is nothing more than a wish list item right now and outside our 20 year plan … but OK, we will get back to you.” 

 County:  “Well, we know more than you rookies, and you are just wrong.”

 City:  “While we are at it here … we”d like to thank you for that water you sold us … but funny thing about that, we can’t use it because you won’t sell us sewer?  What kind of planning is that?

 County:  “Oh yeah, well, you just don”t get it.  The majority of us sitting up here have been doing all the  County”s planning for years, and until you plan better, we”re not talking sewer with you … take that!

 City:  ”But all of our planning is based upon the numbers you gave us … and how can we fulfill that plan without access to sewer???

 County:  ”How dare you argue with us, you are just a bunch of inexperienced rookies! Where is my switch!!”

 City mumbles:  ”Grumble, grumble, grumble … Mom never listens to us, when she knows we are right.”

 And that is the real story.

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