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Advertise on the Tentacle

April 24, 2008

Order from The Smorgasbord

Joan Marie Aquilino

The newest trend is mini burgers. I’m going one better and giving you four mini-articles this week. Would you like bacon, or cheese, or fries on the side?


I've been told by a member of the Frederick County Planning Commission that what I've been saying about a clone board, or replacing members that leave with mirrors, is offensive. I will do my best to explain my thinking because I’m afraid an apology would be empty words. My comments are not directed at any Planning Commission members present or future; they are directed at the appointment process of the Board of County Commissioners.


My only concern was – and still is – that there will no longer be six separate independent voices – voices able to speak without fear of losing their appointments because they dare to differ.


I was 110% sure the day the applicants were announced who would be appointed; and I was equally embarrassed that the others would be given nothing more than lip service. What a waste of time for those stepping up to the plate, many for the first time, to give back to their county, only to find out that the appointments had been chosen long before they were interviewed.


The commissioners cannot do away with the Frederick County Planning Commission, so they will have to settle for controlling them. Control them by selecting members who think the way they do; control them by having a county commissioner sit as a voting member; and control them by starting everything themselves and making the Planning Commission nothing more than a bump in the road. Last, but not least, control them by disagreeing with most of what they do or say and making constant public comments about their ineptness.


If the commissioners were confident in their elected positions, they wouldn't be afraid to hear other views, nor would they need to put others down. Things become stale and stagnant when all you hear is your own voice. They could have easily given the Planning Commission a variety of backgrounds in appointments. Not one single person on the Planning Commission always agreed with me, but I welcomed the differences because I always learned something new.


The day questioning stops is the day we are no longer a democracy, but rather on the eve of socialism. I’m not about to allow that to happen. How do the rest of you feel? Disagree with me all you want because out of questioning comes discussion which is the main stay of democracy.


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Frederick County Planning Land Use Survey:


I’ve got to touch on this a bit because it just came out and I was rather surprised in the direction it seems to lead. I also realize that has got to be one difficult task to even come up with the questions to ask.


After taking it from the Internet myself, I suggest you print it out first and look it over before answering any of the questions.


After going through the entire document, it breaks down to this: if you want open land, schools, parks and roads, how much will you pay for them? Someone always has to pay, so where will the money come from to accomplish these goals?


The county wants to protect RC (resource conservation), farmland, steam set backs, etc., but at who’s cost? If you want to keep the land open, give the property owners options too. Find ways that don’t tax us.


Keep in mind that the majority of the people living in Frederick County are comfortably secluded in their little homes, on their little lots, in their little subdivisions, or their acre plus parcels. Building another home – or not – won’t affect them; so, of course, they’ll want all building stopped. The minority of Frederick, those who built and supported the county long before we all got here, are the ones this type of thinking is going to harm.


After taking the entire survey, I was left with the feeling that what will be acceptable in the future will only be large out-of-state type builders, who put in huge mixed use developments within city or town limits. There won’t be the space or need for the individual developer or property owners. Isn’t there room for both?


Of course there is, but, if I’m forced to make a choice, I’m going to lean toward the local over the corporate, the small over the large, and so on.


The survey left me with many more questions than answers. Good or bad, please take the time to answer it. Don’t be afraid to write in your own thoughts. Keep in mind you are not living on an island. You live in a community, and we need to understand the ramifications of how our wants will effect many. Don’t protect the farm just to kill the farmer.


It’s a balancing act to give some to all without hurting a few.


Here’s the link to the survey:


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English as The Official Language:


Well, the first thing I’d say is, it’s a darn shame we have to go this far. The second thing I’d say is, it’s about darn time. Commissioner Charles Jenkins is getting tremendous support. He, Sheriff “Chuck” Jenkins and Commissioner John L. “Lennie” Thompson are listening to the majority and doing something about it.


I’m sick and tired of all this politically correct crap. What is politically correct about American’s being put on the back burner while those here illegally are taken care of first. Look at the money the state is giving to CASA; and they are nothing more than a “How to for Illegal Immigrants.”


This may be a small step, but it’s a step nevertheless. Commissioners Jan Gardner, David Gray and Kai Hagen are perfectly willing to waste paper and money on the Fort Detrick triple safety checks, and that is federally controlled, plus it is within the Frederick city limits, so why so afraid of the illegal immigrant issues. Fence sitting is not an attractive platform.


The commissioners pass zoning amendments with no positive public input. Let’s see if they will deny something with lots of positive public input.


* * * * * * * * * *


Commissioner Thompson’s Illegal Immigration Count:


Last, but not least, the man, who seems to think I was put in this county just to irritate him, is wrong once again. I have consistently spoken up and supported many of Commissioner Thompson’s spending cuts and tax saving measures.


I’m once again going to support his efforts of finally getting the information needed to actually fight some of the wasteful spending in Frederick County Public Schools brought about by illegal immigration.


I know this isn’t the children’s fault; and I also know that the schools are not required to obtain this information from those registering for school. All you need is an address and you are awarded a free public education paid for by the taxpayers of this county and state. We are once again left to pay unfunded federal mandates. Just how difficult do you think it is to get an address?


Here is the perfect way to shut us up finally. Get the numbers and costs involved in educating illegal immigrants in our school system. You never know, it might not be many at all, and we’ll find out it’s not worth the fight. We’ll never know unless we get the numbers.


I’m not afraid of being proven wrong? Are you? If you are so sure of yourselves, support Commissioner Thompson’s proposal. Try practicing some of that compromise we’ve all heard our commissioners are so good at doing.


It’s likely this too will go down in a blaze of political nothingness and fear. Fear of actually standing for something instead of always sitting on the fence.


’til next time…

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