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April 7, 2011

Where We’re Headed: Reversing Course

Blaine R. Young

Perhaps the two most important areas of concern on most people’s minds are taxes and employment. Everyone knows that I believe that taxes and fees should be lowered and government should live within its means and not spend more than it takes in.


On the topic of employment and jobs, elected and appointed officials always like to talk about job creation. First, the government does not create a job in the private sector; it only prevents a job from being created.


You heard correctly. No matter what any politician tells you – Republican or Democrat – the government does not create jobs in the private sector, it only prevents jobs from being created. However, government can create an environment that fosters potential job creation based on market conditions.


What is that environment you ask?


Well every business owner has their own opinion here; but there are some basic themes that every businessman or woman cares about. Market potential, employment base, quality of life, educational system and infrastructure are some of the major themes that companies large or small look at when making the decision to open or relocate to a community.


Keeping taxes and fees as low as possible are important to not only keep a healthy vibrant economic environment, but also to stay competitive with surrounding jurisdictions.


The number one issue that you will always hear business owners squawk about is governmental red tape and fees on top of basic property and business taxes. It seems you cannot do anything anymore without taking out some kind of permit that requires a fee and/or an inspection to the point it has become absurd; of course. It always takes several weeks to process.


Did you know that you are supposed to take out a $65 Frederick County permit to replace your dishwasher? That’s right! If you replaced your dishwasher and did not take out a permit, you broke the law.


The same goes for your garbage disposal and an electric hot water heater. The list goes on and on with examples large and small of these types of rules and regulations.


For instance most people are familiar with the Bechtel Corporation in Frederick. I’m not saying they want to, but if Bechtel sought to expand by 10% and has the ground available to do so, they could not because of all of the rules and regulation in Frederick County. That’s without consideration of the fees that they would have to pay.


Now the current Board of County Commissioners recognizes these problems and has already started to move forward with eliminating and/or modifying these rules, regulations and absurd fees. Staff has begun with outreach meeting with the business community and has compiled a list of over 200 items to be eliminated and/or modified.


Here is the link for you to review at what has been identified and what progress has been done on the item.


Also you can review our proposed strategic plan by going to the link below. It will be adopted this month.


The six areas of focus, while always considering education, are Job Growth; Predictability for Businesses; Public – Private Partnership in Government and Government Shared Services; Enhancing Public Safety; Agricultural Preservation/Land Use/Housing; and Transportation and Traffic.


I encourage you to reach out and give your county commissioners feedback on these topics. You can send all five an email by sending it to this address


By the way, you can now replace your dishwasher, garbage disposal and/or electric hot water heater without paying a $65 permit. The commissioners have already eliminated those absurd fees.


It is just the beginning as Frederick County is now open for business. We want your business and we appreciate your business, which is a 180% degree reversal from the last administration.


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