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March 2, 2015

Government Hands In Our Pockets and Bad Bills

Jill King

Government surrounds so much of our daily lives that for people to ignore the causation of why things happen is beyond me. As a writer, advocate and researcher, there are times that I just would like people to realize why they are being punished or rewarded for their actions.


After a long week of getting two tickets in Montgomery County, I realize why I never have wanted to live there regularly. One is a parking ticket for going over 15 minutes on a parking deck meter, for $45. The other is for going over the speed limit on a flat straight road, 47 in a 35, where the signs are blue and white and a weird shape and not the standard black and white, and a speed camera shows me that revenue is always a source of funding for overly bloated government structures.


Not only that, politicians are starting to write legislature on buzz words or supporting arguments in the form of bills. Never would I think that Senator Ron Young (D., Frederick 3rd) would write a bill that supports lowering the drinking age for beer and wine for military personnel to 18, because of an argument that they are old enough to die for our country, they should be able to drink a beer.




Why, just why? Are there not other 18 year olds entering police academies, fighting fires, performing medically necessary trades? Why even waste time in a 90-day session with such blather? Why risk having millions in transportation funding withheld – for votes?


I'll tell you why. It is to remain relevant. If a legislator goes in empty handed, they are a do-nothing legislator. If they take in a stack of bills, the appearance is that they are actually doing some work.


Some would agree that there is always work to be done, but the effectiveness and efficiency of those who serve the public is about a lot of feel-good measures and rules that people don't know exist; or else, in my case, you go into Montgomery County looking for the universally known speed limit signs and the government changed the dimensions and color.


For those who follow the legislative bills, they notice that there is typically a fiscal note that comes with them which leads us to the next “what-are-you-thinking bill.”


Delegate Kathy Afzali (R., Frederick 4th) has put in a bill for language change to affect the Motor Vehicle Administration on any future drafts by the Selective Service. She didn't come up with this on her own, as it has been read before on several occasions by another sitting legislator.


This bill changes the way drafts are performed, to be inclusive of females. But wait a minute... The federal government hasn't even changed the statute to be inclusive of females. For that matter, aren't we a gender based society now? Why would we want to pay to upgrade a system that hasn't been in effect since 1972, when it is written improperly and there is no federal guidance?


Yeah, big duh!


In many situations, bills are floated that change language that is necessary because of changing times, or that they were written improperly the first time.


There are rare occurrences when they reject a complete bill, but there are a few that are handed down from the federal government that citizens on both sides, including teachers and parents, can agree on.


One of these is PARCC testing. The cost of constantly testing children is detrimental to educational advancement and to the taxpayer. Funny how contracts become problematic when they are pushed through in the name of education. Hopefully, someone will have the guts to challenge No Child Left Behind, too.


Now, since someone said contracts, it is important to recognize The City of Frederick for their bang-up job on the Golf Pro's contract and the oversight of Clustered Spires Golf Course.


Revenue...It is about revenue. When the government dabbles in private enterprise rarely does anything good comes of it.


Clustered Spires has been a cash cow that no board has felt like saying no to since it was built in 1996. Unfortunately, it appears that Alderman Donna Kuzemchek has come across some potential bad deals made on the city taxpayer's backs. We will have to wait this one out to see if it is poor city management, or if there is a possibility of criminal intent with a golf course that seems to never be able to pull its weight with revenue.


Last, but not least, hold onto your wallets. Frederick County's own county executive, Jan Gardner has finally gathered information from the groups she has created and put all items on her wish list for getting done in the next four years. Don't worry though; each handpicked member received a certificate for their input.


No wonder people prefer to be ignorant as to what their surroundings are. With this kind of garbage, who wants to be alert? Just pay your fines that you got in the mail and ignore the rules made every day that you may be unaware of – or are able to keep up with.


...writing from my basement, again.  


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