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September 4, 2017

An Honestly Dishonest Excuse

Jason Miller

I can’t stand tax dollars being used to fund private enterprise. I also can’t stand Frederick County government being the natural predator of free enterprise.


The balance between population growth and infrastructure is common sense. If there is an infrastructure problem in developing areas of Frederick County, then shouldn’t my county taxes be used to address it?


People have a right to expect county government to spend their taxes wisely on things like roads and schools. It seems reasonable to me that of the four important functions of county government, these are the top two. The other two are policing and fire protection. These are the normal and traditional functions of local government.


Plenty of people do want to move into Frederick County, and that’s great. A careful balance of land development and economic development produces jobs, grows the tax base, and has an economic ripple effect through the county that is more measurable than, let’s say, a downtown hotel and conference center.


What has County Executive Jan Gardner done to address the quality of life issue she is so passionate about? She had official studies conducted. That’s right, fellow citizens. She had taxpayer-funded studies conducted to tell her what she already said she knew in 2013. Rest easy; she bought the best statistic your money could buy to prove herself right.


Last week, she spared no effort to describe her vision of doom and gloom in Frederick County. Ms. Gardner seems to have taken some creative license though in her slamming of the Blaine Young Board of County Commissioners for the present circumstances.


Curiously, she left out an important contributing factor for our current condition; the Smart Growth Policy. The Smart Growth theory started in 1992 as an attempt to address urban sprawl and environmental concerns. This progressive vision of land use was embraced by progressive Maryland Democrats, a plank during the gubernatorial term of Gov. Paris Glendening in 1997. Simply put, the policy required Maryland counties to identify limited areas for land development. The land areas that were chosen in Frederick County by progressives are the same overcrowded developments we see today.


One would think that as a county executive, with a rubber stamp County Council, she would have attempted to address the campaign promises she ran on regarding development. If you thought that, you’d be wrong. Instead, our county executive recently blamed Frederick County’s Boogeymen, who as commissioners, crammed unsuspecting home owners into smart growth areas chosen by progressives. The narrative is convenient but – honestly – dishonest.


It’s not the fault of Councilman Billy Shreve or Councilman Kirby Delauter that County Executive Gardner failed to address her campaign promises in her first term.


We need a county executive who starts solving problems instead of chanting the progressive chorus of victimhood. Our construction problems are worse now because of her dithering. I’m amazed that she confessed to her own inaction toward development as county executive.


No one points out a problem like our Ms. Gardner does. As a tax payer, I just wish she’d start solving these problems instead of simply assigning the blame to someone else.


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