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As Long as We Remember...

February 18, 2019

Your Land Is Their Land

Jason Miller

The historical notion of private property as accepted by both public policy experts and esteemed legal minds seemed to escape both the Frederick County Council and the Frederick County Planning Commission during two separate hearings this past week. Private property rights can be diminished if it's for the greater good.


Welcome to progressive Frederick County from now on.


A "Republican" joined with other progressive Democrats on the County Council to openly voice their disregard for private property as they scolded representatives from Monocacy River Board last Tuesday.


It was particularly disturbing when a Republican County Councilman who once railed against the Blaine Young Board of County Commissioners as an advocate of private property rights suddenly shifted gears from the position he once held as president of RALE.


So much for Republican platform consistency. I guess only some people's property rights are worth defending. Maybe a view shed in Monrovia is more important than Monocacy pastureland that's cultivated for many a local farming family's livelihood.


The Frederick County Council also spent most of Tuesday night scoffing the representatives from the Monocacy River Citizens Advisory Board personally. The County Council was irritated with the River Board's laser focus on private property rights when it authored the revised 2018 Monocacy Scenic River Management Plan Report.


At one point County Councilman Kai Hagen even attacked a river board member’s wife for exercising her First Amendment rights. Councilman Hagen asked if the husband ever attempted to curtail his wife from pushing back against environmental activist who wanted a progressive environmental wish list in the plan. One of those activists was Mr. Hagen before he was elected to the Frederick County Council.


The sad truth is that Councilman Hagen fancies himself as an environmental expert. This despite the fact he has no bachelor's, or master's degree in Conservation or Forestry. In fact, Councilman Hagen has no advanced academic credential in any field related to environmental management. But he has camped out a lot and enjoys a good canoe outing.


Councilman Hagen may not have a degree but he does have a smugness that comes from a fictitious Ph.D., as in "I know what’s best for your land." During the hearing on Tuesday he admitted that he was hostile to the idea of people defending their property rights along the Monocacy River.


At one other point on Tuesday, Councilman Hagen started to laugh at the members of the River Board as if to check off from a list of his obnoxious behavioral goals for the night.


In the end, a blind man could see that some County Council members had their orders from County Executive Jan Gardner already. The 2018 Monocacy River Plan needed to be rejected because it did not fit the vision in the preciously held Livable Frederick Master Plan.


The "Republicans" and Democrats on the Planning Commission rubber stamp voted 7-0 later (the next night) to reject private property rights and recommend that the Frederick County Council rubberstamp its rejection of the 2018 Scenic Monocacy River Management Plan.


From this point on, your land is their land.


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