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As Long as We Remember...

July 1, 2019

Councilman Hagen's Green New Deal

Jason Miller

H. L. Menken once observed that: "Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong."


That sad yet noble observation was on full display last week in Winchester Hall.


During last week’s County Council workshop, Councilman-at-Large Kai Hagen attempted to insert his own personal beliefs on climate change as a "crisis" into the Livable Frederick Masterplan.


Mr. Hagen seethed and bristled with a contemptible smirk as he was questioned by other council members as to the soundness of putting such language into a county comprehensive plan.


As a devout devotee to the same ideology that brought us the Green New Deal in Washington, Councilman Hagen never misses an opportunity to tell us all about how misinformed or weak minded some are if they fail to see the planetary peril that plastic bags and bovine flatulence have in store for us if he isn’t obeyed. Sadly, only token resistance from some members of the County Council was offered in spite of his attempts at government overreach.


In yesterday’s Frederick News-Post (FNP) an article was published describing how the Livable Frederick Masterplan procedures are becoming the circus that some of us declared it to be months ago. To his absolute credit, Republican Councilman, Steve McKay wisely offered insight into the mindset of the plan’s skeptics.


The FNP quoted Councilman McKay as saying: “When we are in areas of the plan that have to do more with social services and health, some of the non-traditional areas of the comprehensive plan, then I’m looking more keenly in terms of what role for government should be prescribed in some of those instances.”


Bravo to Councilman McKay for speaking the words that should concern us all.


In spite of Mr. McKay's urge for caution on government overreach, Councilman Hagen, who served on the Energy and Environment Workgroup prior to his election, has introduced about 80 amendments.


It was also reported by the FNP that County Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer lamented that: “This is supposed to be a 50,000-foot vision, and I think these guys are still looking at it in terms of what we used to do as a comprehensive plan.”


Even Councilman Michael Blue felt compelled to point out a fundamental truth to Councilman Hagen.


“To me, that environmental work group and all these other work groups introduced a lot of things they wanted to include into Livable Frederick, but they didn’t make it.”


Ms. Keegan-Ayer was also quoted by the FNP saying that:


“I don’t think they’re quite getting the boat turned around in the direction that the staff and the county executive and whole planning division is trying to get us to move, which is more visionary and less specific.”


Thus, there is the flaw of the Livable Frederick Masterplan for all to see. What a solid waste of time if Councilman Hagen turns this into what it was never envisioned to be.


In the beginning of this Livable Frederick fiasco, the attempt was described as having never been done before by any county in the nation.


Perhaps as we witness the latest attempts by Councilman Hagen, there is a very good reason that a vague 50,000-foot vision shouldn't be a substitute for a county's Comprehensive Plan.


It seems now that one councilman is attempting to re-engineer Livable Frederick into Frederick County's Green New Deal.


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