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A Catastrophic Class Reunion

by Patrick Allen ...

As Frederick County, Maryland moves toward the migration of government from Commissioner to Charter based governance, the possible outcome is a class reunion of unwanted usual suspects. Political party affiliation doesnt matter; there are bad apples in every barrel. Democrats and Republicans, alike, have contributed to the serious problems facing the county that so many of us love and call home. Consider the following: The majority voting block on the current BoCC (Blaine Young, Kirby Delauter and Billy Shreve) have all filed as candidates to serve in the new Charter government. Blaine Young as Executive, with Kirby Delauter and Billy Shreve as County Council members. Harold Otis, Chairperson of the BoCC appointed Frederick County Ethics Commission, has filed for a County Council seat. Dwaine Robbins, hand-picked member by Blaine Young to the current Frederick County Planning Commission, has filed for a County Council seat.

Now, consider this if Blaine Young wins the County Executive race and Mr. Delauter, District 5 County Council candidate Mr. Shreve, At-Large County Council candidate Mr. Otis, At-Large County Council candidate, and Mr. Robbins, District 3 County Council candidate

win County Council seats Mr. Young will once again have a secure majority to continue his unchecked, dictatorial governance over Frederick County, Maryland. Frederick County deserves nothing less than transparency and honesty from their publicly elected officials and county employees. However, the possibility exists that Frederick will not realize its potential under the new form of Charter government. There are serious questions regarding possible ethics and criminal violations by persons in the above list which has been compiled into a twenty-page complaint document [1] filed with the Frederick County Attorneys office and the Frederick County Ethics Commission. An additional document [2] has been filed with the Frederick County Attorney which challenges the available avenues of procedure for the members of the Ethics Commission based on Articles stipulated in the Frederick County Ethics Commission Standard Operating Procedures. The complaint document cites six allegations and / or charges, and stipulates five of the six to contain criminal offense implications, which according to the Ethics Commission Standard Operating Procedures, must be referred to the Maryland State Attorney General and Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor. Mr. Otis, as the outlier and not cited in the complaint document, but who Chairs the Frederick County Ethics Commission, has his own wheelbarrow of issues to explain and overcome if he desires to achieve his 2014 political aspirations. Noted in the Financial Loss In Columbia Union [3] report, Bud Otis, the president of Family Enrichment Resources, Inc. (FER), set to work with his staff, yet they did not have the financial success they had expected. Unfortunately, instead of confronting the situation directly, a pattern of events were set in motion which could only lead to ultimate disaster.

After leaving the FER under a perceived cloud of suspicious circumstances, Mr. Otis joined former Maryland Sixth District Congressman Roscoe Bartlett as Mr. Bartletts Chief of Staff. This relationship lasted until Mr. Otis was relieved of his position, being accused of dipping into Congressman Bartletts contributor lists for Mr. Otiss personal and political gain. As reported by Red Maryland,[4] Last week we reported that long time Roscoe Bartlett chief of staff Bud Otis had been trying to line up support to run for Congress from Maryland 6 despite the fact that his boss is still nominally running for re-election. We wondered if Mr. Bartlett was trying to hand pick his successor prior to announcing his retirement. Apparently not. We hear today that Mr. Otis has been fired. In the opinion of this writer, there is no rational explanation as to why these men are running for office, other than blatant hubris and an undeniable intent by the participants to maintain a status quo of corruption and self-interest. In other words a catastrophic class reunion. The personal finances of each person cited above seem to be secure enough, so the paltry sum of $95,000 for County Executive and $22,500 for County Council cannot and should not be considered as part of their decision process. And how do we, the citizens of Frederick County, find ourselves in this predicament? Well, the persons tasked with writing the new Charter government framework document decided not to confuse the public with too many qualifications and too much governance content. Too many words would raise too many questions. Instead, the Charter writing group copy and pasted an untested twenty-five page charter government document from a fellow Maryland county. Having spent far too much time creating a colorful cover page, they simply didnt have the time to include a table of contents for the public to navigate the document content. Each member of the charter writing group deserves a certificate of achievement. Sorry went off track for a second. If the planets align in a specific voter configuration, the new Charter government will look and function no differently from the former, and current, Commissioner Form of government. Blaine will still be sitting at the head of the conference table, with Bud Otis and Dwaine Robbins joining Kirby Delauter and Billy Shreve to ensure that Blaines voting majority remains intact. Summary : Each and all of the men cited above have demonstrated a clear lack of leadership and constituent representation, leaving Frederick to founder as a rudderless ship. Without a new captain and crew, the citizens are left with an unpleasant voyage ahead. Fredericks citizens should view their new and sovereign form of government as the next chapter in the countys historically constructed anthology not treated as a high school popularity contest where name recognition wins at the ballot box. Frederick County, Maryland needs fresh voices that can bring a vision of prosperity, transparency and honesty to government and governance.
Sources and References [1] [2] [3] [4] Frederick County Ethics Violations Complaint Ethics Commission SOP Violations Financial Loss In Columbia Union : A Report on Seventh Day Adventists Business Activities Red Maryland : Bud Otis Sacked

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