County Commissioners issue draft 2014 Legislative Considerations

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It’s that time of year again, when the Frederick County Board of County Commissioners begins to prepare their annual wish list of legislative recommendations for our county’s delegation to the Maryland General Assembly. Or, since the current board took office, the annual anti-people, anti-environment and pro-developer legislative recommendations!

This year’s list will be presented at the BoCC meeting this Tuesday (October 15), at 7:00 PM. Of the top 14 agenda items, here are a few I consider the worst:

2. Permitting Tax Rebate to All Frederick County Properties

Last year, the Board of County Commissioners returned $100.00 to owner-occupied homes (without regard to how much they had paid in property taxes). This year, the commissioners want to be able to give rebates “to all properties subject to the Frederick County real property tax.” That would include the big landlords, apartment complex owners, commercial real estate holders (e.g. Wal-Mart), and others, even if they don’t live here.

BOCC260x1754. Relaxing the Ethics Standards for “Former Government Officials and Employees”

Of course! The BoCC wants the right “to limit the post-employment restriction for former County Commissioners to two years” and “County employees to one year after the official’s or employee’s employment ends.”

8. Repeal of Mandatory Provisions of Davis-Bacon Act and Minority Business Enterprise in Frederick County

The Board wants to build an elementary school (just one, little, tiny elementary school!) without having to pay workers the prevailing wage or grant access to minority- owned contractors and bidders.

(NOTE: The Davis–Bacon Act is a federal law that requires that contractors and subcontractors be paid the local prevailing wages on public works projects for laborers and mechanics.)

11. Authority to Allow Payment of Wages with a Debit Card

Sure! Bypass the County finance office and contract out wage administration to some bank. That way the bank can hit the workers every two week with transaction fees, minimum balance fees, “inactivity” fees…

Lastly, at times the BoCC includes a number of more general “position statements.” (“These are typically items for which no particular legislation is proposed by the County Commissioners yet the issues are likely to arise during the General Assembly Session.”) You could see these as wishes that, given their flabbergasting absurdity, don’t stand a snowball’s chance in Miami. A few examples this time are:

8) Cooperative enforcement of federal immigration laws throughout Maryland

10) Repeal the Work Place Fraud Act

11) Opposition to PlanMaryland (anti-sprawl regulations), and

12) Opposition to mandated septic regulations.

So, that’s a few of the things we’ve come to expect from our “open for business” commissioners.

You can read the full list of “Potential 2014 Legislative Considerations” at this link or in the image files below: http://www.frederickcountymd.gov/documents/13/556/2014%20Synopsis_201309121518071432.pdf

(Click on any of the pages below to open a larger and easier-to-read version.)

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