Citizens and Montevue’s $200,000 sticking point

Frederick News Post
08/25/13
On Wednesday, Commissioners President Blaine Young got to feel what it's like for many who stand on the podium across from him -- he was overruled. Young was in Annapolis alongside other county officials for a Board of Public Works hearing on the county's $30 million sale of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living to Aurora Health Management, a move that will ultimately privatize the two senior care homes, taking them out of public hands and ending close to two centuries of publicly supported care. The board, made up of Gov. Martin O'Malley, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, didn't go Young's way. The sticking point was the state's investment of $200,000 -- later revised to $191,000 -- for the construction of the two centers. Those grants give the BPW a say in the disposition of Citizens and Montevue. Instead, because of two lawsuits pending against the county commissioners, and despite Young's grandstanding flourish of a $200,000 check while at the hearing's podium, the board voted to delay the sale until two lawsuits brought by opponents are resolved.

Citizens and Montevue's $200,000 sticking point

Frederick News Post
08/25/13
On Wednesday, Commissioners President Blaine Young got to feel what it's like for many who stand on the podium across from him -- he was overruled. Young was in Annapolis alongside other county officials for a Board of Public Works hearing on the county's $30 million sale of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living to Aurora Health Management, a move that will ultimately privatize the two senior care homes, taking them out of public hands and ending close to two centuries of publicly supported care. The board, made up of Gov. Martin O'Malley, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, didn't go Young's way. The sticking point was the state's investment of $200,000 -- later revised to $191,000 -- for the construction of the two centers. Those grants give the BPW a say in the disposition of Citizens and Montevue. Instead, because of two lawsuits pending against the county commissioners, and despite Young's grandstanding flourish of a $200,000 check while at the hearing's podium, the board voted to delay the sale until two lawsuits brought by opponents are resolved.

Maryland’s New Emissions Plan Shows Climate Action Is Cost-Effective

World Resources Institute
Rebecca Gasper and Kevin Kennedy
07/26/2013
As impacts from climate change become more visible and costly, leaders across the nation are responding. In the wake of projections from the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science showing that Maryland could face sea-level rise of more than six feet by the end of the century, Governor Martin O’Malley unveiled a state climate action plan this week. The initiative will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also supporting job creation and economic growth. Sea-level rise will make Maryland–and other states on the Atlantic coast–increasingly vulnerable to costly and damaging floods, underscoring the urgency to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are warming our planet. The actions described in Governor’s plan aim to achieve a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions below 2006 levels by 2020. According to analysis conducted by Towson University for the state, the plan is expected to produce more than $1 billion in net economic benefits and support more than 37,000 jobs, providing yet more evidence that smart environmental policy is smart economic policy.

Citizens, Montevue sale opponents take cause to court

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
07/25/2013
Opponents of privatizing the local government-owned nursing and assisted living centers say they have launched a legal challenge against Frederick County for its decision to sell the facilities. A copy of the petition for judicial review shows it was filed Tuesday in Circuit Court by five Frederick County residents. One lives at the assisted living center. The one-paragraph document did not lay out the petitioners’ reasons for taking legal action, but their attorney provided additional context in a letter to state officials. In the correspondence to the Maryland Board of Public Works, the attorney raised several issues about the June 25 public hearing where commissioners voted 4-1 to sell Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living. “The evidence at the hearing was contrary to the BOCC’s blanket assertion that the property was no longer needed for any public use,” Leslie Powell wrote in the July 23 letter. “Particularly troubling to the public was the fact that the BOCC members had already made up their minds and stated their intended vote prior to the hearing.”

Frederick County commissioner explores run for governor

County commissioner forms fundraising committee
Gazette
Ryan Marshall
05/31/2012
With Maryland’s gubernatorial election more than two years away, Frederick County Commissioner Blaine R. Young is hoping the process of earning the top spot in Annapolis will start to come together in the next few days. A campaign website is expected to launch in the next week, about the same time the first direct mail advertisements are scheduled to go out. Young (R) has formed a committee to raise money for a possible campaign for governor in 2014, although he is not yet an official candidate.To appear on a primary ballot, a candidate must file a certificate of candidacy with the state board of elections. He has a fundraiser scheduled in Frederick next week where he hopes to raise about $100,000 in financial commitments, and plans to have one in Bethesda sometime in the next month. He said he plans to stage a variety of fundraisers, from informal house parties and happy hour get-togethers to more formal affairs throughout the state. The fundraising calendar will be important, because Young has committed himself to raising at least $300,000 in the next four months, and said he’ll step aside if he can’t reach that goal.

Burnin’ Down The Waste

Trash Talk
Frederick Gorilla
Kelly Brook
04/27/2012
“No Incinerator!” scream the signs. If you live or work in Frederick County, you’ve seen them in windows, on lawns and in cars for years. You can’t help but notice them. When you see them, maybe you cringe from the vision of soaring incinerator smokestacks spewing a black, smoky, noxious sludge of particulates, carcinogens, and climate-altering acids. Or maybe you roll your eyes imagining the “tree-hugging, peace-loving, Common Market-shopping” conservationist who might have posted it. If you’re like most people, though, you take a moment to acknowledge your concern for the environment, worry for a moment about how this will affect your taxes, wonder what the heck this incinerator debate is all about—and then forget about it and get on with your day.

Blaine Young's road show

Frederick News Post
03/19/2012
The rumors have been out there for a while that Commissioners President Blaine Young would enter the governor's race. Now he's exploring the option. Frankly, it's hard to imagine how Maryland's electoral math could turn his way. Not even former Gov. Bob Ehrlich could pull off a second term, and he was, for all intents and purposes, a moderate. We'll be interested to see if this goes beyond the exploratory stage. To be honest, we doubt it. Young, despite having once been a Democrat then flipping parties after he decided not to run again for Frederick city alderman, is about as conservative a conservative as Frederick County has to offer.

Blaine Young’s road show

Frederick News Post
03/19/2012
The rumors have been out there for a while that Commissioners President Blaine Young would enter the governor's race. Now he's exploring the option. Frankly, it's hard to imagine how Maryland's electoral math could turn his way. Not even former Gov. Bob Ehrlich could pull off a second term, and he was, for all intents and purposes, a moderate. We'll be interested to see if this goes beyond the exploratory stage. To be honest, we doubt it. Young, despite having once been a Democrat then flipping parties after he decided not to run again for Frederick city alderman, is about as conservative a conservative as Frederick County has to offer.

Good ol’ governor? Blaine Young ponders a run

I dont plan to be a phony, commissioners president says
Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
03/16/2012
Blaine Young knows he would be an underdog, but the Frederick County Commissioners president announced Thursday he will explore a run for governor in 2014. Young, a Republican, has made plenty of trips to Annapolis to testify on behalf of Frederick County residents, he said, and he is ready to see if statewide office is the next step. "I think everyone is frustrated and disgusted with what's going on in Annapolis," Young said. "I've gone all over the state to many counties. People are clamoring for someone to get behind and people have encouraged me to run." Maryland residents are tired of taxes and regulations, Young said. "My record is crystal clear," he said. "Frederick County has shown it can live within its means." One vote is all it would take, he said. As governor, he would promise to veto all tax or fee increases. His plan for running? "I'm going to be me," Young said. "I don't plan to be a phony. I just plan to give people straight answers and give them action."

Maryland governor signs land-use order

Washington Post
Aaron C. Davis
12/19/2011
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Monday signed an executive order that is intended to curb sprawl and that could affect every facet of growth, from where schools are placed to which roads are built to whether rural landowners are permitted to develop their property. Over vehement objections from Republicans, farmers and some city and county governments, O’Malley invoked a 37-year-old law allowing his administration to draft a master plan for Maryland development

Maryland governor signs land-use order

Washington Post
Aaron C. Davis
12/19/2011
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Monday signed an executive order that is intended to curb sprawl and that could affect every facet of growth, from where schools are placed to which roads are built to whether rural landowners are permitted to develop their property. Over vehement objections from Republicans, farmers and some city and county governments, O’Malley invoked a 37-year-old law allowing his administration to draft a master plan for Maryland development. To enforce the guidelines, O’Malley said his administration in coming years would leverage billions of dollars in annual state aid. Local governments that encourage dense development in existing towns and cities will be rewarded with continued funding while jurisdictions that do not limit development of farmland and open space may see their state aid reduced.

O’Malley to sign energy incentive legislation

Frederick News Post
Meg Tully
05/18/2011
Gov. Martin O'Malley will sign a bill recognizing waste-to-energy trash incineration as renewable energy generation, disregarding pleas from environmental groups to veto it. O'Malley, who has been considering the matter for weeks, sent out a lengthy statement Tuesday evening saying he intended to sign the bill. It is scheduled to be signed at a ceremony Thursday -- the last of such ceremonies held after the conclusion of the Maryland General Assembly session last month. The bill will provide financial incentives for those operating waste-to-energy plants that convert trash into electricity through incineration. Such a plant is planned in Frederick County, where the commissioners have committed to building a waste-to-energy plant and are in the planning stages. Frederick County residents opposed to that plant had written emails to O'Malley asking him to veto the bill, joining efforts from environmental and health organizations from around the state.

O’Malley ponders veto of trash bill

Frederick News Post
Meg Tully
04/30/2011
Gov. Martin O'Malley is considering requests to veto legislation that would provide financial incentives for electricity generation through waste-to-energy trash incinerators. More than 30 organizations signed a joint letter to the governor asking for the veto. The bill, which passed 24-20 in the Senate and 74-60 in the House of Delegates, would elevate waste-to-energy to the same level as solar and wind power when it comes to renewable energy credits. Nonprofit organizations in the areas of public health, the environment, and for promoting a sustainable economy said the bill would undermine Maryland's efforts to reduce overall energy consumption and fight global climate change. Frederick County, which is planning to build a waste-to-energy plant, stands to benefit from the legislation. If the legislation is enacted, the county would boost electricity revenue by selling credits. Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young wrote to O'Malley on Friday asking him to sign the bill into law.

O'Malley ponders veto of trash bill

Frederick News Post
Meg Tully
04/30/2011
Gov. Martin O'Malley is considering requests to veto legislation that would provide financial incentives for electricity generation through waste-to-energy trash incinerators. More than 30 organizations signed a joint letter to the governor asking for the veto. The bill, which passed 24-20 in the Senate and 74-60 in the House of Delegates, would elevate waste-to-energy to the same level as solar and wind power when it comes to renewable energy credits. Nonprofit organizations in the areas of public health, the environment, and for promoting a sustainable economy said the bill would undermine Maryland's efforts to reduce overall energy consumption and fight global climate change. Frederick County, which is planning to build a waste-to-energy plant, stands to benefit from the legislation. If the legislation is enacted, the county would boost electricity revenue by selling credits. Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young wrote to O'Malley on Friday asking him to sign the bill into law.

State WTE legislation is moving too fast

Frederick News Post
04/11/2011
The state is supporting the concept of waste-to-energy incinerators with high-power support from Gov. Martin O'Malley, leading lawmakers and the Maryland Energy Administration for incentives to build the plants. The deal is this: Last week, in the closing days of the Annapolis session, which will end at midnight Monday for another year, lawmakers floated the idea of creating incentives for waste-to-energy plants. We're not sure where the idea came from, nor the motivation behind it. However, the energy administration has said the trash-burning facilities will help Maryland reach its 20 percent goal for renewable energy sources. The legislation will add waste to energy into the same "tier 1" category as wind, geothermal or solar plants, allowing the facilities to sell renewable energy credits at a more preferential price. That's the incentive. The state already has three waste-to-energy plants, the closest to us at Dickerson in Montgomery County. The fourth, controversially, is Frederick County's, which will burn waste from Frederick and Carroll counties. How this will play out for incinerator opponents and Frederick County's project will be interesting to watch.