(12/2017) Reflecting on this year, it may be nice to see what your legislative branch has done. Here is an update on the Bills passed by the County Council in 2017 starting with them in order (we’ve also processed through Bills which did not pass, so that is why some Bill numbers are not included in this listing of enacted legislation):
- Bill 17-02 Re-allocation of Recordation Tax Revenues (Vote 7-0);
- Bill 17-03 General Obligation Bond Authorization (Vote 6-1 with Councilmember (CM) Shreve against);
- Bill 17-04 Farm Distilleries and Tasting Rooms, and Limited Farm Brewery, Distillery and Winery Tasting Rooms (Vote 5-2 with CM Donald and myself voting against);
- Bill 17-06 Amendment to Frederick County Code, Chapter 1-7-1 Ethics (Vote 4-3 with CMs Chmelik, Delauter and Shreve against);
- Bill 17-07 Solar Facilities and Floating Zones (Vote 4-2 with CMs Chmelik and Shreve against, CM Delauter absent);
- Bill 17-08 Zoning Map Amendments During Election Year (Vote 4-3 with CMs Chmelik, Delauter and Shreve against);
- Bill 17-09 Dog Tethering Law (Vote 4-2 with CMs Chmelik and Shreve against, CM Delauter absent);
- Bill 17-10 Continuation of the Payment in Lieu Option for Moderately Priced Dwelling Units and Adjustment to the Payment Amount (Vote 5-2 with CMs Delauter and Shreve against);
- Bill 17-11 Antique, Artisan and Craft Shops in the Limited Industrial District (Vote 7-0);
- Bill 17-12 Revisions to the Frederick County Employee Retirement Plan (Vote 7-0).
As of the writing of this article, we are in the process of promulgating three bills for County Executive (CE) Gardner and three additional Council Bills.
On behalf of the administration, CE Gardner’s Bills regard the following:
- Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreements (DRRAs);
- Forest Resource Ordinance (FRO)
- Adequate Public Facilities -Adjustment of School Construction Fees.
Council Bills include:
- Bill 17-14 Location of Recreational Amenities and Facilities Within Planned Unit Developments and Mixed Use Developments;
- Bill 17-15 Limited Wood Waste Recycling in the General Commercial Zone; and finally,
- Bill 17-16 Veterans Advisory Council.
In more detail about the Veterans Advisory Council Bill, I dropped legislation to support our almost 18,000 Veterans here in Frederick County. Here’s the link: https://frederickcountymd.gov/DocumentCenter/View/301170
This legislation will help me fulfill a personal pledge to those who have served our great nation at the risk of their precious lives. It creates a Frederick County Veterans Advisory Council (VAC) which will be structured with 13 VAC members and three main goals: collaborate with Veterans and their advocates, to provide links to federal,
state, local and some non-profit services along with a monthly bulletin to keep updated communications with our Veterans. This "One Stop Shop" approach will include information and job links, employment services, suicide prevention, PTSD and other counseling, Veteran benefits, Veteran Service Organizations, education, health services, readjustment programs and
more. We owe them what they’ve earned and I’m proud of this effort to support our veterans.
I invite you to come out to speak on December 5th at the 7 pm public hearing here at Winchester Hall on the Veterans Advisory Council Bill. If you can’t make it in person, please email the Council with your thoughts at CouncilMembers@frederickcountymd.gov. Your advocacy will go a long way to get this Bill passed. Thank you.
On a side note, the Frederick County Veterans Treatment Court held a monthly docket for Veterans who were justice involved starting in October of 2016 and ran through September of 2017. As I assisted in the start-up of this worthy program which involved the Frederick County Court system, the Veterans Administration, our health department, a
number of non-profits, Veteran pro-bono attorneys and local business men, it is hoped that it will be off hiatus status and be reinvigorated under Judge Julie Solt in early 2018.
As a Council we also passed 26 Resolutions and 6 Ordinances, mainly Water and Sewer Amendments, Rezoning Cases and the annual budget. If you’d like details on any of the legislation noted above, please go to this link: https://frederickcountymd.gov/591/County-Council or simply "Google" Frederick County Council and click on the left column
what you’d like to view.
Looking forward to 2018 I will continue to assist our residents, learn about even more facets of this county, visit with many people to hear their thoughts and concerns, attend various committee meetings and many other events. I’m here to listen and available at 301-600-1101, BOtis@frederickcountymd.gov.
It is a real honor to serve you. My wife Rose and I wish every one of you reading this a tremendous, heartfelt and joyous holiday season.