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From the Desk of
County Councilman Kirby Delauter

(2/2017) The newest government over reach coming from the Jan Gardner administration is the Monocacy River Land Grab. The Council will talk and deliberate in public meetings like they actually give a damn about what you think, but in reality, all decisions are made behind closed doors long before they get to the dais.

As for the Monocacy River Land Grab, it is an egregious government over reach that tramples personal property rights. The concept of possession was formed as a means to avoid civil disorder. When you own property, it is yours, not the government’s, not your neighbor’s, not a sightseer’s, and not an appointed board’s. It is yours. The most usual way of acquiring an interest in property is as the result of a consensual transaction with the owner, for example, a sale or gift. If a transaction is not consensual between parties, then it would be considered theft. Now that we’ve determined the basics of property rights and the fact that in America our Constitution protects those rights, I will now explain why this Monocacy River Land Grab is all wrong.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determines flood zones within waterways in the US. Along the Monocacy, FEMA has designated areas typically based on elevation differences to outline the "flood plain" or areas prone to flooding during what is considered a 100 year storm event, or a storm of such severity that is happens only once every 100 years. Property owners know this and understand why it exists.

The Monocacy River Land Grab Board has decided that from an environmental standpoint, it would be a good idea to draw a big red line through properties that border the river and designate this area within this red line as a "River Buffer Zone". This red zone is much larger than FEMA’s 100-year flood zone. They did so with no input from property owners, no public hearings and with direction from County staff. Once the word got out that this was happening, the property owners became outraged, and for good reason. In one case a landowner has 29 acres, this new red line plan took 26 of his 29 acres. Several landowners had the red line shown through their houses, and all landowners questioned what this would do to their property values? I agree this is outrageous, over reaching and a violation of personal property rights, and it needs to stop, now.

I’ve sent an email to Jan Gardner, the County Executive requesting this be stopped. Her reply was that it is not her doing, she has no role in this and she will review once the unelected board makes their recommendation to steal your land. My email was clear to County Executive Jan Gardner. She does have control, she does have a role and this needs to stop, now. Two years ago I asked for an ethics ruling to see if as a Council member I could bid on county projects, just as our business has done for 60 years. The ethics board determined that yes in fact, I could do so with no ethics violation. Jan Gardner swiftly, the very next day issued an Executive Order over ruling the ethics board and prohibited me from bidding on county projects. I’ve requested that she issue an executive order and over rule this Monocacy River Board and stop this Monocacy River Land Grab on Monday, January 23rd, 2017. By the time you read this, we will have an answer as to whether she will issue this order. She replied to my email stating she has no role in this effort. That is not exactly accurate. As she controls all county staff, she can order Tim Goodfellow the county staffer that is advising this board, to cease working on this project. She refuses because I think from behind the scenes, she is agrees with the plan. If she weren’t, she would do the people’s will and listen to the landowners and farmers who will be affected by this disastrous plan, and put a stop to it.

Don’t be fooled by the current leadership of the County. They are in fact, big time think tank liberals that think they know what is best for you and your land. They are using environmentalism (the new socialism) to control every aspect of your lives. After all, who doesn’t want clean water, who doesn’t want a "protected river," who doesn’t want sunshine, rainbows and unicorns? They use this environmental platform to take your rights in the name of clean water. It is bogus, it is wrong, and it needs to stop, now.

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