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From the Desk of Kirby Delauter,
Candidate for County council, District 5

On the need to be specific

(9/2014) In last month's edition of the ENJ, my opponent Mark Long, the Democrat seeking election for District 5 made some comments in his article that I would like to have him clarify. As I stated before, I will not run a negative campaign even though Mark Long seems to be obsessed with bringing his own negativity to the race. I have simply stated what I have done as a Commissioner, I've left the negativity for the tabloids. Mark should be stating what he is going to do as a Councilman, but instead, he continues onto vagueness and anonymity in his articles that not only are false, but they give no concrete direction as to what he will do if elected. I think he owes it to the voters to be specific in his claims.

A few examples follow. He wrote in the August edition of the ENJ and stated that: "developers write the terms of approval, including ways in which the development will be subsidized by current residents and taxpayers of the county and you end up with the worst kind of sprawl". Now, this all sounds great on the surface, but I will challenge Mark to be specific in this claim. Can he provide factual data showing where any developer has been allowed to write their terms of approval? Can he be specific and state what exactly he means when he says development will be subsidized and how we will end up with the worst kind of sprawl? Please Mark, be specific. These generic "talking point" claims are very vague and can confuse voters. Please explain this in great detail, I'll be anxious to see this in writing.

You state that: "Frederick County is going to grow, this is not about pro-growth or no growth, and there are many choices we can make about how and where and how fast that happens". Mark Long, I would like you to be specific when you say we have choices about how, where and how fast growth happens. Please be specific, I want to know your plan to attack this.

This current BoCC has stayed within the APFO guidelines, we've made sure the majority of development approved is in-fill development, we've made sure developers are paying more than their share of costs such as the development at Woodbourne Manor in Jefferson. This developer is paying over $2.5 Million in school impact fees even though the schools in that area are anywhere from 61% to 84% of capacity. They are paying over $12 Million in improvements to infrastructure and roads. This is part of our plan Mark, please be specific as to what your plan is to deal with this and how would you specifically plan to have a developer fund upwards of $12 Million in new infrastructure?

Mark, you mention my name when you state that: "I take a developer driven approach that isn't planning at all". How can that be Mark? Has this BoCC approved development without the Planning Commission recommendations? Did we do this under the cover of darkness without public input? The answer is No. I would like to hear your specific claims, not generic, vague opinions with nice buzz words like "sprawl", and "the environment". Please be specific and let us all know how I have not planned.

You state that we ignored the 2010 comprehensive plan. That is an outright lie. We did not change the 2010 comprehensive plan, the only thing we did to was allow land owners who were illegally downzoned by the Jan Gardner BoCC, to re-apply to have their land rights reinstated. That is what we said we would do if we were elected in 2010, and that is what we did. So Mark, please be specific again when you state in your article that: "since taking office we have rezoned thousands of acres of farms and forests for many thousands of new homes, much of it where there is little or no existing infrastructure". Please be specific with subdivision names and locations of this land. I'll be waiting for this answer.

Lastly you state that there are significant differences between yourself and I. You state that one of them is "that you will balance our competing interests and consider the real and long term consequences of our policy choices". Can you explain specifically, what that means? What are the competing interests and how exactly and specifically will you balance those?

I can be specific and state I have seen the consequences of bad policy choices such as our bond rating going from triple A stable to triple A negative under the Jan Gardner BoCC. There's a reason the bond rating have given this County the highest bond rating in the history of Frederick County during my tenure as Commissioner. It's because we brought fiscal sanity and a business friendly environment back to Frederick County, it's not because of any of the nonsense you speak of in your generic and vague Op-Ed. I will be anxiously awaiting your specific responses to this letter, as will the voters.

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