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As Long as We Remember...

February 4, 2019

The Road to a Leviathan

Jason Miller

Last Thursday the County Council once again was called upon to rubber stamp legislation under the watchful eye of County Executive Jan The First. She announced once more that she was going to codify her personal vision of Frederick County's future into law.


The county executive's public announcement contained the typical big government undertone we're all accustomed to, but with just enough wishful thinking toward policy that it created a flamboyant spectacle of denial to the reality that is facing Frederick County.


Fortunately, there were enough yes men and women on hand to greet her outlined vision with proper fanfare. Public reassurance is part and parcel of any leftist progressive politician who dedicates herself to scripted declarations of adjusted reality to fit a fringe partisan agenda.


County Executive Gardner’s public sound bites came off like the arrested development of a closed mind still grasping for straws after four years as the county’s top elected official in Winchester Hall. The achievements first promised by Ms. Gardner in 2014 have not created the utopia she promised. In typical clockwork fashion, she blamed the Blaine Young Board of County Commissioners for the failure of her actions. Such a circumstance reminds one of how everything was George Bush's fault until Donald Trump became president.


Four years of tried – and failed – attempts to address the real issues of development have given way to her latest episode of the blame game live from Winchester Hall. In a written statement on her Thursday remarks, the County Executive laid out four points on how she intends to stop dragging her feet and start holding the developers accountable for Frederick's growth issues.


1. "By timing new housing with our ability to provide needed roads, schools, and other infrastructure and services."


Considering that our county government has been known to move at the slow and steady pace bureaucracy, such overarching requirement from the public sector hinders any aspect of private sector investment. A perfect example of this has become the dependency on state funds in Frederick City for the downtown hotel and conference center.


2. "By preserving our rural areas and agricultural heritage."


Perhaps the regressive Kai Hagan downzoning model of 2010 can be resurrected from the ash heap of wishful progressive's failed attempts at public policy. That little gem ushered in the Blaine Young Board of County Commissioners. I can see the 2022 election shaping up. They should remember this as the beginning of the end.


Just like clockwork, the current progressive government, which is devoid of any experience in farming, is lacking the recollection of the 2010 county comprehensive plan, when the farms that belonged to local families who had tried to keep farming, but could not afford to keep it going, were shackled to hard times. The Gardner board's 2010 comprehensive plan dismissed their plight with typical progressive indifference. Welcome back to the good old days.


3. "By adopting a new approach to comprehensive planning called Livable Frederick."


There it is folks... That's it! That's the key right there. A 224-page progressive pipedream masquerading as a comprehensive plan. A textbook example of a thoroughly progressive vision engineered to be the Montgomery County of the future. A superbly planned way to kick the can down the road for 40 years. What a great waste of $220,000 in taxpayer funds given to a Democrat special interest think tank.


4. "And, also to end school overcrowding."


Our county executive has flip flopped more on the importance of this priority more than the best chefs at IHOP. Citizen Jan Gardner got her political activist start in 1998 on this very issue. Twenty years later and we're still dealing with the same problem she professed to solve. Do we really have confidence in our present county government to address school overcrowding? 


I would love to be wrong, but I remain unconvinced that she sees this as little more than a campaign issue spoken of every four years.


Our county executive’s vision of development and growth in this county is to travel down a road that turns our county government into a progressive politburo of ideological busy bodies who want to tell the rest of us how to live our lives and on what terms on which we may live them.


This concentration of power would give the people a “by your leave” on the terms and permits of our businesses and our private lives. This is a new and modern social contract that demands an obedience to a modern day Leviathan that Edmund Burke would envy. Much like Burke's vision, the modern county executive will set the rules for the rest of us.


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