The Frederick County Council will set a course of action on the Monrovia Town Center at its meeting next week in response to a judge’s decision to put the issue back in its hands.

Council members heard three hours of public comment Tuesday on the impact of a letter from the Frederick Area Committee for Transportation read into the record at the end of the Monrovia Town Center hearings.

The public record was reopened at the behest of a Frederick County Circuit Court judge in order for the county to collect further testimony on the issue.

Judge William R. Nicklas Jr. had determined the letter, which included comments from then-Commissioner Paul Smith, was intended to have a great influence on the vote of the Board of County Commissioners.

That letter, coupled with Smith’s failure to disclose the communication with the chief administrative officer, led the judge to turn the issue back to the current council.

Smith, now the president of FACT, did not attend the council meeting, but said Monday he was “following that very closely.”

He said he had no personal comment on the hearing and added that FACT as an organization also had no comment.

Several county residents are putting pressure on the county to completely reopen the Monrovia Town Center hearings.

“MTC was sent back to you, a newly elected body, and it belongs to you,” said Amy Reyes, of Residents Against Landsdale Expansion.

Monrovia Town Center developers are hoping the county allows it to proceed as planned.

“We’ve done everything the law required. There should be predictability,” Town Center builder Howard Payne said. “One letter should not derail this whole thing.”

Nearly 50 residents offered comment Tuesday night. The majority of them spoke in opposition to the development with comments that centered on three themes: concerns that the letter from FACT is symptomatic of deeper procedural problems, questions about the validity of the Md. 75 traffic study, and the belief that the County Council should take this opportunity to “correct the mistakes” of the Board of County Commissioners.

“Please, open this up. Let it go through another set of hearings so that it can be done fairly,” Ed Rozzelle, of Ijamsville, told the council.

Several residents requested that councilmen Billy Shreve and Kirby Delauter recuse themselves from the hearings because they were on the last Board of County Commissioners.

Developer Roy Stanley said that reopening the hearings would not change any of the facts or data in the studies presented to the last board, which determined that the Monrovia Town Center met all the requirements to go forward.

“We passed all those tests,” he said.

Former commissioners Blaine Young and David Gray offered affidavits stating that the FACT letter did not sway their decision.

Joe Caloggero, whose company did the traffic study, did not think the letter would have had more of an impact than the adequacy tests.

“It is my professional expert opinion that the FACT letter did not play a decisive role,” he said.

Some speakers said they believed the council members had made up their minds to support the development before the hearings, and the letter appeared to be a way to garner support for their decision.

Some speakers, including former Commissioner Gray, said the letter was a political move to justify the board’s approval of the development.

“It seemed very obvious to me, to tell you the truth, that this was to pad the record,” Gray said.

Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiFNP.

(72) comments

burntfrank

MTC will happen so best to start collaborating with developers to make it beneficial for RALE and Monrovia in some way. Name calling and litigious activity will only serve as a quick fix but will do little in the long run...and will be more costly than necessary both financially and mentally. If you want a long term solution, then sit down together and collaborate (not compromise).

stevemckay

"MTC will happen ..."

You know how many times I've heard that and similar sentiments about this development over the last two years? A whole bunch, believe me.

I don't know what it is about people but every time we enjoy a success, there is someone like you that pops out of the woodwork. Yes, literally popped out with your first ever post, to tell us that it's a done deal and we should "collaborate" with the developers.

Thanks but no thanks for the advice.

[wink][thumbup]

Not on our watch!!

DickD

Normally, if you work for a company or government agency, you cannot be sued as an individual. But here you see what appears to be a violation of the law in doing their sworn duties to the County. Therefore, absolute immunity may not apply here.

You're

MAVRICKinc7

The more you read about this story, the more its starting to sound like a scavenger hunt for bits and pieces of recall that couldn' make it to or thru the first day of a grand jury hearing. We're constantly playing with the emotions of revenge that serve only as a another distraction FROM what the game is really all about; finding the truth by appropriate CROSS EXAMINATION where we get to ask hard questions under oath and accountable to the laws of perjury.

Affidavits don't count for much of anything UNLESS you have someone testify to what is NOT predicated on the terms of a one way conversation that the LIAR composed from a compromised account of what happened in their viewpoint, while exonerating themselves from the same lies being perpetuated now on the public stage with the use of a notary public stamp of approval.

All we are doing now is more about heresay, speculation and exaggeration of vague events and recall without holding the players accountable; under oath. Simply saying it's corruption is one thing but proving it is quite another, although whining about it is certainly expected from the cheap seats and those sitting on the side lines WAITING for someone else to dig the truth up under terms of criminal and civil codes of conduct and accepted EVIDENCE, which is NOT something Frederick Countyt is very good at, and hasn't been for decades.

Current government can make up all the rules they believe, or not, will mitigate the circumstances and outcomes of corruption which is still running rampant through the Frederick Region, but UNTIL empowered to do something about it, is only as good as crossing your T's and dotting your I's. The clock on the Statute of Limitations is running and has been, since last November.

Talking AT corruption doesn't make it go away any more so than the mounting overdoses of herion from drug trafficking or gang violence.

Signs of protest are just that; signs of a problem that has been ALLOWED to grow under our very noses and still growing without intervention into family values that still make the rules up as they go along, to get along and trading off of family values for at least the past 4 years. This is a systemic problem that will not go away anytime soon. Weed be gone is only a partial remedy of what's only going to grow the following year. We need to go at the roots of this weed and stop[ yelling at it from the pages of this blog site.

Tigerzord

So we've heard some say, "this has been on the books for years" - well sometimes decisions that were made so long ago do not make it a good decision now. Frankly, I would like to see it stay farm land - let's look at what is going on out west - crops are drying up. What if we need this land to help sustain the population. Once you build on it, it's gone forever.

Oh, and we are not done, not by a long shot.

FrederickFan

RALE has done a remarkable job organizing people of all backgrounds and political ideologies to come together to advocate for the benefit of the rest of us.

The $800,000,000 needed to upgrade Route 75 to allow this development to proceed, has not been budgeted anywhere. Not the Feds, not Maryland, and certainly not Frederick county.

Approving MTC means threatening the transportation safety of thousands of local residents for decades because like the entire United States, Maryland is facing a massive, long term infrastructure deficit.

So who out there wants to pay $800,000,000 so one of Blaine Young's buddies can make some extra cash putting a development in the middle of nowhere?

bukweet

excellent points, FrederickFan ! .... all of which should prohibit the project from going forward.

remember blaine young's claim running up to the 2014 election ; he said 'if Larry Hogan is elected governor he promised that the funds would be there for Rt. 75'. ha, ha, ha.

DickD

Just another one of Blaine's lies, supported by the rest of the gang.

DickD

Not me!

[thumbup] Yes. This is not just about Monrovia. Some who comment here fail to realize the number that commute through from New Market, Libertytown, Woodsboro, etc. Basically everybody trying to avoid 15 and 26 around Frederick...

This will have far reaching consequences on our entire county. I am amazed at the number of people with tunnel vision and who are not informed, at a time when information is everywhere.

Anyone in this county that cares about their quality of life here should be very concerned and stepping up to support our neighbors in Monrovia. Some from my area have, but I am still finding some that do not know what MTC or RALE stand for. Spread the word. The time for it is now. This threatens to dry up funds for everything all across the county. There just simply will not be enough resources. These PUD's do not pay for the damage they cause.

ClareS

The money must be great for the developers (and politicians) to push on this town center despite protests and downright hatred from the community. Nearly everyone in that area has one or more of those yellow signs on their property. Even though few showed up, I think for the population in that area those few speak volumes. The developer should go elsewhere and develop some already developed area in need of renovation instead of forcing it on that community.

DickD

That would be the smart thing to do. How much money do you think they have already sunk into the "rat" hole Blaine created.

bukweet

Dick, of course i know you're asking the hypothetical question... and that amount will never be known. but all of us who live and or work here will forever be paying for his greed and corruption.

DickD

I know and it does not make me happy. There needs to be more action, Mav is right on that. No one is going to listen to those of us not in a position of authority, so once the Council is done with the hearing, either Jan or Bud will need to take the extra step, unless they are satisfied with the hearing.

From what I have read in the FNP and remarks made here, I don't think the Council is likely to be satisfied. Worse yet, for Blaine and Smith, too many know about it now, it will be hard to continue without charges being filed. Of course, Mav is right on saying proving is not as easy as accusing - not an exact quote.

jerseygrl42

excellent effort by the RALE group, and the county govt. needs to step up to this travesty in the making ; smitty and the other hoodlums from the prior govt. are disgusting examples of "its all about the MONEY"...the fact that smitty is now president of the group is a sick joke , he has NO class and long ago sold his integrity.....hopefully the current council ( except for the two clowns) will see the light of day and do the right thing for the citizens rather than pandering to the special interests as we've seen the past 4 years

bukweet

he's ripe for disbarment!

DickD

Nope, he is past that, now he is rotten.

DickD

I am wondering if Tony is getting fed up with the clowns.

Tigerzord

Don't put too much trust into Chmelik either - look who he always sides with.

DickD

jerseygirl, the two clowns are Republican. No, I am not going to lol.

DickD

"Some speakers, including former Commissioner Gray, said the letter was a political move to justify the board’s approval of the development.

“It seemed very obvious to me, to tell you the truth, that this was to pad the record,” Gray said."

Most likely, Gray is right! When will Paul Smith testify, he is the culprit, we need his testimony. Will it be sworn testimony, if it happens? I think not, so it should go back to the Court, where he can be found in "Contempt of Court", if found guilty of lying to the Court. Are there additional penalties for an attorney to deliberately deceive?

bukweet

how about disbarment ? it seems to be heading that way once this is all played out.

DickD

He deserves it!

joelp77440

50? That's it? Not much interest in the community to stop this. A few loud mouths do not equate a majority.

I have no stake in this fight either way, I just hate NIMBYs.

Charles_Nelson_Reilly

I reckon you haven't spent much time in the Monrovia area? Every one of my neighbors is strongly opposed to this. I work 12 hrs a day and have a family, so there is not much meat left on the bone.

Your opinion from the popcorn gallery in Northern Frederick Co. is tired.

DickD

And if it was in your back yard, you wouldn't fight it?

FrederickTwinMom

STILL LOTS OF SUPPORT TO STOP MTC!! A lot of residents can't keep taking off work and getting child care to attend all the hearings. FNP only seems to report after the hearings, so some people don't even know about the hearings.

Thank you all that attended and especially RALE! For those that couldn't attend, please keep emailing the Council : JGardner@FrederickCountyMD.gov; BOtis@FrederickCountyMD.gov; TChmelik@FrederickCountyMD.gov; mckeegan-ayer@frederickcountymd.gov; JFitzwater@FrederickCountyMD.gov; JDonald@FrederickCountyMD.gov; Billy@FrederickCountyMD.gov; KDelauter@FrederickCountyMD.gov.

RALE still needs donations for legal bills in this fights. Fundraising
Yard Sale -Sat, June 13 - 8:00-2:00, Shakespeare Way Monrovia, ralemonrovia@gmail.com.

Tigerzord

[thumbup]

FrederickTwinMom

STILL LOTS OF SUPPORT TO STOP MTC!! Lots of people can’t keep taking off work or getting child care to attend all the hearings. The FNP only seems to report after the hearings which doesn’t help citizen be aware of dates.

Thank you to all that attended! Others, please keep emailing Council: JGardner@FrederickCountyMD.gov; BOtis@FrederickCountyMD.gov; TChmelik@FrederickCountyMD.gov; mckeegan-ayer@frederickcountymd.gov; JFitzwater@FrederickCountyMD.gov; JDonald@FrederickCountyMD.gov; Billy@FrederickCountyMD.gov; KDelauter@FrederickCountyMD.gov

Jan knows MTC is a bad idea and large part of what got her elected.

RALE still needs donations for the legal bills to fight this. Fundraising Yard Sale is this Saturday, June 13 - 8:00-2:00, Shakespeare Way Monrovia, ralemonrovia@gmail.com.

hayduke2

A few loudmouths? Really, 13 meetings and hundreds of people testifying during the original hearings - had to use Urbana HS. Over 3 hours of testimony last night. And yes, 50 + folks once again willing to give up their personal time on a weekday evening for something the COMMUNITY feels strongly about.

You sir, have no idea of what you are talking about. We are concerned about all the things any reasonable person should focus on - roads, traffic, schools, services, lack of information, funding, etc. Maybe you should educate yourself before you comment.

DickD

Give him hell!

Tigerzord

[thumbup] well said

stevemckay

We long ago established our bona fides that the bulk of the community doesn't want this development. Comments like this meant to diminish the community's voice really don't have an impact. Do some research and then make a more informed statement.

Charles_Nelson_Reilly

This, from the beginning, has always been about crony capitalism to benefit Roy Stanley et. al. & the attempted political advancement of Blaine Young thru developer contributions. Blaine Young as a politician was a shallow, egotistical, narcissist. Along with Kirby Delauter & Beilly Sherve they've never been wrong in their own minds.

It is nothing short of a despicable display of arrogance and disregard for your fellow neighbors.

Dwasserba

Whatever its purpose actually was intended to be, the FACT letter gives the appearance of tainting the process.

bmclearen

I'm still interested in who got what from whom to put the deal together.

Dwasserba

Not me. I'm sick of it.

FrederickVeteran

I believe the reality is that judges aren't going to punish developers for obtaining a huge lobbying victory. I'm certain that the courts understand that new development is an economic necessity for Frederick County and the state of Maryland and since the project was already approved it will be constructed. Sprawl is a certainty in the DC area you can't fight it you can only mitigate the effects of it and those in Monrovia are fighting the good fight but your no match for developers the MTC will be constructed because the county isn't about to lose its shirt fighting for a few thousands residents.

DickD

FredVet, I hope you are wrong and if I lived in Monrovia, I would not quit trying!

stevemckay

The Circuit Court Judge has already made an unprecedented decision to remand the case back to the Council. You're both late and wrong on your prediction.

All requirements were absolutely NOT met. The community meeting clearly was NOT held and when it came up at the hearings those questioned indicated it happened in a small shed on the property, I believe with no electricity, or something like that. They squirmed in their seats through obvious untruths as they were backed into a corner with the questioning. It gave the full effect of a little boy caught by his mom in some misbehavior. I could not believe it, when it happened.They stumbled and stuttered and came up with something like 20 people meeting in a shed. No community member received their invite,etc. You had to be there. It was hilarious and gave the full effect of lawyers looking like clowns! What an embarrassment for them. Also, at one point during the "hearing", as someone was being questioned fumbled for an answer, Blaine began answering for him!!! I believe that question was regarding where the meeting was supposedly held, or it was something related to the meeting that never happened. Clearly some folks forgot to get their story straight ahead of time and properly prepare. Now, let us get " Open for Business" ~ The business of righting a wrong! Get your story straight fellas!!

DickD

Better to let them stumble!

armillary

FACT wrote a letter which taught it
don't listen to Paul Smith who sought it
now he's FACT's president
since the rest of them went
exclaiming, "You break it you bought it."

stevemckay

[thumbup]

Glen Shiel

"Former commissioners Blaine Young and David Gray offered affidavits stating that the FACT letter did not sway their decision." Those affidavits wouldn't have been worth the paper they were written on if they had given them. One would think that Blaine Young would realise by now that everyone knows what a crooked, back-room dealing egotist he is.

KarlBickel

We now have an allegation of an ethics violation, with criminal penalties, by Paul Smith and last night an allegation of perjury by Blaine Young and all of this on top of a trail of political contributions that don’t pass the smell test. At what point does this become worthy of a grand jury investigation?

BstD59

It's already worthy if a grand jury investigation...my question is why hasn't one been initiated.

bukweet

[thumbup] excellent question. and why won't the FNP run some articles or at least an editorial examining this question?

DickD

Maybe because they should have done it at least a year ago and we soft pedaling it hoping Blaine would win.

sofanna

Absolutely agree that a thorough investigation needs to be done. If unethical or criminal action was taken by the previous BoCC, they should be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The corruption must stop sometime, and now is the time!

Tigerzord

[thumbup]

DickD

This corruption needs to be brought into the "light of day".

bukweet

multiple complaints were filed by various citizens & residents within the last 3 years of the blaine young board, citing proof of criminal activity by 3 or 4 of young's bocc members, David Gray was NOT one of them.

and of course, all such complaints were thrown out! & now we can now see this apathy for the truth from an unethical ethics commission has taken its toll on this county. 3 of those same ethic smembers resigned in shame recently. they could also be charged w/ obstruction of justice if there is a grand jury indictment on this & other corrupt bocc decisions.

DickD

Bukwheet, if the facts substantiate it, they should be charged and prosecuted.

MCEDDE21

These are very serious allegations, indeed; all the more so because they come as the opinion of attorney Michelle Rosenfeld made on the record at this open meeting. With his participation in producing the FACT letter, it appears that Paul Smith violated the State Ethics Law regarding ex parte communications and, specifically, the associated reporting requirements.

In his affidavit, former BoCC President Young wrote: “On April 23, 2014… I read the FACT Letter aloud into the administrative record. I did not otherwise make any comments regarding the FACT Letter. I simply read the FACT Letter aloud, verbatim.” These statements are untrue and would appear to constitute perjury by Mr. Young.

The Council had asked for affidavits from Young and former commissioners Smith and David Gray. Only Gray and Young answered that request, supplying their affidavits, which were made under oath and subject to the penalties of perjury. There is probably a reason why Mr. Smith didn't answer the Council's request...

Certainly, the Grand Jury must be convened with regard to these allegations. In addition, Mr. Smith should be reported to the Attorney Grievance Commission, immediately. The AGC must investigate these allegations and institute its procedures for disbarring Smith.

DickD

You understand this far better than I do, but what you say seems reasonable to me.

DickD

Karl, it should be done now! What can be done to start the process?

stevemckay

[thumbup][thumbup]

lewisantq

Paul Smith is now president of FACT? After the improper, unethical letter he wrote? No wonder citizens have no confidence in the political process in Frederick County. Mr Smith should have been expelled from FACT.

des21

That does seem ridiculous. How does one gain these positions? No one elected him, who appointed him? I have a feeling I know the answer to that question...........

Thank you to all who attended. As a Monrovia resident I don't want this thing going forward. No offense to Urbana but if I had wanted to live in a crowded "planned" community, I would have bought a home there.

Tigerzord

[thumbup] Yes, Urbana is nice if that is what you want. But that is not what Monrovian's want. Although at the rate Urbana is growing, it will be like Gaithersburg, Germantown - and that is awful.

Dwasserba

Exactly. That's why this seems like it's being "foisted" on people who certainly had other options including nearby cities, and chose Monrovia. Always look at what's projected for an area before buying.

DickD

des, I don't live there, but agree with you totally.

BstD59

That is the beauty of our system, when it works. There are those who thrive living in an urban environment. There are those who thrive residing in a suburb of a city. There are those who will sacrifice almost anything to live in a country setting. There are mansions, single family homes, townhomes, condos, high rises, and garden apartments. There are old houses, farms, new houses, and mid-century modern. There is housing for singles, for couples, for families and for seniors.

The American dream is to live where one wants and in the environment it wants. If additional land is needed [or wanted] to expand a village, town, or city, then it needs to be done with the approval of those who already abide in that area. Rather than try and 'citify' a bucolic country setting, those that want to be urbanized can move to an area that already is, and leave the countryside to those who want to live there.

Sadly, another part of our system is greedy developers and corrupt politicians.

I don't live in Monrovia, but I stand beside you in your fight.

Tigerzord

[thumbup]

bukweet

another FACT letter writer not passing the smell test is former secretary Michael Proffitt who is/was also hired by the attorney for narconon's Trout Run deal to be their 'expert witness' for the architectural aspects of the historic preservation application - which was voted down 6-1 by the new Council. Proffitt is in it for his profit.

wow - the professionally unethical individuals are crawling in and out of the woodwork in frederick county!

Dwasserba

Hmm.
Mr. Proffitt never claimed to run a non-profit. Pretty much anyone with a job expects to benefit from doing what they're trained for. His expertise is beyond question.

DickD

Amen, Bukwheet, amen![thumbup]

DickD

And he is an attorney too.

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