Opponents of a proposed 1,510-home project in Monrovia are raising questions about campaign contributions that Commissioners President Blaine Young has accepted from companies linked to the developers.

Donations totaling $28,000 poured into Young’s campaign coffers Oct. 29, 2012, from seven companies whose resident agent is helping head up the Monrovia Town Center project.

The same day, the campaign received an additional $3,000 from 75-80 Dragway Inc., a company that owns some of the property slated for development.

As county officials prepare to hold an Oct. 23 hearing on the project, residents around the 457-acre site are crying foul.

“I think it’s a gross conflict of interests, and it’s been one since that donation took place,” said Steve McKay, president of Residents Against Landsdale Expansion, a citizens group that has vocally protested the town center plans.

McKay’s group argues the town center would destroy Monrovia’s rural character and says the local roads and schools cannot support hundreds of new homes.

While the donations to Young’s campaign were legal, McKay noted that they came a couple of weeks before town center developers, 75-80 Properties LLC and Payne Investments LLC, turned in the rezoning applications for their project.

Young said he is not influenced by the money he received from the seven companies established by Roy Stanley, who also founded 75-80 Properties. Each of Stanley’s companies contributed $4,000, the maximum allowable under campaign finance law.

Young said he doesn’t keep track of how many donations he has gotten from those involved in the town center project. During the time he was considering a run for Maryland governor, he raised more than $500,000 for a potential campaign, he said.

His stance on growth issues and specific projects doesn’t ebb and flow depending on campaign contributions, he said; his voting record while in office is consistent with his platform during the 2010 race.

“I can’t be bought,” he said.

Young checks his campaign donations to make sure they are in accordance with the law and with ethical standards, he said, and he is comfortable accepting funds from companies with ties to the town center project.

“If it wasn’t ethical, they’d make it illegal,” he said of state lawmakers.

He said he has a track record of supporting development in the Monrovia area, a region he has long thought ideal for residential expansion.

The town center project, initially envisioned as an active adult community, was first rezoned for development in 2006. Several years later, it became mired in disagreements between developers and local officials and stalled after the county set up a subdivision moratorium. Amid the conflicts, town center developers smacked the county with a $50 million lawsuit that claimed officials had “abruptly decided to make the project impossible.”

Young said he and three fellow commissioners ran on pledges to restore growth rights lost under the prior board. They followed through last year by amending the county’s comprehensive plan, a long-range blueprint for local development, he said.

The changes have allowed town center developers to resurrect their project plans. But this time around, the proposals do not include an age restriction.

In the past, residents near the proposed town center took comfort in the fact that an older adult community wouldn’t bring an influx of cars or students, McKay and fellow RALE members said. But Monrovia’s infrastructure can’t handle a town center open to all ages, they argue.

“One developer and one developer’s property right does not outweigh an entire community,” said Amy Reyes, vice president of RALE.

Young says funds generated by development will provide money for school construction and road expansion.

Later this month, the Frederick County Planning Commission will review the town center developer’s request for planned unit development zoning. The commission will also consider a development rights and responsibilities agreement between the county and developers. The outcome of these discussions could lead to the resolution of the developers’ lawsuit, said Kathy Mitchell, assistant county attorney.

In the lead-up to the public hearing, RALE representatives will continue their public awareness campaign, they said. They are organizing a community meeting Saturday at Urbana Regional Library and have gathered more than 1,000 signatures as part of an online petition drive.

Follow Bethany Rodgers on Twitter: @BethRodgersFNP.

(82) comments

itakenoprisoners51

On December 4, 2012, there was a BOCC meeting called "perspectives on 2013."
During the meeting Blaine Young said that anyone against his view for growth were nothing, but troublemakers. He also said on FGCTV that"he knew what side of his bread was buttered on." Just because something is legal in this day and age, does not neccissarily mean it is in the spirit of the law. I have yet to see any community meetings about the Monrovia Town Center. We as a community have a legal right to have input into the project that will destroy the natural beauty of our community. Joe Gergul of the planning commission staff has stated several times on FGCTV that the BOCC has neglected to involve affected communities in disscussions about proposed changes. If Blaine Young is such a great Manager then he should plan to eat lunch before meetings, instead of at them. How can he be paying attention to what county residents are saying when he is stuffing food into his big mouth. At the Monteview closure meeting, I give full credit to the Lady who asked Blaine if he would please put down his sandwich and pay attention while she was giving testimony. Blaine only seems to care about one thing: POLITICAL POWER. My message to Blaine is to start thinking about where he will eat lunch when he is thrown out of office. VOTE COMMISSIONER GRAY INTO OFFICE. HE IS THE ONLY COMMISSIONER WITH ETHICS, AND IS AGAINST BLAINE'S VISION FOR FREDERICK COUNTY. C itizens A gainst B laine!!

Jeffrey A

A few years ago, delegates from Michigan visited Maryland to observe the innovative ways to preserve green space in the state. Guess that doesn't apply here.

Comment deleted.
Sluefoot Sue

Mr. Frederick Insider, It's inherited!

How long until THIS in removed? TWO in one week!

Boss Hogg

"I can't be bought".

No sireebob.

backroomfrederick

"Donations totaling $28,000 poured into Young’s campaign coffers Oct. 29, 2012, from seven companies whose resident agent is helping head up the Monrovia Town Center project."

Heck of a way to restore "growth rights". How much do current residents have to fork up to have their rights balance the scale? The current pay, go and adjust plans willy-nilly is nothing more than thumbed noses at residents. Saw it coming, seen more than enough. Vote wiser Frederick.

dbjanda1

Blaine is a businessman first and p

armillary

I'm happy to see that FNP chose to bring these facts out to its readers. FNP commenters have been posting the details of this information many times over the last year. What happened that gave this particular story legs? It's been a long time coming. Will there be a follow-on story about the other LLC owners with business before the BOCC who made multiple donations totaling between $30,000 and $40,000? Will there be a follow-on story on the campaign reform passed in Maryland's most recent legislative session that outlaws this unethical practice that Blaine took such flagrant advantage of?

wtcarlin

You guys kill me. This is Frederick, not Hooterville.

You can knock Blaine for his positions on issues, but you can't buy him. Disagree with him, sure. Call him corrupt? Careful now, that's a big word for most of you.

Bought for $28K? That's a big number for most of you, but I am pretty sure Blaine will manage just fine without it.

armillary

wtcarlin, you seem like you have an open mind. I'd just ask you to go to the MD campaign finance database at:
https://campaignfinancemd.us/Public/ViewReceiptsMain

Read the welcome page and click Continue.

Then on the next page, for Receiving Committee, type Blaine Young for Maryland. And for Amount Range ($), type 3000 to 4000. It looks like a busy page, but that's all you need to fill in. Then click Search.

You'll see 5 pages of contributions. Look at how many came from different LLCs at the same address. Blaine raised about $400K in 2012-2013, but the vast majority came from just a handful of addresses. Shouldn't we know more about his contributors, and whether any had business before our BOCC? Roy Stanley does.

dbjanda1

Compare the other commissioners campaign funds to Blaine's and that will show if he can be bought or not...Me

KellyAlzan

The FNP needs to start a clock that counts down the remaining months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds until Ba'Lane's term is over.

Comment deleted.
business

[thumbup]

FreddyFred

Where is good ol' darth? He was busy Sunday morning in the comments section defending the shutdown, but not a peep from him when he is the one in the news. Anyway... between all the negative drama, womanizing, referee cursing, constituent hating, elderly abandoning, check waving, back room dealing... isn't it about time we start the clock until how long before ol' Blaine ends up either in the streets or in cuffs? He doesn't seem to be that smart, so it's really just a matter of time until he's gone. I feel like we are watching him implode in slow motion. One has to wonder what went on in the Young household growing up to produce such a horribly flawed human being.

louie

Blaine, bought and paid for, plain and simple.

chesapeakecountry

How about a story on this RALE group about exactly where their money is coming and going........who they have donated campaign funds to? Curious minds want to know.

itakenoprisoners51

RALE's funds have come from yard sales, sign-up events, and individual $5 contributions from the community. We are in this with intergrity, individual emphasis on citizen's rights and alot of hard work by a dedicated group of longterm residents of Monrovia. Not radical groups like Sierra club, Greenpeace, ELF, or the BOCC of Frederick County

frederickinsider

If Kirby excavates the land and Billy sells the houses would anyone care?

Comment deleted.
fredneckforever

[beam]

fourstoogesandthatotherguy_the

Moe hilariously said "I can’t be bought,” and he knows a thing or two about buying people...like whores...er, dancers.

iam4usa

hahahahahaha.... the funniest part for me is: "Young said he doesn’t keep track of how many donations he has gotten from those involved in the town center project."

I also believe in garden gnomes.

fredneckforever

[beam]

dbjanda1

Was the law firm contract put out to competitive bid ???...What's the terms and conditions of the contract not to mention maximum costs ???...Not surprised they went to an out of county firm, can't have 'good ole' boyz representing good ole' boyz...Me

vmdigioia

"While the donations to Young’s campaign were legal, . . . ."

You would think that the critics would at least apply a consistent rule of ethics across the board, and across all our local, State, and Federal officials.

srpez2

While I've been trying to give Blaine the benefit of doubt over the last couple of years, especially under this forum that has been pretty brutal on him, this one takes the cake. It has become very apparent that Blaine is for sale.

randomfax

Wouldn't an easy litmus test be to look at the staff and commissioner time spent on each project and compare that to political contributions? Maybe see if some projects have been given "priority"? @FNP, any researchers on staff?

frederickinsider

Comment Removed
Comment Removed
Comment Removed
Comment Removed
Comment Removed
....

Comment deleted.
Comment deleted.
NASCARLOVER

[thumbup]

stinkyfarmer

“If it wasn't ethical, they’d make it illegal” That Blaine, is the single most naive thing I have ever heard you say.

president8444

My my the supreme court wrote no barriers for money to be elected.OUR RULLERS,not Blaine or you.its legal for all.Money bought the president election.

watson4sherlock

But you can't take kick backs to award public contracts even if they are given disguised as political contributions.

stevem90999

As the saying goes, follow the money, buddy. Young has to have some sort of a profitable interest in this kick he has for development. As a republican, he should know better. Everyone knows this "smart growth" stuff is just a clever, clandestine way of the liberal politicians to pool everyone into a single area for social engineering and tax generating control. Even though Young isn't exactly for "smart growth" requirements, he is, nevertheless, buying into their overall plans for his own self profitable interest.

itakenoprisoners51

It cannot be smart growth if Blaine Young is involved.

Comment deleted.
watson4sherlock

Are you sure he was the one who paid?

jerseygrl42

...and this corruption is not limited to Frederick county govt , it is everywhere, obama gives his contributers a pass on the ridiculous obamacare fiasco, omalley takes a hundred K from Covanta and falls in love with burning garbage and tires, pg county exec in jail while wife tries to hide the payoff in her knickers, detroit in bankruptcy after being raped by a series of mayors...all we have to do is follow the money to know why the ludicrous becomes law and this absurd development is simply one more example

puddintane245

Exactly, but people are selective in what they see as unethical, biased by their political views.

ginger

So exactly what is RALE willing to accept for the development? Obviously the landowners want to cash in and that is their right.
Putting a senior citizen development home or over age 55 does not go well when you are in the middle of nowhere. The older you get the more frequently you go to the doctor, convenience is a big factor. If it is not houses, then that means business growth/industrial...
I completely do not care for Blaine, but I would like to know what options are being offered.

armillary

Ginger, are you familiar with the location of Buckingham's Choice?

iam4usa

So how old are you Ginger? 20?
Age 55 and older are generally heading off to work.
And BTW Monrovia isn't the boonies little girl. 1/2 mile from 70, 3 miles from 270... and there are doctors right in Monrovia too.
So what would we accept? , did you see this outrage when it was tagged to be an Adult Living Community? NO. We all knew about it. the developer is transparent and open with their plans.

stevemckay

Ginger - that's a good question. Funny thing is that you're the first one that's asked - not the County, not the developer. Setting that aside. Yes, the farmer has a right to sell their property - but they don't necessarily have the right to develop the land or to do whatever they wish with it. That goes back to land use policies and the County has the big say there. You mention the age 55 community as if that's our idea. It's not. That's what the developer proposed and was approved for back in 2006. So the question is, why aren't they still doing it? They thought it was a great idea in 2006, what changed? We all know that the population is aging - there should be a bigger market for that type development now. Well, here's what changed - the APFO. If the developer wanted to build an all-age community in 2006, and failed the school APFO test (which they would have, and do now) then they had to pay for a school. Now, under Blaine's "pay-go" policy and the gutted APFO, they pay a thin slice of the cost with each home, and build, build, build. Eventually, hopefully, maybe the school and other infrastructure gets built but by when, and after how many years of massive community disruption?? You tell me because the developer gets his contractual guarantee in the DRRA - the community doesn't.

So back to your question. I don't speak for the community - the community needs to be given their own voice, and I hope they exercise it at these hearings. For me, I want fewer homes so that the development is actually more in synch with the community, and I want the infrastructure that these developments (Landsdale included) are creating a massive demand for, to be actually planned, budgeted, and implemented in lock-step with the build-out.

Without that, and relying on the trickling in of these funds, the County will be creating major issues for our community, and a major safety problem on MD75 - to name just one.

ginger

OK, I am very familiar with Buckinghams Choice. It is set dead in the middle of nowhere and I am sure it causes the Adamstown emergency services to make most of their runs to that location. Although it is a beautiful setting, it is located in a not so prime area to me. I would think putting that same building within a 10 minute drive of a bunch of doctors, stores and conveniences would have made more sense.
Second, I am not 20, and I do know many people over the age of 50. Not all people work, many are retired, disabled, work part time or other. The majority of people 55 and over are heading toward retirement or are almost there. I cannot see a bunch of almost retired to retired people moving to Monrovia when basic needs are not at their prime.
Aside from my opinions, I don't think, again, that anyone is paying attention to the roads. People go 60+ on Rt 80. Where Rt 75 hits 355 that is a nightmare every day.
But I still feel the owner of the property has a right to sell their land. I know the county has a bunch of rules... etc. and really makes life difficult for the landowners and I feel bad for these people. I see that RALE did not respond to my question.
From my perspective, Rt 80 cannot handle this traffic coming to 270, as it is there are middle schoolers and high schoolers crossing this dangerous road for schools.
But yet, RALE may have their points... but just because something is currently one way doesn't mean change will not come. Change is always coming, whether you like it or not. You can try to fight for it, but really sometimes accepting things can be easier.
Take a look at Urbana. If you were there 20 years ago you would not know where you were today, nothing is recognizable. But yet it is a top location for homes and businesses.

I think perhaps contacting Denis Superzynski would be the most help here, he is a great planner who knows the ins and out of the county. He is also willing to hear point of views from people who are not "big wigs".

Regarding Blaine - his days are limited, lets just let him fizzle out of here and hopefully out of our county for good.

stevemckay

Actually ginger, RALE did respond - my response is from RALE. And I agree with everything you say about the traffic issues. Those are very real issues. Personally, I put even more concern in not just the congestion issues, but the very real safety issues that will be created on MD 75. I won't add to the discussion of where to locate senior facilities any more, other than to say it was the developers' proposals to create both Landsdale and Monrovia Town Center as 55 and older communities, not ours. Regards.

backroomfrederick

"Change is always coming, whether you like it or not. You can try to fight for it, but really sometimes accepting things can be easier." -Ginger

Chamber of Commerce 101. Sounds like they've had you on the recruiting trail. Urbana is being abused. Natelli keeps banging out cookie cutters and carving up good soil. Really a piece of art. Giant offers the best jobs in town if you know to bag the eggs separately. Monrovia is right to fight. Once a developer gets a foot in the door under this BoCC nothing is set in stone....just scratched on drywall with a very fine pencil.

puddintane245

While you are investigating Blaine, you should investigate the contributions made to ALL politicians. The ethical vs legal conversation here is great if you close your eyes to all other politicians, not if you really believe in ethics. The comment by Armillary about buy verses rent, can apply to all, not just Blaine, with minimal exceptions.

watson4sherlock

There are not enough resources to make global inquires. Targeted inquires seek to deter others by illustrating the consequences.

The Lesson of Mitt Romney’s 47-Percent Video: Be Nice to the Wait Staff?

See http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/03/the-lesson-of-mitt-romneys-47-percent-video-be-nice-to-the-wait-staff/

armillary

I was taught it's better to light one candle than curse the darkness. I encourage you to take your advice and light one too.

crowtoo

“We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.”

~Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

watson4sherlock

It’s our top priority among criminal investigations—and for good reason.

Public corruption poses a fundamental threat to our national security and way of life. It impacts everything from how well our borders are secured and our neighborhoods protected…to verdicts handed down in courts…to the quality of our roads, schools, and other government services. And it takes a significant toll on our pocketbooks, wasting billions in tax dollars every year.

See http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/corruption

magnumrn2

Gee, I wonder what the deleted comments had to say! Wish I had checked in earlier before they were deleted. Blaine Young doesn't understand that when you accept money from someone asking to come before you with a proposal, that is normally construed as a bribe. Citizens find this unethical and don't like it. The same citizens tend to turn such people out of office and overturn the previous decisions this elected official made. Blaine Young has made so many people in the county mad that he himself would be mad to even consider trying to run for County Executive. It's only his to lose. Run, Blaine, run! I would love to see your face on election night when the results are in. Jean

stevem90999

What gets me about the "comments removed," is that the replies to them still remain and they sometimes have thumbs up or smiley faces. Makes one wonder what was so offensive that FNP had to play the "politically correct" card and pull the comment? lol

Linganore Native

Where can I sign the petition??

stevemckay

Linganore - you can get to the petition through our website - www.ralemonrovia.com, or you can "like" us on Facebook and then PM the request, or you can send an email to ralemonrovia@gmail.com. Lots of ways.

Comment deleted.
Linganore Native

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

fredneckian

legal does not equal ethical.

In 20 years the name Blaine Young will elicit nothing but disgust from the residents of this county due to his "legacy" of corruption.

Comment deleted.
etown9799

It is both illegal an unethical.

chesapeakecountry

[sleeping]

watson4sherlock

Of course you would be.

chesapeakecountry

[sleeping]

watson4sherlock

Why waste the pixels?

Comment deleted.
fredneckforever

[beam][thumbup][lol]

Comment deleted.
fredneckforever

[beam]

touscents

Blaine's response shows that he does not really have a concept of ethics, so he can only rely on what is legal or illegal. However, in this case he may have crossed the line into illegal territory. The timing makes this look like a kickback. He likes to call himself a good old boy, and this is a typical example of the good old boy life.

usgov

The GOP now wants to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction and replace it with tax relief for struggling families earning over 450k annually.

BenD

The home mortgage interest deduction helps home-owners (i.e. wealthier people) at the expense of renters (i.e. poorer people). It should be done away with if only for the fairness of it.

And we don't need it to have a high home-ownership rate. Canada has no such deduction and a higher home-ownership rate than the US.

discreetboi21705

Do we really need all this?[sad]

usgov

This is how they do it in Nigeria and China.

president8444

Even Obama takes all donations,more junk gossip again,give it up FNP losers.BLAINE WON period stop nonesense comments.

discreetboi21705

Um, what does this story have to do with Obama?

watson4sherlock

Did you donate to Obama's campaign?

japorciento

Young says funds generated by development will provide money for school construction and road expansion. He's not lying. It's just that the taxpayers will pay MOST of the costs of schools, roads, water, sewer, sidewalks, etc.

Linganore Native

Agreed. it is sad and what is even more sad is that there are a lot of people that still think that if you put in more houses the developers will do all those things....haha yeah right they have been building so much here in Linganore and I see no changes to the infrastructure etc. I just don't get how people can be so gullable.

watson4sherlock

“If it wasn’t ethical, they’d make it illegal,” he said of state lawmakers.

That's not true. Something that isn't ethical isn't always illegal and people with licenses to practice a profession can loose their license for violating ethics. Integrity is a foreign concept to many.

It won't change their debate if Dr. Andrew Wakefield -- the British doctor known widely for sparking international fear that vaccines cause autism -- loses his medical license for unethical behavior.

Wakefield has been found guilty of acting unethically during the time he conducted the famous, and now retracted, 1998 case report of 12 children that questioned if a childhood vaccine caused a new form of autism.

See http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AutismNews/autism-british-doctor-andrew-wakefield-started-autism-vaccine-debate-ethics-debacle/story?id=9713197

watson4sherlock

Also ethics violations can be used as cause to prevail in law suits for civil damages.

Majority Rule. The majority of courts have held that the ethical rules can be used to show the standard of care for attorneys, and that if an attorney failed to meet the standard it is evidence that the applicable standard of care owed to the client has been breached. Typically, these cases hold that the breach of an ethical standard does not establish a cause of action by itself, but can be used to establish that the attorney had a duty to the client, to show the standard of care required of all attorneys, and that if the standard was not met, that an attorney did not act competently.

Violation as Presumption of Malpractice. Some courts have held that a violation of an ethical rule creates a rebuttable presumption of malpractice that shifts the burden of proof from the client to the attorney. Courts reason that the ethical rules are a standard of practice for attorneys that expresses the standards of professional conduct expected of lawyers in their relationships with the public, the legal system, and the legal profession, and that it would be unfair to not allow an attorney’s client to rely on his or her attorney to abide by those standards.

See http://www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/gp_solo_magazine _home/gp_solo_magazine_index/1999_sep_christian.html

Thomask

How anyone can be surprised about anything someone as morally and ethically challenged as BY does or says? It's always all about him all the time. What a joke this county will really become if he makes it as county executive. Can't believe the people of this county could be that ignorant.

Sanker

I'd like to think that the people of this county aren't that ignorant. Personally, I wouldn't vote for him if he was running for county dog catcher. Additionally, I find it interesting that none of his animal kingdom radio buddies never post comments here in his defense. Maybe they aren't the friends he thinks they are..............

armillary

Campaign laws should have prevented
this payback scheme Blaine has invented
and when he was caught
he said "I can't be bought,"
but it's obvious he can be rented.

Thomask

I like your 'rented' comment. Right on![smile]

touscents

Armillary, You are too good for this forum.

whitemanfortyfour

I bet even Kirby laughed at that one

Comment deleted.
fredneckforever

[thumbup][beam][lol][smile]

Chron

It is obvious that LLCs were used to avoid legal limits on contributions. SCOTUS decided that a corporation (or LLC) is a "person", and SCOTUS will likely lift the limits on what a "person" can contribute to a campaign. Meanwhile, those with money who wish to exceed the current limits on contributions merely need to establish multiple LLCs.

We are quickly heading toward an undemocratic society in which only those with far more money will have a say in how government works. We are descending into fascism.

Linganore Native

Yup [sad]

lewisantq

Another Blaine-ism. To paraphrase him, What I did is ethical and legal - If it wasn't ethical the state would make it illegal. Blaine just proved in his own words that he believes that if it isn't illegal it is ethical. No wonder he has no conscience.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!