A state delegate who raised her hand to join a Frederick County growth task force was passed over for appointment after a fellow legislator questioned how “fair and open” she would be on the panel.

Delegate Kathy Afzali, R-District 4A, argued she would bring a much-needed perspective to the growth group because her constituents in the eastern areas of the county are among those most affected by local growth issues. In a Nov. 4 letter, she asked Sen. David Brinkley, R-District 4, to put her on the county-led task force.

In response, Brinkley challenged Afzali’s impartiality on the question of creating a transfer tax to fund infrastructure improvements. In a Monday phone interview, he attributed Afzali’s interest in the work group to a desire for publicity.

“Afzali is about Afzali and not a solution to the problem,” Brinkley said.

Despite Afzali’s request for the task force assignment, Brinkley offered the opening to Sen. Ron Young, D-District 3, and Delegate Patrick Hogan, R-District 3A, before finally naming Delegate Galen Clagett to the work group.

Afzali said her goal is to represent district residents who have concerns about development in the county. Controversial development projects such as the Monrovia Town Center heavily affect her constituents, she noted. Clagett, D-District 3A, represents the city of Frederick, where building does not generate as much opposition, she said.

“I’m the one who’s fielding the calls from irate citizens who are going to have the traffic jams and the noise and the safety issues from this kind of growth,” she said.

The work group created by county commissioners Oct. 31 will discuss ways to make sure local infrastructure keeps pace with development.

Commissioners had talked about replacing county impact fees on new development with a transfer tax levied when homes are sold. The shift would distribute the costs of schools and libraries more equitably across all homeowners rather than just placing them on developers and the home’s first buyers, Commissioners President Blaine Young has argued.

Commissioners considered asking the Maryland General Assembly for permission to make the change. However, when the county’s group of state lawmakers offered a tepid response to the proposal, commissioners opted to put together a work group instead. Afzali was one of the legislators who voiced opposition to establishing a transfer tax, a fact Brinkley highlighted when responding to her request for a seat on the task force.

“A transfer tax may, or may not, be a potential tool,” Brinkley wrote. “You have stated unequivocally you are opposed to this; in light of this, can you truly be ‘fair and open’?”

But Afzali said everyone will bring an opinion to the table when the task force meets.

“Delegate Clagett is very much pro-development and very buddy-buddy with the developers,” she said.

With development interests already represented on the board, she said she would add a different perspective. Having a variety of outlooks on the task force is important if they are going to hammer out solutions, she argued. Otherwise, the group’s discussions will be more for show than for a substantial debate, she said.

The task force will also include representatives of the Frederick County Association of Realtors, Frederick County Building Industry Association, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, a municipality, and the senior, education and library communities.

Follow Bethany Rodgers on Twitter: @BethRodgersFNP.

(42) comments

stevem90999

Liberal Maryland's good ol boy politics, as usual.

watson4sherlock

Isn't Brinkley a conservative Republican or is he a RINO to you?

backroomfrederick

Yet another joke task force/work group to hide behind. This BSoCC is padding their stats as 2014 approaches. No need to run again...

Comment deleted.
sonderweg

He is sexist for calling out Afzali for what she is?

touscents

Is Ron with Blaine on this issue?

backroomfrederick

One's a Rep and one's a Dem for a reason...Always need one in the money to maintain the family compound with your tax dollars. Developers first residents dead last. Lots of smoke in between.

touscents

This is one of those rare cases that I agree completely with Kathy. It should be the people who are building and buying the homes that pay for their new infrastructure. Brinkley is being insincere if he expects us to believe that the other delegates do not have an opinion on this.

elymus43

Looks like the builders and developers should make out good as usual.

jerseygrl42

The good old boy network is alive and well and we would not want a divergent opinion on this issue involving all taxpaying citizens of the county now would we.....what these clowns want is group think so they can tell the public...lookie here all your elected officials agree on this issue of removing money from your pockets to support their growth plans with the developers...reminds me of this same group of claggett , brinkley and hogan along with a couple of others who wrote secretly to MDE PRIOR to the public hearing in Jan telling MDE to hurry up with approval of the $ 3 BILLION incinerator...I guess before the public got wise to this travesty....then they all went into hiding after the letter became public....same deal here folks...its always ALL about the MONEY and shame on this bunch for not allowing Kathy Afzali to serve her constituency

Comment deleted.
watson4sherlock

Maybe she can file a complaint with the EEOC for gender discrimination.

New year, new statistics? Not for the gender pay gap, one of the most oft-contested numbers in gender equality in the workplace. For more than a decade now, the comparison between the median earnings of full-time employed men and women in the U.S. has remained a stubborn 77%–that is, women earn roughly 77 cents on the dollar when stacked against the paychecks of white men.

See http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2013/09/19/the-geography-of-the-gender-pay-gap-womens-earnings-by-state/

guido207

Another tax increase on its way from Blaine Young.

Ms. Afzali's sin appears to be her refusal to raise taxes on her constituents. Voters paying attention might actually applaud her refusal to be puppet for Blaine Young and his developers.

Difficult to tell from the way the article was written whether Brinkley will be on the panel, or whether he just controls who gets on it. Will his constituents agree with Brinkley enabling Blaine Young to raise taxes?

darththevader

Afzali's sin is she's self serving to the point that no lie is too big. She has yet to get a bill passed but certainly has no problem claiming to though

watson4sherlock

So she is different from other politicians in what way then? Aren't they all self-serving and tell big lies?

watson4sherlock

Delegate Kathy Afzali
2013 Regular Session
District 4A, Frederick County

Total Bills: 101 (Primary Sponsor: 8, Co-sponsor: 93, By Request: 0)

See http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=sponpage&tab=subject3&id=Afzali&stab=01&ys=2013rs

armillary

Darth, you seem to be describing Blaine to a T.

bnace42

Kudo to Brinkley. She's a menace. But I bet Ted Cruz would've appointed her.

frederickinsider

The only thing this task force is missing is Roy Stanley, Howard Payne, Tom Natelli, and Rand Weinberg

stevemckay

I think they got it covered. Roy and Howard will represent the senior community, because they once thought about building an age-restricted community. Tom Natelli will represent the library community because he built one. And Rand Weinberg will represent the education community because he went to school - sometime in the past.

ReadPhred

I have very mixed feelings about this. First, I find it inexcusable the delegate(s) who represent the people most affected are not included. But "represent" is the key word. Most of what I have seen from Del Azali is representation of herself and her views regardless of input from citizens. I see similar from other delegates as well which is the basic problem with our representatives today. They think they were elected to represent themselves, heck with what the citizens think or want.

rnrbug

Imagine that the good ole boys still sticking together!!

armillary

Blaine has "a personal and deeply held belief" that government should not be in the business of providing charity to the poor. He says people shouldn't be forced to donate unless they want to. He's wrong on that, of course.

But he has no problem forcing people to share the cost of development to increase the profits of his buddies. It's crony welfare. He's wrong on that too. The sooner his hands are off our government, the better.

watson4sherlock

Yet Blaine is not opposed to giving corporate welfare or selling public assets at a lose or constructing parking lots to accomodate the purchaser at public expense or eliminating taxes on golf course memberships.

My hope is someday Blaine will join the ranks of the poor and downtrodden and when he calls his "friends" their receptionist with ask who is calling and he will answer Blaine Young and the receptionist will answer can I take you number? But he'll never get a call back because that's how they do it in big business they don't give you the finger they just don't return your phone call. That's class.

backroomfrederick

[thumbup]

business

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

touscents

[thumbup]

dbjanda1

The article forgot to mention 'and the good ole boyz told me to say' about Brinkley's decision...Me

Perhapsnotyet

[thumbup]

jthompson

The Growth Task Force is simply cover to allow the developers who have made Developer Rights & Responsibilities Agreements ("DR&RA") with the County to avoid paying both impact fees and the transfer tax that will replace impact fees. They won't have to pay impact fees because those fees will be abolished as part of the deal to get transfer tax authority. They won't have to pay the new transfer tax because the DR&RA protects them from new laws. Developers with a DR&RA will reap a windfall worth tens of millions of dollars in impact fees/transfer taxes they won't have to pay. Political corruption at its worst.

teabiscuit

Have to agree with jthompson on this one. This has "windfall for developers" written all over it.

guido207

Lenny's comments are exactly right. Blaine Young (and Kirby Delauter, Billy Shreve, and Paul Smith) are forcing Frederick County taxpayers to submit to greedy developers appetite for unlimited wealth. Political corruption at its most heinous.

jerseygrl42

yes it is, kinda like what did and is going on with the incinerator...whadda ya think

guido207

What's going on with the incinerator? Thought it was dead.

darththevader

Lennie has a paranoid obsession problem

armillary

Lennie just wants developers to pay their fair share.

I find this very interesting. What's the matter Brinkley? Does Afzali intimidate you? You're starting to sound like someone else we know, with your comments. Your choice in her place is laughable. So how many woman are appointed to your work group? How many professional citizens? Oh wait, I forgot. It's really a Developer Donut Dive! Hope you have all enjoyed your tenure as politicians and you have a plan B. Intelligent and informed citizens are watching your every move and we will be voting soon. Good Luck!

japorciento

"growth" task force? More like TAX task force. Blaine wants to eliminate the impact fee and raise taxes on everyone in the County. Brinkley SAYS he opposes the transfer tax, but the dice are loaded with developers and other real estate shills against the taxpayers. Ron Young wisely turned down the "offer" as he can, no doubt, see what's going to come of this committee. In all, another sick Republican joke.

stevemckay

So here we have this "growth task force" that will have no citizen representatives. The citizens' representative - Delegate Afzali - from the area of the County most impact by growth - the so-called "breadbasket" for growth - won't be invited. But we have plenty of developers, realtors, a developer-friendly Delegate Clagett, and a developer-friendly BoCC dominating the group. Perhaps they should just rename the group into the "grow more and have all the tax payers foot the bill" task force. Not very catchy, but accurate.

armillary

Blaine's planning for you to pay more
so developer's profits can soar
and the price that they pay
won't scare new folks away
it's the builders he's looking out for.

michellestanton

For what it's worth, I think Sen. Brinkley made a mistake in passing over Del. Afzali, a fellow Republican, for Del. Clagett. To say Clagett can be fair and balanced over any development issues is certainly a stretch, and much of the proposed development is indeed in Afzali's district. To malign her as being "all about herself" or whatever, especially publicly, is not the way to go. She's an elected public official, thousands of people voted for her (didn't she get the most votes in that district?), and their will ought to be respected, through her.

firedupterp

"Brinkley attributed Afzali’s interest in the work group to a desire for publicity." NEVER a truer statement made. WELL SAID.....

fourofsix2003

Brinkley is right.Please,send an email to Afzali,and the response you get will say nothing in regard to your questions,as a matter of fact,they will be ignored completely.You will get a reply from herself,or her "aide", and it will be nothing but politispeak about what a saint she is.

sonderweg

I have to agree here. I sent her an email several years ago about another issue. I got a response that didn't address my questions - only stating how great her idea was. Then, to top it off, I ended up on one of her email distribution lists.

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