Frederick’s aldermen will weigh in on plans by Mayor Michael O’Connor on how to spend money the city has received from federal coronavirus relief funds.

The city will receive $10.6 million from the federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, with half already received and the rest to come in 2022, according to a staff report by Marc DeOcampo, the city’s chief administrative officer.

The aldermen will review the proposal at their Oct. 13 workshop.

The 13 proposals in O’Connor’s plan include $100,000 for design of a 24-hour public restroom facility on Carroll Creek; $1.3 million for vaccination incentives and COVID testing for city staff; $1.7 million for an expansion of police-worn body cameras; and $5.6 million for stormwater management resiliency projects in the downtown, North Market Street, West Patrick Street and other areas.

The money for body cameras would add 222 cameras to the Frederick Police Department’s current stock of 101, department spokesman Allen Etzler said Friday. That would mean that every sworn officer from the police chief down would have two cameras.

There would also be 20 specialty cameras for the department’s Special Response Team and five spare cameras, Etzler said.

$1K for getting vaccine?

Also at the Oct. 13 workshop, the mayor and aldermen are scheduled to discuss a proposal to offer a one-time incentive payment to city employees who provide proof of full COVID vaccination.

Those incentives would come from $650,000 in coronavirus local recovery funds.

The program would provide $1,000 for full-time employees and $500 for part-time and seasonal employees who are actively working, similar to a proposal under consideration at the county level.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(27) comments

gary4books

I think the Mayor and the Alders should be thanked for such a good plan. We certainly do need a rest room on the Creek. Although it is a courtesy to our visitors and some may not like that. Much like our visitor center it will be appreciated and keep downtown better.

TomWheatley

Allow me to be the first to propose a name for it

The COVID relief station.

gary4books

Tom: [beam][thumbup][thumbup]

gabrielshorn2013

Agreed that a public loo would be handy along the linear park. But a 24-hour one? Who is walking around Carrol Creek linear park at 3 AM? And $100,000 to design one? These are fairly common structures, with common features and design. Why does one need to be specifically designed? You can go to any of a number of companies that make them and order the one you want. All you need to do is supply the utilities. It seems the taxpayer is getting "f"ed again by this mayor, and the Alders if they approved it.

Smoleys

We need to look at what is best for our local community instead of reflexively using strategies devised by people who are far removed from Frederick. Can we use the funds to restore our health and local business economy that both took major hits in the past 2 years? Let’s hear some creative ideas tailored to our own local needs and resources.

Here are 2 sample ideas, please join me to generate more.

1. Our small local retailers were smothered by big boxes and Amazon. Our general health deteriorated from lack of access to exercise, routine medical care, and social interaction. Can two problems be addressed with one solution?

How about using the coronavirus mitigation money to give a pallet of Vitamin D bottles to any local retail store that was shut down because they were “non-essential?” Each county resident would receive a coupon that could be redeemed at the local business for free Vitamin D. Net benefit with increased retail traffic, enhanced immunity, increased social interaction. Bought in quantity, less than $2 per bottle.

2. Let’s look at the elephant in the room and address the actual reasons for vaccine hesitancy. If people are worried how they would pay for an adverse reaction, our local government should use the money to step up and offer to compensate people who have adverse effects from the vaccine by paying for missed days of work and paying for therapy or treatment due to injury or tutoring for missed days of school.

What about people who don’t trust the CDC or FDA? All the allegations we read about politicization or influence of money from pharma show that our federal health agencies squandered the trust they once held with many Americans. Well, we do have a COUNTY health department that could fill this void and to date they haven’t done anything to erode that trust. Start a voluntary public database of adverse reactions that occur in Frederick. If nobody in Frederick has had an adverse reaction—shout it from the rooftops! If there are adverse reactions, our health department could look into each and every one and find out what the risk factors are for people in Frederick. Perhaps certain people better off with one vaccine or another, perhaps some people should get boosters sooner, or never.

Smoleys

I like these proposals ....very well thought out, appropriate and reasonable.

Yesterday when I got my flu shot I was asked by the pharmacist if I experienced any reactions to vaccines and I said no, then I clarified it with her that she meant anything beyond the normal reactions..because yeah I reacted to my flu shot, my arm was sore, I took some Ibuprofen because Ibuprofen works amazing on inflammation and today my arm isn't sore at all. So when we say adverse reactions we need to be very specific about the adverse reactions, but I would rather have a sore arm than the flu any old day...so

Also I did start taking Vitamin D at the start of the pandemic because the reasoning behind taking it made sense...and because who can't use more Vitamin D..also it makes your nails and hair grow and does seem to make wounds heal faster, so besides maybe helping to keep safe me from Covid there are other benefits to taking Vitamin D. Hopefully someone from the City government will take your suggestions to heart and put them into place. ?

Betterdays

All the liberal progressive fools living in Frederick City will eventually get what they want. The people they elect are following the plan. Soon Frederick will be out of control, full of crime, and tents on the sidewalks. Unfortunately, the tents won’t be for dining under. They will be for sleeping under and shooting drugs just like all the other cities run by disgusting liberal “leaders”. You will get what you deserve with your insane ideologies.

Betterdays

Hey what are the cities run by liberal "leaders" that are full of tents with people shooting drugs all day? Are you thinking about Seattle, rents are sky high there I hear? Me I was thinking about where I would like to pitch my tent here in Frederick? Do you think we should reserve some spaces now?

TomWheatley

The way the money is spread out sounds like a modern day version of 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon. You take random thing and within 6 sentences, tie it back to Kevin Bacon. Now let's take those random uses of the money like body cameras and tie that back to what the money is clearly designated for. It is not a slush fund.

Awteam2021

How ‘bout fining everyone who’s not vaccinated and eligible $1,000, if not vaccinated by Halloween? Wouldn’t that be an insensitive?

C.D.Reid

An "insensitive?"

gary4books

AW: A very intensive purpose. With an objective.

niceund

The money is for "recovery", Mr Mayor. Since when is constructing a new bathroom recovery? Giving $1000 to employees? How about finding something that needs "recovering" and use it for that. Not bathrooms or bribes. Just another logo fiasco. No wonder taxes are so high in Frederick. No fiscal responsibility.

TSMGunner

Not even for a restroom, just the design. Why not google public restroom design and don't call this a COVID project, the first thing they will do is lock it down if we have a new surge.

AOC

Best example yet that O'Conner is incompetent and his primary goal must be to see how much money he can p*ss away.

"The 13 proposals in O’Connor’s plan include $100,000 for design of a 24-hour public restroom facility on Carroll Creek."

The city currently has four parking decks which abut Carroll Creek, all with public restrooms which are locked at night. SMH

gabrielshorn2013

A 24 hour restroom? Is there a need for a 24 hour restroom? Why does it need to be designed? It's a fairly common structure. Arent plans already available? Sounds like another "f".

teadoffinfrederickcounty

[thumbup]

threecents

Why do you use AOC's name and likeness? Is it to indicate you self-loathing?

AOC

Unfortunately, today Mayor O’Conner revealed he plans to give all city employees $1,000 to get vaccinated.

The $1,000 prize started with AA County Executive Steuart Pittman, then CE Gardner and now O’Conner. Every other responsible executive is following President Biden’s direction to give only $100.

The President spoke to these very issues on 29 July 2021 clearly identifying his plan.

President Biden’s Plan: $100 to Unvaccinated Only

Gardner Plan: $1000.00 to everyone

Federal Employees: Anyone who does not attest or is not vaccinated will be required to mask no matter where they work; test one or two times a week to see if they have acquired COVID; socially distance; and generally will not be allowed to travel for work.

County Employees: Receive $1000 to show proof of vaccination. No restrictions for not providing proof.

President Biden seems to be the only adult in the room. Pitman, Gardner and O’Conner: Out to Lunch

Please consider listening to the speech and decide for yourself.

Such careless disregard with taxpayers’ dollars is exactly why a growing number of Americans have lost confidence in government. If there is any justice maybe all three can serve time together at USP LEWISBURG.

Report Fraud or Misconduct Related to Government Contracts or Grants

https://home.treasury.gov/services/report-fraud-waste-and-abuse/report-fraud-or-misconduct-related-to-government-contracts-or-grants

Below are the transcribed quotes of the President’s speech provided by the White House.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/07/29/remarks-by-president-biden-laying-out-the-next-steps-in-our-effort-to-get-more-americans-vaccinated-and-combat-the-spread-of-the-delta-variant/

You may find the time references below to locate key points.

Link to President’s speech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNmLuCPyCbw

06:40

There are about 90 million Americans who are eligible to get the shot but haven’t gotten it yet. As I just mentioned, nearly all of the cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19 today are from unvaccinated people.

09:08

In the last six months, more than 325 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the United States and billions of doses administered around the world. The vaccine was developed and authorized under a Republican administration, and has been distributed and administered under a Democratic administration.

The vaccines are safe, highly effective. There’s nothing political about them. Look at all the people who took a shot at it. They later — we learned a lot of them have already been vaccinated.

From the start, I have to compliment Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He hadn’t made it political. He’s encouraged people to get vaccinated and is continuing to do so, and his state is in pretty good shape.

10:50

Unvaccinated people spread the virus. They get sick and fill up our hospitals. And that means if someone else has a heart attack or breaks a hip, there may not be a hospital bed for them.

If you’re unvaccinated, you put your doctor and nurses at risk — the same frontline, essential workers who put their lives on the line over the past year and have gone through hell.

Again, with freedom comes responsibility. So, please, exercise responsible judgement. Get vaccinated — for yourself, for the people you love, for your country.

I’m being literal when I say this: As I travel the world, almost every day a foreign leader calls me, asking can I provide his or her country more vaccines. Their people are desperate for vaccines.

12:30

First, we’re going to provide more incentives to encourage unvaccinated Americans to get vaccinated. That starts with paid leave to get the shot. We’re still hearing that people are unable to get time off from their employer to get vaccinated. Well, this is unacceptable.

For some time now, I’ve said you should be able to get the shot and still get paid. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the federal government is fully reimbursing any small- or medium-sized business that provides workers with paid time off to get vaccinated.

Employers, this costs you nothing. If you haven’t given employees paid time off, do it now, please.

13:17

Today, I’m announcing that we’re taking this a step further. The federal government will now reimburse those employers to give their staffs — who give their staffs time off not only to get themselves vaccinated, but also to get their family members vaccinated.

That means employers can get reimbursed if they give parents time off — with paid time, paid leave — to take their kids or their own parents to get vaccinated. So, I’m calling on all employees [employers] across the country to give paid time off to get the shot or to help a family member do so. I promise you: It will cost you, the employer, nothing. You’ll be reimbursed.

Secondly, I’m announcing that we’ll continue the work — to work with states to encourage unvaccinated people to get vaccinated. In February, the grocery store chain Kroger’s offered $100 to their associates if they’d get vaccinated. And it worked. Vaccination rates moved up from 50 cent [sic] — 50 percent to 75 percent among their employees.

So, today, I’m calling on all states and local governments to use funding they have received, including from the American Rescue Plan, to give $100 to anyone who gets fully vaccinated.

I know that paying people to get vaccinated might sound unfair to folks who’ve gotten vaccinated already, but here’s the deal: If incentives help us beat this virus, I believe we should use them. We all benefit if we can get more people vaccinated.

16:31

Next, every federal government employee will be asked to attest to their vaccination status. Anyone who does not attest or is not vaccinated will be required to mask no matter where they work; test one or two times a week to see if they have a — they have acquired COVID; socially distance; and generally will not be allowed to travel for work.

Likewise, today, I’m directing my administration to take steps to apply similar standards to all federal contractors. If you want to do business with the federal government, get your workers vaccinated.

Look at the Chamber of Commerce representing tens of thousands of American businesses. The National Association of Manufacturers. The Business Roundtable, which is comprised of the largest and biggest corporations in America. They’re all applauding the actions the federal government is taking, and I urge them to follow suit.

C.D.Reid

So, O'Connor wants to put a 24-hour public restroom on Carroll Creek, huh? If you don't think there's a homeless problem there now, just wait until that facility is built.

AOC

[thumbup]

TSMGunner

That is probably part of his reasoning

FyremanEd

They should call it a heroin hut.

artandarchitecture

Black Vet and Congressional Candidate Torches Racist Vaccine Mandates in Viral Video By Cassandra Fairbanks, October 8, 2021

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/10/must-see-veteran-congressional-candidate-torches-racist-vaccine-mandates-viral-video/

gardenwhimsey

Vote no for giving $1K to city employees who get the vaccine. They should be getting the vaccine for the good of themselves, their families & friends, and for the good of society in general. If the incentive money is sourced from Federal funding and the Feds intended it to benefit the residents of Frederick City it should be used to reward all CITY RESIDENTS and not just city employees.

C.D.Reid

Incentive money = bribe, that's all it is. No matter how the Dims want to disguise it.

Dwasserba

“Those incentives would come from $650,000 in coronavirus local recovery funds.” Is this the only possible application?

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