When the city of Frederick dismissed citations last month for code violations that had been corrected at the old Asiana restaurant on North Market Street, I felt confident that I had written an accurate story on the court hearing.

I found out recently from residents that the city staff was saying I mischaracterized the case.

Here's my attempt to clear the air.

I did my due diligence to get the story straight. After the hearing, I stopped by City Hall and spoke with the city's attorney and Nikki Bamonti, Mayor Randy McClement's executive assistant, and then went to the annex building and talked to code enforcement staff.

I listened to city staff when they asked me to emphasize in my story that the major code violations on the property had been resolved. I also listened to residents who asked me to detail the code violations still existing on the property.

City staff didn't contact me after my story was published to tell me I made any mistakes.

That's why I was surprised when I got an email last week from a resident titled, "City is blaming your reporting."

A post on a Facebook page, "The City of Frederick's Blight Problem," had urged residents to contact the mayor and Board of Aldermen to say they were upset about how staff handled the issue.

They did, and city staff wrote back to them in a mostly blanket response that included:

"In regards to the property at 123-125 N. Market Street, unfortunately, the news media reporting agencies mischaracterized the disposition of the citations issued to the property owner."

I was the only reporter who covered the court hearing. My editor and I emailed Bamonti to find out what I had mischaracterized, since they were telling residents this but not us. 

Bamonti wrote back that, "Indicating that the violations/citations were 'waived' is a misstatement regarding the resolutions of the citations. In reality, unless a guilty verdict is found, there is no right to collect any fines from the building owners."

I should have written "dismissed," not "waived," she wrote.

If this synonym dispute is truly the reason why residents were so riled up that they emailed their public officials, then I regret the word choice.

From what I've heard, though, the residents' distress is more due to the property's 12-year vacancy, code violations, and associated vagrants and health and safety issues, and how the city has handled the case from the start.

In any case, I'll continue to stay on top of the story. Speaking of which ...

More code violations for Asiana building

The owners of 123 N. Market St. have more work to do.

The city inspected the property on Oct. 21 and found five code violations that must be addressed by Nov. 24, according to the city's notice of violation document:

n Three violations regarding windows or window screens that need to be replaced or repaired and in working condition.

n One violation related to missing bricks on the exterior wall that need to be repaired.

n One violation regarding decorative features on the front of the building that are in disrepair and need to be properly protected and anchored.

Failure to comply with each violation may result in a fine of $1,000 each, according to the city document.

Send notes about your city government to Jen Fifield at jfifield@newspost.com.

(9) comments

mjbsox

Can anyone suggest what to do with blighted and or long time vacant properties? Maybe there is no easy answer.
Should the City:
Take ownership via Eminent Domain, then sell the property.
Keep attaching fines until they equal the value of the property, then sell it.
Appoint a trustee to sell the property.
Come to a compromise with a landowner that does not want to compromise?
I think the City would love the have the right answer and deal with the problem.

m21701m

Extra. Mr king know it all.... you are wrong. Follow the company name that owns it and at the end you'll find Ron Young. Maybe you should be the one checking facts.

AnotherFineMess

The 9 remaining citations were "elevated" to a consent agreement to bring the building up to City code, that's it!

Bringing the building up to code does, by default, satisfy the remaining citations. Just satisfying the citations does NOT bring the building up to code!

Our bumbling, moronic, buffoon of an attorney THREW OUT the agreement! PERIOD!

The building is NOT up to code and for the Mayors assistant to even suggest that Code Enforcement has been diligent or that nothing was waived was incredibly naive and shows that we are still dealing with a "ship of fools"!

Time to clean house!

m21701m

The city's beloved liberal Ron Young owns the blighted building across fron the Rosemont service station. The ceiling is caving in and the exterior is falling apart. It's such an eye sore. He declines to comment on his building's blight and how it makes that area look run down.

Extra Ignored

According to the Maryland SDAT, 1800 Rosemont Avenue is not owned by Ron Young. Please check your facts before posting fiction.

Dwasserba

The city should write and submit their own articles then. What a hassle. Lucky you are paid a fortune to put up with it.

Extra Ignored

Their called Press Releases and most government agencies do use this approach when they want the residents to know something. Obviously this was something the residents didn't need to know.

Mayor Randy McClement

CONTACT: Susan Harding, Public Information Officer, 301-600-1385
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, July 14, 2014
Mayor Promotes “Buy Local Challenge”

Frederick, MD -- Mayor Randy McClement announces support of the 2014 “Buy Local Challenge” urging citizens to take the pledge to eat fresh and buy local. The annual Buy Local Challenge encourages residents to buy local produce and dine at City restaurants that serve local farm products, wine and beer.

http://www.cityoffrederick.com/DocumentCenter/View/4262

AnotherFineMess

Unfortunately, the building is NOT up to City code as mandated in the consent agreement.

Of the 26 building permits pulled for the project, according to the City's own documentation, NONE were completed or have had final inspection NONE!

Some of the work was nearly completed but much remains and quite a bit is probably NOT going to happen!

If the building was up to code the City would not be preparing to issue 5 more citations Nov 24 for yet MORE code violations!

Morons, nimrods, buffoons, idiots.. Etc

Extra Ignored

It appeared to me that the citizens were irate because the fines had been waived/dismissed even though it took a great deal of effort on the part of city to obtain the owners compliance with city code leaving the burden for paying for this effort solely to the tax payers.

Blaming the FNP for bad reporting is just part of the city's response to disowning the problem they created by dismissing the fines. This means the city is still not listening/understanding citizen complaints.

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