Frederick County Councilman Billy Shreve says the county’s nearly 2-year-old form of charter government is broken and “the worst form of government anyone could ever have.”

For Shreve, along with fellow Republicans Kirby Delauter and Tony Chmelik, it sure is.

For the past two years, the council’s Republican minority has been largely shut out of the process, failing to get any votes to break their way and unable to even secure a place for their discussion items on the council’s agenda, with it under the control of “turncoat” and former Republican Bud Otis, who frequently votes with the Democrats, and who changed his party affiliation to independent during his second year on the council.

Shreve said the council has accomplished nothing in the two years since its formation.

But that’s not the opinion of the council’s three Democrats and Otis.

They cite a litany of accomplishments that include hiring more deputies and firefighters, improving the county’s bond rating, holding the line on the county’s property tax rate, improving watershed regulations and overseeing the successful return of the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living facilities to county ownership.

Among Shreve’s and Delauter’s complaints have been their loss of constituent service oversight and what they maintain has been a miserly allocation of resources for the council.

They also blame Otis’ defection from the party for costing them a majority — the ability to help set priorities and to serve as a counterweight to County Executive Jan Gardner, who they say is resistant to their input.

Under a charter government, the role of a council tends to be more narrowly prescribed — preparation of the budget falls to the county executive as does policymaking and the day-to-day administration of government.

But that tells only part of the story.

The Republicans haven’t done themselves many favors, often behaving more like pot-shotters than serious partners in helping to run county government, voting against bills, well — just because — and reversing themselves on previously agreed positions, as Delauter did in October on a memorandum of understanding about the embattled downtown hotel and conference center project. That same month, when Otis dismissed an attempt by Shreve to get an item on the council’s agenda, Shreve filed a sexual harassment complaint against the council president. And earlier that year, after Otis changed his party affiliation, the Republicans sought to get him kicked off the council, an affront to the voters, both Republican and Democrat, who helped put him there.

Republicans hope this week’s election of officers will help reset the dynamic on the council and put them back in the driver’s seat. But that’d be tantamount to rewarding them for bad behavior.

Can county government function better? Of course it can. There are always ways and opportunities to improve the workings of any government, especially one that’s still finding its feet the way Frederick County’s is — and that includes looking at ways to make sure council members are better-informed, as Shreve and Delauter say they want.

But they should complain less and work harder to improve county government and to improve relations with the other council members and the county executive. They weren’t elected by the voters of Frederick County to complain; they were elected to help govern.

(20) comments

des21

I wonder if Tony C. is just a do nothing or too smart to get down into the filth with Billy and Kirby. Maybe this is just his apprenticeship.

richardlyons

Shreve is living proof that some people never grow up.

KellyAlzan

Billie and kirbie need to stop consulting with Ba'Lane. Time to move on. And be a part of the team

KellyAlzan

Can we get more details on this sexual harassment suit? This is the first I'm hearing about it

phydeaux994

Google "shreve files sexual harassment suit against otis".

KellyAlzan

Thanks!

Not sure how "get in your knees" corilates with sexual harassment. We always kneeled on our knees when we prayed

KellyAlzan

Just listening to wfre on way home. Lyrics in a country song they played said "so I got down on my knees....."

KellyAlzan

"So I got down on my knees and thanked the lord above....."

dbjanda1

When there was the council form of government where was Billy and Kirby's concern for David Gray's issues ???...Seems that the shoe is on the other foot now they're asking for 'fairness to be heard'...Maybe instead of acting like whining cry babies Kirby and Billy should be adults if they are capable of it...Together with Blaine they are BULLIES but individually they are spoiled brats perhaps that is why Tony Chemlik isn't fully on board with their attitudes...They should take a page out of David Gray's book and grow up and do what's best for the county and not themselves......

hazel

Absolutely correct. These three have done nothing for the people except cry, complain and not do their job. All three act like self centered, loud mouthed children

chesapeakecountry

Otis fooled Frederick County Republicans the first time. It won't happen again.

threecents

He fooled me too. I thought he was a tool, but it turned out he wanted what was best for Frederick. Whether you agree with him or not, you cannot deny that what he did was very brave. He could have coasted as another Blaine tool, but he went with his conscience.

b1sellers

I was pleasantly surprised By Bud Otis. He put the interests of everybody above party politics - Yay for him!

DickD

Does anyone think Billy is dumb enough to run for President of the Council again? It seems like the dumbest thing he could do, unless he is a masochist.

Green_freak

Yes, yes he is.

threecents

It also seemed dumb for Trump to run for president...

MAVRICKinc7

And still is.

matts853

Billy must too traumatized to consider all the Blaine BoCC decisions that the council has reversed or abolished. The council has actually done a lot to fix what shreve helped break. In fact, shreve himself is a constant reminder and a catalyst for these changes. Thank you billy.

marylandmirage

In my opinion, Billy and Kirby aren't acting in the best interests of their constituents. They are acting like spoiled children who are exhibiting years of temper tantrums because their buddy, Blaine (who by the way wanted this form of government when he thought he would be elected), was not elected to the position of County Executive. I also have to wonder about the people who keep electing those clowns, but that is the topic for a different forum. Billy and Kirby are constant embarrassments to Frederick County by the actions and "shooting from the mouth without engaging brain" first.

dkoronet

Exactly - if Blaine was Executive, Billy and Kirby would feel that changing the system was the best thing since sliced bread. Unfortunately, Blaine alienated enough people in the county to lose the race, and Bud Otis chose principle over party. The best move would be to vote them off the council.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominen criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.