The County Executive says it will promote good government.
Frederick, Md (KM). The Frederick County Council could not consider applications for zoning map amendments and floating zone reclassifications for six months before a general election and three months after a general election under a bill introduced on Tuesday. “The intent of this legislation is to help insure that land use decisions remain independent and free of any appearance of political pressure during the election cycle, ” said Roger Wilson, the County’s Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy.
He introduce the bill on behalf of County Executive Jan Gardner. “The County Executive believes that this legislation is good policy and good government, Mr. President,” Wilson said to Council President Bud Otis. “And it gives citizens a trust and an assurance that their elected leaders are making good decisions on behalf of the public.”
In previous comments, County Executive Gardner said there were almost twice as many zoning applications considered in the months leading up to the 2014 general election than the year before. She has pointed out that there were nearly as many rezoning applications filed during the first six months of 2014 as there were in 2011, 2012 and 2013. While not illegal, Gardner says that the timing gives the perception of corruption and undue influence.
The City of Frederick currently has a policy of prohibiting the consideration of annexations and rezoning cases six months before a general election and three months after a general election. However, the Board of Aldermen’s meeting agenda for Thursday night contains a resolution which would repeal this provision.
By Kevin McManus