Frederick County Repeals English Only Ordinance

The Frederick County Council voted to repeal an ordinance that required the county government to conduct its official business in English. As reported in The Frederick News-Post:

The County Council voted Tuesday by a 4-3 margin to repeal a 2012 English ordinance. The former rule required the county to operate in the English language, except when required to provide interpretation by federal law or health and public safety interests.

Councilman Kirby Delauter, who was on the previous board that approved the 2012 change, was in favor of keeping the ordinance because it established a sense of unity.

Delauter said there have to be set parameters.

“As a basic, common society, you have to have rules,” he said.

Councilman Billy Shreve, who also served on the previous Board of County Commissioners, similarly said it established a clear policy for county staff.

Council members Jessica Fitzwater and M.C. Keegan-Ayer, who proposed the repeal, have said it sends a message of intolerance to potential businesses and residents.

The practical purpose of having an official language seemed far less clear.

“I can’t figure out what this ordinance was supposed to do,” Donald said. “It is government overreach.”

The article noted that while there was debate about the purpose of ordinance and the symbolic message it sends, the repeal of the ordinance is not expected to have much of an impact on government operations.

For more information read the full article in The Frederick News-Post.