City DED expunges ‘Hotel Advisory Committee’ now a ‘Project Advisory Team’

The City’s Department of Economic Development (DED) has determined that the downtown hotel project no longer has an ‘Advisory Committee.’ This crew is now deemed to be a mere ‘Project Advisory Team.’

The updated nomenclature comes along with an updated Project Overview document dated September  15, 2017 that is called colloquially the One Pager (To be picky it is actually a 2-page One Sheeter, two pages going double sided on one 8.5” x 11” sheet)

Back in February 2016 when it was still a ‘Downtown Frederick Hotel & Conference Center Advisory Committee’ the names of the members and any associated organizations were listed.

By a March 1, 2017 version of the One-Pager it was stripped down to an Advisory Committee but it still listed names of members as well as organizations.

Now it is downgraded in the September edition to a ‘Project Advisory Team’ which sounds a lot less impressive, less formidable.

De-formidablizing is the word

We could call this an exercise in ‘deformidablizing’ the HAC? 

Now the only Advisory Committee/Team person identified by name is Earl H Robbins Jr, Chairman.

Robbins is now apparently chairing not people but faceless organizations such as the City, the County, the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Council, Downtown Partnership, East Frederick Rising — the same little old gang of insiders that has been meeting behind closed doors since about 2010 or 2011. Actually in the City DED accounts the hotel gang began as ‘community partners,’ then evolved into a ‘hotel advisory committee.’  Hence our abbreviation: HAC.

The HAC’s appended adjectives came and went but we all grew accustomed to it as very much a formal City committee with the Mayor clearly the overseer, proud that such eminences  from the ‘business community’ would volunteer their time to serve on his committee. To others it looked like inviting foxes into the hen house, but that’s another matter.

Back to the name change.

British writer George Orwell decried the misuse of language: “Political language is designed to make lies seem truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

Why has the City DED depersonalized the Mayor’s ‘Committee’ and restyled it into a mere ‘Team’?

‘Team’ does sound much less formal than Advisory Committee.

Maybe wrapped up in the notion of Team, the thinking is, less credence would be given to the suggestion that the committee should behave like other City committees and publish its documents and run open meetings.

Easier to maintain a straight face about a ‘team’ not being a City body, than something styled an ‘advisory committee.’

see links to

September 2017 The Project, an update of the ‘One-Pager’ has simply a ‘Team’

February 2016 Project Overview, the One-Pager had the ‘Advisory Committee’:


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