Last night I had a free moment before meeting up with David Keelan for my long awaited beer so I decided to drop in on the 2nd Annual Land Use Summit sponsored by Howard County Issues. As soon as I walked in the room I felt like a fish out of water. It was quite obvious to everyone that I wasn’t really one of them.
Not that there were that many of them. At most, I counted fifteen people including the organizers. Mona Brinegar, the publisher of HoCo Issues was there as was Bridget Mugane, Angela Beltram, Barbara Russell, Susan Gray and Michael Cornell. I don’t believe any of the attendees were under 40. Mona told the gathering that last year about 70 people attended the first annual summit so it appears that there has been a dramatic drop off in interest.
Among the things that the organizers were happy about was the election of Russ Swatek over James Howard in the Long Reach election for the Columbia Council. Mona described James as being“aggressively pro developer” while Russ was described being “very egalitarian minded.”
After Mona spoke, Susan Gray took the floor, or more accurately, sat on the floor while she gave an update on the lawsuit she and Paul Kendall have filed against the county in federal court to place all county zoning decisions under federal jurisdiction. This generated a round of applause from the small group.
Susan told the gathering that she is very optimistic about this suit. She thinks they have put together a very strong case. I’ve come to the conclusion that Susan is delusional.
I left around eight o’clock to meet Mr. Keelan.