Monday, July 20, 2009

Twice the Government for Half the People

Actually, it would likely be twice the government for less than half the people if Columbia were to become an incorporated city. It is an idea that has come up in the past only to fade away due to lack of support. Most residents simply feel that that the county government is perfectly capable of handling the governance of Columbia issues as well the county. Howard is one of the smallest counties in the state encompassing only 254 square miles (the smallest is Calvert with 213 square miles).

Despite the past failed attempts to incorporate, the current push by the Columbia Association to have a greater role in Columbia zoning issues could simply be a back door attempt to circumvent the popular will. According to this story by Larry Carson in The Sun yesterday, Paul Johnson, the deputy county solicitor, “feels incorporation would be the only way for the town's residents to get zoning authority, an opinion shared by the Maryland attorney general's office, said spokeswoman Raquel Guillory.”

This is all the more reason to resist the efforts to create a new community based “gatekeeper” for Columbia to replace General Growth Properties. Gatekeeper is simply another euphemism for mayor.


Tom said...

In what world would the County give up the revenue that Columbia generates for the County. Columbia may be 1/3 the population of HC, but I'll bet it easily generates much more income to the County government and schools than the rest of the County. What politician would vote for that change?

Anonymous said...

You have no facts to back up those statements. “Most residents feel”, WTH, WB. Who designated you the central feel meter for county residents? Now when you complain about groups with a handful of members, you sound hypocritical.

Here’s an exercise that might help your new low cred factor: Visit two grocery stores (one in Columbia, one in Ellicott City) and ask all passers by if they know their council member. How can they consciously leave gov’t in the hands of people they can’t name?

Anonymous said...

Only HCCA knows what every resident wants and/or feels.

Anonymous said...

anon 12:24 are you saying that ignorance of who serves in elective office means that elected officials shouldn't make the decisions they were elected to make? Do you think this ignorance is unique to Howard County? I would guess it's actually less here (although still not a good thing) than in many, many other counties accross the Country.

Anonymous said...

The basis for saying, "hey, they were elected by the majority to make these decisions so get out of the way and stop providng feedback and input" is faulty. There's no basis for saying residents trust those elected when they can't even name them. Trust implies a relationship and by the basic lack of a relationship evidenced by the estrangement, no one can logically draw the conclusion that residents trust electeds to make these decisions.

Because most residents likely can't name their local rep, the importance of many people being involved in decisions and the importance for elected folks to obtain input is underscored with importance.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:24, as someone who supports incorporation, it is obvious most residents feel that way, otherwise there would be more clamoring for change.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I understand. We're again talking about incorporating Columbia and taking over the decisions for development of downtown, the village centers and our destiny whatever it might become. For that honor the CA Board would want to assume responsibility for the schools, fire department, police, human services, trash removal and other services currently provided by the Howard County Government. Since one of the richest counties in the country is going to be saddled with increased federal taxes to fund healthcare for the uninsured, pay off the deficit at some point in time before the federal government has to file for bankrupcy (sic.. unfortunately the federal government cannot file for bankrupcy), pay $8.00 a gallon for gas when the economy picks up (since we have done nothing immediate to move away from foreign oil), pay increased energy and electric charges amounting to at least 4 times what we are paying now to heat and cool our homes, and pay huge increases in our basics, food, clothing and residential services, over the next few years, the residents of Columbia are going to be apathetic enough to want to pay an assessment or tax of 5 to 10 times in excess of the .75 per $100 value they pay for current services from CA? Considering the low turnout in the village elections, isn't this representation without clear aforethought and at its worse could become taxation without representation?
The whole world has gone mad. A federal government that wants to spend money it doesn't have (15% stimulus and 85% pork barrel)and a homeowners association that wants to govern Howard County. If I operated my home budget or business this way, I would be filing for bankrupcy shortly after buying the Lamborgini, the $10,000,000 home in the Caribbean, our around the world trip to every continent by sea, and our private jet that Nancy Pelosi can use since she is such a dear friend and so happy to spend our tax dollars on her government provided aircraft while criticizing corporate privileges. Extravagance is fine if you can afford it but don't expect me to pay for it with my tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Fyi, federal jobs moving to Ft. Meade from Va. already have 45% of a workforce working from home 3 days weekly. For the other two days and 55%, there are shuttles to carry them to and from work, provided by the agency. These folks are not going to sell their homes and move for 2 days out of
7. All this does is increase traffic.

What a monumental disappointment.

Sun Article states 45% already telecommute