Thursday, January 21, 2010

The 1,000th Blog Post

This is the thousandth blog post on Tales of Two Cities. I’m actually sort of ambivalent about the number. About three years ago, commenter’s on this post (post no. 45), encouraged me to post more often. So I did.

Still, I suppose it would be appropriate to write a significant post to mark the occasion, not just a link to this or that with some biting remarks thrown in. This moment calls for a real honest to god original piece of writing about local stuff.

So here is my prediction for the vote on CB58 and CB59, the Columbia Town Center redevelopment enabling legislation. It will pass. The vote will be 4 to 1 in favor. Councilperson Jen Terrasa will cast the only vote in opposition and here’s why. Jen is facing a formidable challenger in her bid for reelection. Though her district does include a piece of Columbia it is largely dominated by the folks living in Savage and North Laurel. Those people have never been crazy about Columbia in the first place so they could likely care less whether it passes or not. In the meantime she stands to gain points with the anti development crowd that will cross party lines in a heartbeat. Besides, she knows it will pass without her vote anyway so she can always wink to the pro growth forces that she isn’t really anti growth.

The deliberations began with two councilpersons already pretty much on board. Mary Kay Sigaty even sponsored the legislation, much to the dismay of Liz Bobo and her antigrowth cabal. Calvin Ball is the other early adapter. He gets the linkage of a healthy Town Center to a healthy Oakland Mills. Ironically, Calvin and the mother of the anti growth movement, Barbara Russell, are practically neighbors.

That leaves Courtney Watson and Greg Fox. Greg has to keep an eye on his restless constituents out in west county who have had held contempt for anything Columbia ever since Jim Rouse first walked into the county courthouse on October 29, 1963. In the end he’ll support it because he’s a Republican. This is good for jobs and growth of the commercial tax base in the county, a key for keeping taxes lower. Courtney is skeptical but she realizes that this plan is about as good as anyone can expect and to delay this any longer isn’t likely to make it incrementally any better. She’ll vote in favor.

So there ya go, my 1,000th blog post. Now we can move on.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who is Terrasa's challenger?

It's interesting that this article ( Watson on Mugane )was modified to remove the reporter's observation on Watson and Mugane. I've been seeing this impatience and almost eye-rolling for some time but wondered if anyone else had noticed. Now I know they have. One commenter thanked Patuxent for removing the observation and now I wonder if Mugane complained.

Anonymous said...

Of course it'll pass. Man, talk about stating the obvious.

Yes, Greg will try to sell this as pro-business to the westerners but he's going to need all that campaign stash to do it. There are lots of small businesses who see what's really happening, they're being driven out by huge monstrous national chains. And when those West County R's get wind of what it'll cost the taxpayers, whoo hoo, Massachusetts all over again.

Watson will vote in favor at her peril, with Flanagan flanking at a full gallop. He never need disclose how he would have voted.

What a year this promises to be. I'm just glad the council is showing their real colors and glad it'll be out there for all to see. It irks the heck out of me when they bait and switch during election years. Not our guys! They count on the electorate to remain asleep. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the most recent comments in the past week? I can't tell where the conversation is taking place.

Anonymous said...

Here's a message for west county small business owners:

Your future with Greg Fox will get you from President to Wal Mart clerk.

Anonymous said...

You obviously do not know Jen Terrasa. She is NOT someone to make political calculations instead of doing what she believes is right. She has spent every waking moment on working to make these bills the best they can be. If she for any reason votes against the bill (which I doubt) it will NOT be because she wants to save her job. It will be because she is passionate about Columbia and wants to get it right.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog and I find that the manner in which you share your observations is rather mean-spirited. I am new to Howard County and I hope that your view points are not shared by the majority or residents or even voters.

Because this legislation on Columbia is important to the entire county, my hope is for the best possible plan rather than no plan at all. Since the general plan amendment is a thirty (30) year document, there will be modifications as time passes. Howard County does not need to be homogeneous to be a great place to live and work. I see Columbia as a suburban area now, not a city. If you want a city, then those of us who bike, walk and use public transit will need a better way to utilize those modes of transportation. We won't receive an influx of private or public funds without density, so let's plan for the location where density makes sense. I believe that would not be in the western part of Howard County.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:03, I'm nearly speechless. Silly, unbelievably naive, myopic, short sighted, power worship, deluded, optimist to a fault. You have probably heard these terms many times.

Out of the gene pool.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:08, if you think he's mean, just watch the commenters.

Howard County: choose civility while behaving corruptly or you'll be confused with Baltimore.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:33 - Nice and civil! Perhaps anon 11:03 is just much MORE informed instead of ignorantly cynical!

Trevor said...

Congrats on the 1000th post.

I am a small business owner, and if Greg Fox votes for the plan I will support him %100. Almost all business owners like any development that will bring more potential customers to the area. I think the testimony of the Chamber of Commerce shows that the business community is very much in favor of the development.

Young at Heart said...

I have to agree with Anon 11:03. I can't see Jen Terrasa voting against this for political reasons after she put so much time and effort into improving the bill. I may be naive, but I prefer to think some of our representatives are really trying to do what they think is best.

Young at Heart said...

Oh, and congratulations WB on your 1,000th post. I always enjoy reading whether or not I agree.

Anonymous said...

WB, congrats on the 1,000th post. With The Sun and Patuxent papers being so inept (and in the pocket of anti-biz nut-brains) your blow is a breath of freash air.

Every single Council member has worked very hard on these bills. I'm a Repuiblican small business owner and I'll stand on the top of a mountain and yell my support of every one of them who supports this plan. JT is a very good person and you're right - she isn't calculating and actually cares enough to get it right. I just hope she does. CW is calculating and knows full well that Flannigan is right over her shoulder. But she's a good smart legislator who works very hard and even a GOP like me will support her if she gets it done. Everyone in Fox's district short of the crazy old farmers will embrace a plan that grows the tax base and slows down sprawl in the west. Ball has stepped up big time. His Oakland Mills will benefit greatly and he should get credit for it. Sigaty just flat out took care of business. Introduced it and led the other 4 down the road to a win. She's the real leader in this. So, the only question is - where is our illustrious County Executive? I guess he'd rather take a leadership role on tanning beds than a real issue. My guess is you;ll see him come out in support the day before the vote once he knows it's in the bag. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I have only one question for the cheer leaders above. Do you support the Anti-Democratic and Anti-American and Anti-Voter supreme court decision this week?

I thought so.

You're in a ridiculous minority - look on both Fox and CNN comment sections - WE the people are outraged. You may be loud but that does NOT reflect most citizen's opinions.

wordbones said...

Don't you just love it when people answer their own questions?

-wb

Tom said...

And here I thought it was your 10,00th blog!
Congrats and keep up the good work.

Jean said...

Congratulations, Dennis. You are always -- or nearly always -- interesting, and your voice is very important in our community. Blog on.

Jessiex said...

Ditto on what Jean said.