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.