Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Petition Peddlers Preparing for Push

If the Howard County Council passes the Columbia Town Center redevelopment legislation on February 1st as is widely expected, the opponents are preparing to launch a petition drive in an attempt to overturn that decision by referendum.

Despite the incessant caterwauling by the same folks about the injustice of the rules governing referendum petitions, these anti development activists are so dead set on derailing General Growth’s plans that they are willing to try once more to enlist this process to get their way.

Though much has been made of the stringent requirements for petition signatures, the hurdle is still relatively low. All that is required is 5,000 signatures of registered voters in Howard County to subject this legislation to referendum.

Even if they are ultimately unsuccessful at the ballot box, they will have prevailed by creating even further delay in the process.


Trevor said...

What was interesting to me when I testified in front of the County Council was how these protestors are so vehemently against capitalism. They seem to think that GGP is some evil corporation trying to destroy their lives all in the name of evil profiteering. They fail to understand that GGP is like any other business. Sure, they are trying to make a profit. But, GGP also has employees with families to support, it pays taxes, and most importantly, it will see more profits if it plans and builds a successful downtown. The protestors need to get off their NIMBY-High-Horse and stop being obstructionists, and start working WITH GGP and the County to make ensure that the downtown plan is positive for as many residents and businesses as possible.

Anonymous said...

Darn Democracy! We need to be more like Soviet Russia, let the elite rule, to hell with darned commoners.

Anonymous said...

There are companies who will get the signatures very accurately for citizens. If the company fails, it hurts business so they have more power than a group of volunteers as they'd take serious issue with the BoE decision last round.

Massachusetts leads the way. Whooohooo! Citizen rule returning to a county near you.

Anonymous said...

I was at the CC meeting and heard the few opponents of the development of the Town Center. The normal ones were there. I'm sure you know who they are. They were old like me, self absorbed, interested in advancing any criticism to delay the process. I can't name the cast of characters but they seemed to be either bitter or self important old people who have lost sight of the fact that the Town Center we build is for our children and their families.
We will be long gone when the dream is complete. Interestingly, there were young business people there who endorsed and encouraged the rapid passage of CB58 and 59. They want a vibrant Town Center which will not only draw local young people but will attract them from the suburbs of Baltimore and DC. They want to share Town Center with their new families. The future we build after all belongs to our children and grandchildren.

Bob O said...

Wow, sounds like the plot of "Avatar"! Great movie, btw, worth seeing in 3D, but not very thick on story.

At the very least, perhaps this will send a lot of voters to their local registration boards to get copies of their voter registration cards, so that they know what their One True Name is if they decide to fill out and sign a referendum petition.

I always think that anything that can get their citizens interested in their own government, and to vote and make themselves heard, can't be all bad.

Tom said...

I bet dollars to doughnuts that these two bill have very little affect on next Novembers elections.
There will be other issues that will be more pressing by then. People vote on the present and future not the past.

susie q said...

tom, keep dreaming that wishful thinking.... come november, no one will be thinking about what the politicos and their moneyed interests have done with columbia, doughoregan or turf valley.