Friday, March 05, 2010

The Definition of Giveaway

Russ Swatek doesn’t seem to mind having taxpayers fund his HOA park. That must not be a giveaway in his book.

Russ supports the state bond request for $250,000 to help defray the cost of redeveloping the privately owned Symphony Woods. On the other hand he objects to the development project that would have likely funded it without state dollars if he and the rest of the Columbia Council cabal hadn’t isolated the homeowners association from the conversation.

Taxpayers against Giveaways indeed.


Anonymous said...

Further indication that they could care less about the taxpayers. They hate all development (Walgreens, Wegmans, Turf Valley) and this whole thing about favoring the redevelopment but just not the 5,500 units is a smoke screen so they won't look like extremists.

Anonymous said...

A bond bill to help fund the SW park will help all Columbians. It's not a giveaway to the developer or to CA itself.

Anonymous said...

What are you so afraid of? Ever since the GGP bailout passed, a handful of proponents have been shreaking about people who don't go along with your idea of how much density is good.

WTF? I don't get your consistent and voracious aggression toward a simple Democratic process.

If everyone in the community is with you, as you and the handful continue to pound out, then let the referendum go forward.

You're making NO sense whatever.

Anonymous said...

Saturday Morning TAG haiku:

Russ, oh Russ, oh Russ
Why have you forsaken us?

Anonymous said...

Who must pay back the bonds? Is CA going to pay those off, or the state of MD?

DavidYungmann said...

Anon 8:01. I'm a very vocal supporter of the redevelopment plan and am not shreiking about a referendum as you suggest. I think it's unfortunate that HoCo will waste another year while other communities are moving plans forward, but that's democracy. It's also unfortunate that the referendum seekers feel the need to misrepresent the facts as a way to garner signatures. Even your post refers the the "bailout plan" without anything to support that, which leads me to believe that you too have bought into their argument without verfiying the facts.

Anonymous said...

I could explain to you in exhausting detail why this plan should not be permitted instead of the changes the Charrette sought, but since I, like the rest of the public, have been kept away from the process and details at multiple points, have watched questions go unanswered at some meetings, have seen other meetings occur with little prior notice, allowed a meager three minutes here or there to respond to hours and hours of testimony and hundreds of pages of detail, and told that closed-to-the public meetings somehow make for the 'best' outcomes, I now understand that my involvement should be kept brief as possible. After all, only being a Columbia resident, I probably don't have standing anyway, right?

So, now that I understand my proper role, I've become enamored of doing what's most expedient at this point. Simply signing a petition now for referendum to allow expression of the public's wishes makes perfect sense. That and having a little closed door meeting with my election ballot in the fall.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:53, paranoia strikes deep, huh?

Anonymous said...

So, where can I sign this referendum petition?

BTW, why do so many posters seem dissatisfied with Howard County the way it is? It seems quite nice, although I do think we need more schools (what's up with those temporary huts next to all of our nice new schools? That's not just a problem, that's a symptom.)

HoCo is a nice place. Why can't we just keep it the way it is? If you're not happy here, move somewhere else. We don't really need any of this new development.

Isn't that why people moved here in the first place?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:40. Many of us moved to Columbia 25+ years ago because The Rouse Co was planning a city. They showed us a scale model of dozens of office buildings, streets, shopping and restaurants and quality open spaces. But their commitment to finish it ended in the 1990's as they prepared to company for sale.

Now GGP is in with plans to finally finish it. I can't wait. To think I'll be able to walk to dozens of quality stores (other than the mall), eat at top end restaurants and my kids will be able to get decent jobs right here.

I do understand that many of my fellow residents have grown comfortable with it the way it is, but it's going to die. Neighboring communities are evolving into cities of the future while we're languishing as a suburb of the past. If things don't turn around, they will surely decline taking our property values and quality of life along with it. Just like everything else in life, we need to evolve to survive.

UrbanPlanning said...

I appreciate and understand the desire some have for a more "vibrant" city of Columbia. Separating those whose interest is truly altruistic from the profit motivation of the business community, I will suggest you take a long look at the evolution of Westchester County, NY and the city of White Plains.

Just a cursory glance should bring reality into focus for those with rose colored glasses.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:11 - that's pure bull.

When you moved here the density was set. The new "vibrancy" increased it from 1200 new residences to 5500-7700 residences.

And yungman, quit saying 'lack of evidence' when your side depends on theorhetical studies done by the same groups that have a stake in cramming density at new york city levels in to Columbia Maryland.

You two must think readers are just a bunch of idiots.

Anonymous said...

UrbanPlanning: Perhaps you should be a bit more specific with your concerns. A cursory glance at White Plains shows that it has a downtown full of enclosed malls and some office buildings. Little thought appears to have been put into it's planning, versus the more than five years of community dialogue Columbia experienced before a plan was approved.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the idea that you're either motivated by profit or altruism is complete baloney. Just look at Saint Rouse.

Ascribing your own motivations to others is an easy way to craft a narrative, but it's generally not an accurate portrayal of reality.

PZGURU said...

Jim Rouse was NO saint. He swindled some farmers out of their lands when the farmers had the audacity to refuse to sell to Rouse.

It's a fact that has been completely swept under the rug by those who want to put Rouse on a pedestal as a humanitarian. If he had to stomp on some people to accompish his goal, then Rouse was more than willing to leave a few casualties along the way.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11.11, your post makes little sense.

You assume that density increased from 1200 to 7700. Do you know how the 7700 was calculated? Think about it and you will understand my question.

As for the theoretical studies you mentioned, well, they were not done by GGP and they were not done on behalf of any proponents for downtown development. They were done on behalf of Howard County Government and the Economic Development Authority. The fact that you don't like the results of that study is a different issue.

So, when Dave Yungmann asks you for facts, it is not an empty request. If allegations about one problem or the other can be substantiated, please do so. Then we can have a discussion. Otherwise, unsubstantiated comments are just more blah, blah, blah.

Christine said...

Woah - that's a lot of anonymous comments! I don't know enough about the issue to comment, but this post amused me.