Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HoCo Open Mike Night

I attended the county execs Public Forum at the Robinson Nature Center last night. I figured it would be a good opportunity to find out what was on the minds of the HoCo locos. Ken had key department heads, including the police and fire chiefs, on hand to address specific areas of residents concern.

So what are those areas of concerns?

I arrived a little late but from what I heard they included a wide range of issues including speed cams, growth in North Laurel, a high school for Elkridge, the shooting in Aurora, Colorado and defense spending.

It seems that no topic was considered too big for our exec.

Ken let Bill McMahon speak about the shooting. Bill lauded the response of the Aurora police and rescue units, pointing out that the police were on the scene within ninety seconds. Granted that was fast but for the people in that theatre, those ninety seconds probably seemed like an eternity.

Folks from the High Ridge community in Scaggsville turned out in force to implore the exec to slow down the development occurring in their community. They pointed out that new home developments are twice as dense as the developments built in the nineties. One resident even suggested that the addition of townhome projects has led to increased crime. All I could think of was “Welcome to Smart Growth.”

 Ken expressed concern and said that “he wants to look at this more.”

Marc Norman got a turn with the mike. After complementing the exec on his stewardship of the county and the broadband initiative, he proceeded to complain about how a certain unnamed county employee seemed to take pleasure in stymieing his attempts to get information, specifically about the activities of his nemesis, the Mangione family. I got the sense that Ken found Marc’s diatribe rather tiresome. I snapped the following pictures as Marc unwound his dark conspiracy theories for the exec.
Howard Johnson, representing the Greater Elkridge Community Association, followed Marc. He thanked the exec for his help in keeping the intermodal terminal out of Hanover and then proceeded to make the case for more county projects, including a high school and a traffic light at US Route 1 and Ducketts Lane. Ken reminded everyone that the county recently purchased Belmont in Elkridge and that construction of the first phase of Troy Hill Park in Elkridge is slated to begin this September.

The last speaker of the evening was Ken Schafer, a resident of Turf Valley Overlook in Ellicott City. Mr. Schafer wants the county to place speed bumps in his community but was told that a neighbor “who is well connected in the county” would block any attempts to get them.

Ken told Ken that “nobody is well connected” in HoCo.

That got a laugh.

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