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The Curtain Rises
May 2, 2006
by Jack Lynch
Mt. Airy Election May 1, 2006 Unofficial Results
As I scan the preliminary results of the Mt. Airy elections, the voters overwhelmingly want growth controls and responsible and responsive government. They’ve elected the candidates who spoke most strongly, and worked actively, for those restraints.
The campaign emphasized growth and development issues, water sources, and citizen vision and involvement. Notably, signs were ripped down from yards supporting growth controls.
The message is clear –
The citizens have accomplished their majority goals.
The goons of uncontrolled growth have lost handily.
The Frederick Citizen expects to see the same result here in county elections this Fall. But the stakes are far higher. Our very quality of life will be determined by our adherence to growth controls and reasonable growth measures, on a much larger scale than the concerns of the Mt. Airy citizens.
Thankfully, the issues have been raised by citizens here as well. Yet we still see candidates who hope to prevail through the fog of terms like ‘economic growth’ really meaning unbridled residential growth. Growth that doesn’t pay for itself, or support infrastructure to mitigate its impacts.
As the New Market Region plan has been challenged by citizens, the fog has thickened. These ‘no-growthers’ they say, they are just speaking louder than economic and development interests. The Chamber has built its war fund and will field candidates who want to build without vision and tax us for the costs of their profits. The poor attorneys and developers bemoan how their children can’t afford to live here and work here! Fellow pundits say, ‘they’re breaking my heart!”
It’s no longer the Age of Aquarius, something is out of alignment in the universe when the profiteers and special interests run the show.
We can only hope that they won’t run it much longer unless they hear the voices of reason and restraint.
We have good growth candidates in the field already, Floyd and Hagen.
Dick Floyd has promised he won’t support new growth without adequate roads and schools, and he’ll stand by that. After all, he was around to build the impact fees and adequate facilities ordinances, and on the Planning Commission, he’s also balanced growth and approved development that met citizen and local regulatory standards.
With over thirty years of weighty public service as a citizen and activist, Dick Floyd tips the scales far in favor of his capacity and willingness to serve us well. Another plus is his environmentalism. He knows water means a full cycle of resources, not just a pipe or well and unrestricted use.
Kai Hagen has activated a whole new wave of concerned citizen activists and added a measured and detailed and strong voice of careful reason and restraint. If he has a fault, it was in the past speaking for too long on the details of every nuance of the debate, but that minor fault has much improved on the campaign trail.
Kai Hagen’s comments at New Market’s last public hearing came impromptu and heartfelt and spoke to the voice of the citizens with greater urgency and accuracy than ever before. Kai has also excelled at the new age of internet communications and outreach. Kai has been in the trenches recently at public meetings, and he only recently envisioned himself as a leader who could achieve a seat at the dais - where voting really matters.
Both Floyd and Hagen will carry on a responsible citizen agenda in office.
We can hope that Jan Gardner will consider it worth packing in the last four years and getting on with a new Board that will support her reasonable and dedicated service to citizens.
At the recent Say "No to Sprawl at Winchester Hall" rally, Commissioner Lennie Thompson got down on one knee and begged Jan to run for Commissioner again. Jan wants a copy of that photo. Let’s hope that she sees the big picture is bright and favorable, and that all the effort is worth the cost. We need her there.