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Another Perfect Day for Banana Fish
August 23, 2005
by Jack Lynch
Ron Young runs for Mayor by talking about taxes being too expensive, yet he wants to build $40+ Million Dollar Monocacy Boulevard? Man, those campaign coffers must be filling up with developer funds! Actually they are indeed. (Recent campaign contribution reports are online at the Frederick News Post) This guy acts populist but he’s in the corner of the developers if he believes that a $40 odd Million road of a couple miles is going to be a good Frederick project. Carroll Creek, which Ron claims to love, is expensive and of uncertain enough benefit to the average Fredericktonian. He must be drinking Grimes water!
But to be fair, I think that Grimes was a true believer. I can’t give Ron that excuse, he strikes me as being too certain, he’s ridden a lot more waves of public life and is not afraid of the truth sticking. It falls off him faster than insulation on a space shuttle.
And to be fair, if Mayor Dougherty had not asked the hard questions and challenged the elements of the current Board of Aldermen who have been cozy on this project, then we’d already be paying, and paying more than we should to build the damn road; all of which, when no one is quite sure where it can or will be built, because the project management issues never slowed down the bull elephant of Grimes and his cohorts to consider a floodplain, an airport runway, a current river crossing bridge of two lanes to support a four lane road, etc., etc…is a boondoggle!
It is a perfect day for Bananafish!
The Frederick Citizen advises citizens to ask whether candidates balance business interests against the interests of POC’s, or Plain Old Citizens. That’s why we have elections, so that citizens have the power to counterweight the power of business, which is the power, ultimately, of money and influence.
Overall, this set of candidates has shown itself failed in regards to the issue of water. I served on the City’s Water Task Force for eight months between June 2004 and February 2005, and while we were deeply engaged in many questions of initiatives, the candidates demonstrated superficial knowledge of the real issues in the FNP the other week.
One even had the ignorance to suggest that the City go after the La Farge quarry water, as if it were that easy. Perhaps he missed out on the fact that, in addition to the technical requirements of removing the excess sediments and chemicals created by their precipitation from that water, and in addition to the multiple concerns and testing requirements by the Maryland Department of the Environment, that La Farge simply said no to the project, after long consideration.
The one thing that they did get right was the need for longer term planning, and the need for long term water storage, which is the best option for getting more capacity beyond the Potomac pipeline.
And, the county version, too.
When your public comments run 95% negative, when your Planning staff tell you that about 25% of the elements of your draft New Market plan should be rejected, when your Planning Commission ignores the charges of a careful, considered and communicated criticism of a citizen’s group in the public interest, and passes on a regional plan of outrageous development proportions on a semi-rural area of the county: then you have another example of that perfect day, and the assiduous pursuit of the goals of a builder and developer clique that bought the election of their boys to office. It's payback time, and then it’s re-election time, and the dollars will be turned on again.
Speaking of bananafish,
…that’s about what the Carroll Street pet shop building looks like right now, and it is totally outrageous. If paint schemes of this character are allowed under the Historic District rules, then it could be the end of downtown’s ambiance. It is an assault upon the character of the place and on the populace of our city when a shop owner takes such an action, knowing full well its consequences, which should be that we all stop purchasing their goods in retaliation and let the market do its duty upon a transgressor of the public interest.
I cannot say how this election will turn out, I can only hope how it will turn out. The recurring negative messages of the business elite and good old boys take their toll after awhile, even when we know they are wrong. Say something enough and it begins to sound and seem true. It's part of the fear mongering and doubt and faithlessness seen in the national Republican party. They're better at dispersion of character than they are at governing.
It’s schizoid to say that a Mayor who supports a Carroll Creek and a Golden Mile revival, and a Monocacy Boulevard that doesn’t hose the taxpayers, and a vital Historic ‘Business’ District, a city doubled overall in size, and a stronger business tax base, is anti-business!
The Young signs threaten and hopefully, challenge us.
If they have their way, it will be a real loss for Frederick. I’ve seen this Mayor stand for citizens, and balance her support for business too. If Young wins…it will indeed be a perfect day for bananafish!