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The County of Feel Good
August 29, 2006
by Jack Lynch
Ah, how wonderful and positive the messages foisted upon us by the forces of development and growth! In this election season they want us to positively glow with heart warming thoughts about our future – high paying jobs, unfettered traffic, and affordable homes – our streets will be paved in developer’s gold!
They’ve dug deep in their pockets and set up numerous campaign organs to promote their Lilliputian lip-syncing about balanced and measured growth. They’ve held hands in front of tractors and constructed shell committees to promote solutions to our problems – gee, where were they last year? We had the same basic set of problems; didn’t they count for something outside an election year?
Soon we’ll all be bound for glory.
Every school child will have two seats in the classroom.
Cars will levitate and emit no fumes on the widened I-270.
Farmers will leave free fresh eggs and organic vegetables at our door in the morning.
We’ll need a farming museum out in New Market so that those many thousands of new folks can see what the county used to be like before the land use planners and the current Commissioner triad got hold of it.
I-270 won’t see relief for twenty years, but by then we’ll have so many new cars on the road it won’t make any difference at all.
Affordable housing starts in Cumberland.
I’d humbly like to suggest some new PAC’s for the opposition forces:
CFFS – Center for Frederick Feng Shui – Finally a group that proposes to place new development in alignment with the natural forces of the arbitrary and capricious universe. Supports Cady, Lovell, Shreve, and Jenkins.
SMEARR – Smart Mothers Earnest Against Regressive Republicans – A sort of Mom’s Club for right thinking Republican women who oppose those lefty APFO loving folks among the grand old party. Opposes Gray, Thompson, Fyock and Lulie.
SMART – Some Money And Righteous Targets – “Feel the power, now use it” is the motto of these business oriented activists. Keep the minimum wage minimum and let Wal-Mart be Wal-Mart! Opposes Claggett and Hecht. Says you better work here because it’s just too hard to escape.
TTGPAC – The Two Guys PAC – Because that’s just the way we see it! This PAC stuff is pretty powerful, you get to announce a problem, say it can be readily solved, and then your personal PAC endorses the folks you support, pretty cool eh? Folks might buy it.
NONUTHS – New Order Negatives United To Heave Slander – Neo-cons with the deadly baby killer and gun control handouts. They are banking millions of dollars in case of global chaos. They consider cell division to be the starting point of life. They are often referred to as Mooneyites. Sometimes called the wool pullers.
FARM AID 4 US – Farmers seeking an open rezoning process and property rights to develop at will. They are considering a constitutional amendment petition drive. They are hindered by the diminishing number of actual farmers. They are heartened by the growth Commissioner triad and continuing New Market re-zonings.
And our august local civic minded leaders would have us pronounce civility and saintliness among the lovely platitudes and primped politicians. When what we really need is a campaign for civility in parking lots and grocery stores among the hoi polloi.
What it comes down too in the end, is that we have to trust that the citizens will see through the many groups and the feel good claims of easy answers and a new morning in Frederick County. We can take hope in the fact that many felt fooled in the last go round.
When it comes to roads, we know that it is a long arduous process to fund improvements and it will not happen with developer contributions. Many of our most mindful leaders have struggled over the myriad elements of transportation for many years without solving all of these very difficult issues.
With schools, we go deeper into the hole of forward funding which may never be satisfied by the State. And to correct the recent claims, although we are building two seats (not three) for every new student, it does not make up for the past deficits in school needs and does not take into consideration improvements and ancillary costs of maintenance.
With homes, even if the new Chamber led report by the same paid university consultant reveals that a $500,000 home pays its way in taxes – it won’t help Frederick County citizens. The average home is $365,000, and that is not an affordable mortgage unless you earn $145,000 annually. ($350,000 loan at 30 years at 5.75% yields a $2,042 monthly payment).
Frederick County graduates won’t be buying those homes any time soon, yet some espouse that we need to keep up with graduation rates – such convoluted logic!
The campaign is far from over and we can expect to see a barrage of claims for the continued development and growth of Frederick County.
We can only hope in the common sense and simple alertness of citizens to carry the day at the polls.