Friday, February 25, 2005

Mis-Representing Community, Part II

Yesterday's column referred to a failure on the part of some County civic organizations to adequately serve the needs of their citizen members. That assertion was predicated on a Capital article describing the ongoing effort by the Greater Crofton Council (GCC) to grease the skids for a west county landfill.

This is really a sad story on several levels. First, anyone who has lived in the County for even a few years knows that the Crofton area has been in desperate need of a high school for over a decade. Despite two terms in office and a solid resume of serving as Executive Owens' lapdog, Councilman Burlison (D-Crofton) has lacked the clout to bring home this piece of bacon for his district. Apparently, some in the community, including several in the leadership of the GCC have now gotten so desperate for a school, that they've decided to try to get one any way they can, including a quid pro quo with the landfill "developer" who has promised to fund the school construction. Now, several member organizations of the GCC including the Greater Odenton Improvement Association (GOIA) and the Forks of the Paxutent Improvement Association (FOTPIA) are either leaving or in the midst of "extremely strained" relations with the Council.

One member of the FOTPIA wrote to GCC President Torrey Jacobson that, "your constant statements that there is no opposition to the Halle landfill and the MOI (sic) is baldly and brashly untrue. You have no conscience in this matter."

What we have here is a failure of government putting citizens in a position where they are so desperate for a solution that they have turned to a company that wants to despoil their community for answers. Good luck to the GOIA and others working to turn back this devil's deal.



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