Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Even a Stopped Clock...

At a press conference this morning, County Executive Janet Owens took the opportunity to make her position known on several key issues facing the County. According to the Capital, Executive Owens criticized the Board of Education for failing to take up the issue of redistricting, so that the County's 10,000 empty seats could be filled. Certainly seems like a reasonable suggestion to me, even if, as Superintendent Smith suggests, "Parents and communities grow very attached to their schools, especially in this county where you have a history of several generations attending the same schools. It's an emotional process." It's not as though students from Crofton are going to start being shipped to Glen Burnie. It's a sensible allocation of finite resources.

Owens also suggested that the County is impeded by its tax cap, which keeps Anne Arundel's property taxes the lowest in the region. It's interesting she should raise this issue now, when the deleterious impacts of the cap have been so obvious for so long. Better late than never, I suppose. General political cowardice among County pols ensures that this will be one of those topics that is solely the province of the term-limited and those talking behind closed doors. It's interesting, though, that knowledgeable individuals of all different political persuasions acknowledge the damage the cap is causing, off the record.

The Executive's talk also included mention that the County is close to bringing another military-industrial agency to its confines. The leading rumor is that it's the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, mentioned in an earlier column (3/8/05). Just what the County needs. Should peace ever happen to break out around the globe, we'll be bankrupted.



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