The families who long ago settled in Baltimore County are undergoing a collective mid-life crisis. As the county increasingly becomes an extension of the urban landscape, nothing is quite the same. There is more crime, more congestion and more necessary government spending for infrastructure and services.
While housing prices have skyrocketed, so have assessments, triggering apprehension -- and fear among aging home owners. People feel they have lost control over their lives.
This mood has produced a cry for revenge, with County Executive Dennis Rasmussen as the target. He is being blamed for everything -- from the state's bungling of property assessments to unruly neighborhood kids to the high cost of living. Yet the fact remains he has been a superior executive, managing the county with foresight and skill.