Patricia Troy doesn't have a crystal ball, but she thinks Severna Park needs one.
The newly appointed president of the Greater SevernaPark Council wants the organization to come up with a long-term strategic plan for the development and growth in the Severna Park area.
Troy announced plans for a strategic planning committee, made up of representatives from GSPC, area businesses and the county government Tuesday night after being appointed to head the council for the next year.
"We tried this back in 1977 when I first joined the council. Where we went to each and every community and asked people about their long-term needs. Inevitably, the response we got was 'we need this pothole fixed, this storm drain' or some other problem of immediate -- not long-term -- interest, so it didn't work," Troy said.
Ifthe council had been able to get its act together better then, she speculated, Severna Park could have been much better prepared to deal with some of the issues it now faces, such as uncontrolled growth andits lack of senior housing.
"In the past, a lot of GSPC positions have been based on where a project was placed rather than on the merits of the project in general, such as Sunrise," said Troy, referringto the senior citizen's assisted-care home that the council fought last summer because the developer wanted to place it in a residential neighborhood.
With strategic planning, she hopes the council can help steer that kind of development into acceptable areas or even seekit out ahead of time.
Troy, who has a degree in educational planning from Loyola College of Baltimore, envisions the strategic planning committee holing itself up in some sort of retreat with updated census data to develop the plan.
Outgoing GSPC President Charles St. Lawrence, who has been involved in planning retreats in his work as asenior executive with the Census Bureau, supports Troy's proposal. He said the GSPC should consider seeking approval for the plan from the County Council, as residents of the Parole and west county residents have done in the last two years.
Troy said adding the plan to county zoning law would be "an added bonus," but she is most interestedin developing a consensus for the GSPC's own future.
Councilwoman Diane Evans, R-Arnold, who represents most of the communities in the GSPC, said Troy's plan "is not a bad idea."
"Coordinating is a good idea for the future because there are lots of services like pocketparks, residential services (or lack of it), sidewalks and basic public services that the existing development plan does not address," Evans said.
Troy said she would be coordinating with Evans, the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce and delegates representing a variety of communities in the next few weeks. She plans to appoint a chairman for the committee before next month's meeting.
In other business, the entire slate of candidates nominated by a committee of past presidents of the GSPC was unopposed and appointed by acclamation to serve the council. Selected were:
* Vice President Roy Gulino of Evergreen Estates. Gulino will also chair the Public Works committee.
* Secretary Sharon Maloney of West Haven.
* Treasurer Elizabeth Palmer of Kilmarnock.
* The council also heard from James Anderson of Oakley Forest, who asked the council to help Folger McKinsey Elementary in its appeals to get the school board to build walls between classrooms.
Anderson said 81 percent of the parents surveyed at Folger McKinsey want to put an end to the experimental "open space classrooms," but the council refused to take a position until it could hear opposing views.