Anne Arundel County began this week to look anew at ways of generating money to pay for local government. County Executive Robert R. Neall asked Sen. John A. Cade, R-Severna Park, a guiding force in shaping the state budget and Arundel budgets as far back as the mid-1960s, to take on this ambitious project as head of a 15-member committee. The group is to report by December, in time for the next county budgeting cycle.
In Baltimore County, a committee given roughly the same charge this spring is due to report its findings to County Executive Roger B. Hayden later this month. Another Baltimore County panel is reviewing the program expense and "efficiency" side of the ledger, as well.
If you're looking for sweeping changes, don't hold your breath -- in either county.
Both committees evolved from feisty tax-revolt movements in last year's county elections. Thus, some tax-protester showboating, such as the counter-productive chatter that dampened Monday's opening session in the Arundel Center, can be expected. Also, this thankless work is occurring in parochial solitude; so far, neither county's committee has talked with the other. Public expectations vs. the realities of paying for government services are out of sync just about everywhere.