North County Rebels

Readers write

March 29, 1992

From: Margaret Brown

President

Marley Area Improvement Association

To: County Executive Robert R. Neall

In your letter to me of April 14, 1991, you wrote, "It is my hope that the (beautification) program will stimulate an ever increasing direct citizen and community participation in improving local communities."

In your letter to me of June 10, 1991, you wrote,"I fully support the partnership between county government and community associations. The cumulative effort of many community projects makes a major contribution to improving our county."

I believed andappreciated the comments, and the first months of your administration were very encouraging. The cut that you took in your pay, the sign eradication and so on were noteworthy and praiseworthy. Indeed, I wrote short notes to tell you so.

Current events, however, cause me to weigh anew your comments detailed above, and I question if they were grammatical fillers for an otherwise short letter.

If not, please so indicate by initiating a thorough impact study concerning the relocation of the prison to Ordnance Road. This I call for as presidentof the association named above and as a North County resident of 38 years.

You confuse us with some who care when you present us with lower prison construction costs at Ordnance Road. What the county would save, homeowners would lose a hundredfold from the decreased property values -- probably our largest capital asset. (Realtors are already citing the prison for a decreased assessment on homes, and the prison is not even a reality, as yet.)

Environmentally, North County cowers in the shadow of Curtis Bay smokestacks. We also have the burden of several municipal and hazardous waste landfills, Brandon Shore's coal-fired generators, chemical manufacturers, two medical waste incinerators, and grossly violated waterways. (Possibly, we could negotiate a trade with South County -- the prison for any one of the above? No? Very well, then, what are our options? In politics, there's always a trade! What? Nothing offered to us? Who, then?)

The county failed to protect us from the inequities detailed above. That's history. We have not and shall not ask South County to accept our burdens. We'd appreciate it if they would reciprocate in kind.

However, we do point out that North County holds in contempt those past elected officials who sold us down the river so consistently. Do you really want to join the ranks of those scoundrels who pillaged the area already the most devastated?

The threat to jeopardize the Tanyard Cove development is just unconscionable because of the benefits contracted for North County -- a spoil site for the elusive Marley Creek dredge,a new school, parkland and a billion-dollar industry that translatesinto local jobs and revenue.

And so, Mr. Neall, I suggest that moving the prison to that location is not a fiscally sound course of action because of the reasons mentioned above and much more. Educational funding could very well curtail the need for channeling so much to incarceration -- if we project down the road of time, with positive thinking. Can we afford to do less?

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