Why Isn't Anyone Debating Growth?It is not a sexy issue...


August 14, 1994

Why Isn't Anyone Debating Growth?

It is not a sexy issue and not one that candidates want to talk about, but it's the most important issue facing Anne Arundel County now and over the next 20 years.

The scandal that has come out so far about growth is that no one is responsible for the problem but I submit we are all responsible for the problem. If we continue down our current path, conflicts of interest will poison the environment. Why is growth so important? Because it impacts so many of the things we take for granted. It affects our quality of life on a daily basis all over Anne Arundel County.

The growth issue has been handled in a dump-and-run fashion. No infrastructure was built to support the explosion of housing developments. The developers make their profits, the county gets its taxes and everyone runs away, except those of us who live here. We must first have adequate facilities and we should follow the Adequate Facilities Ordinance (AFO). Some people have told me that AFO stands for All Fools Outside. . . .

In addition to improving roads and schools, water and sewerage capacity is limited and impacted by growth. Also, the more growth you have, the greater need for police and fire protection . . . the greater need for recreational release.

In Pasadena, . . . no further permits must be issued to build houses until our problems are solved. It is already a traffic nightmare.

We must make all the candidates talk about their solutions and issue position papers on the growth issue. . . .

Tom Twombly


The writer is vice president of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

Sewer Aid

The residents of Rose Haven and Holland Point owe Congressman Steny Hoyer and Sen. Barbara Mikulski an enormous debt of gratitude. They have secured funding totaling $6 million to correct our massive water and sewer problems. After years of frustration, we are now in a position to correct a difficult environmental problem and alleviate an increasingly burdensome financial problem.

Shortly after Congressman Hoyer became our representative in the 5th District, he visited us on a bleak and rainy day, looked at our ailing waste water treatment plant and then chatted with us about our problems. Other congressmen have attended our Christmas Brunch, but he came to help. . . , The culmination of all this is funding to fix our sewer systems.

It is easy to be cynical about politicians, but I must confess I was thrilled when Representative Hoyer called me on the evening of July 14 at my home to tell me the good news, and I was mesmerized with joy when Senator Mikulski called me an hour later. When my wife came home from bridge that evening, she found me with my head bobbing gently along the ceiling.

Some other politicians have worked diligently on these matters. Mayor Gerald Donovan of Chesapeake Beach and Delegate George Owings deserve special mention, and Councilwoman Virginia Clagett secured funding from Anne Arundel County.

To all of them, our heartfelt thanks. . . . We hope all of them will be our guests in the near future.

Tom Gill

North Beach

Trashing the Landfill Plan

I recently testified at the Maryland Department of the Environment informational meeting which presented the Anne Arundel County plan to upgrade Cell 8, combine Cells 9 and 10 into an upgraded Cell 9 and to bring the Millersville landfill into compliance with state and federal standards. Your coverage of this meeting did not comment on several salient points regarding the county plan.

The plan incorrectly stated that none of the residents around the Millersville landfill have complained about sea gulls. This sea gull problem has been addressed numerous times at landfill Advisory Committee meetings and Anne Arundel County Department of Utilities informational meetings. The proximity of the landfill to Baltimore-Washington International Airport and the flight paths of sea gulls and other large birds to and from their roosting areas present a potential hazard to air safety. The voluminous droppings on local residences are also a health hazard.

The plan also makes the assumption that noise control will be adequate. It goes on to state that no technical sound studies have ever been made at the landfill. Inexpensive technology exists to get accurate information to make extrapolations from, rather than using baseless assumptions.

The plan also states that nobody has complained about odors. Residents have been complaining regularly about the odors coming from Cell 8 at county sponsored meetings. . . .

In the event of a geological subsidence, the two parts of Cell 9 (northern over clay, southern over sand) will oscillate at different rates, causing potential destruction of the leachate collection system. Since this system is located at the bottom of the waste, it is realistically unrepairable. . . . This potential disaster will be less than 500 feet from residences along the south boundary of the landfill.

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