Greasing skids for developer is wrong approach While...

LETTERS

March 18, 2001

Greasing skids for developer is wrong approach

While many in the community support redevelopment of the David Taylor Center, we are appalled at how Anne Arundel County is handling this process ("Thwarting economic growth," editorial, March 2).

We have seen the administration of County Executive Janet S. Owens administration continually bend the rules and grease the skids to accommodate the developer, Annapolis Partners.

This began with the county ramming special-interest zoning legislation through the county council without seriously considering even one amendment. And, we are now seeing the Owens administration, at the behest of Annapolis Partners, press the U.S. Navy to deliver the site to the county already subdivided in up to 17 parcels.

This would allow Annapolis Partners to bypass the county's subdivision process and adequate facilities ordinance.

This comes on top of the county's increasing the developable area at the site by at least 38 percent over the size recommended by the citizen's re-use committee.

The county is also asking the Critical Area Commission to sanction watered-down critical area legislation on behalf of Annapolis Partners, a move that will seriously weaken the Critical Area Act. The Sun should be especially disturbed at this turn of events given Tom Horton's recent column "Critical Area Act in peril" (Feb. 23).

When you look at the big picture, you see the county is pursuing is development at any cost -- which is a disturbing scenario .

Theodore A. Kluga

Annapolis

The writer is a member of the David Taylor Redevelopment Advisory Committee.

Don't repeal safeguards of elections' integrity

Annapolis Alderman Cynthia A. Carter is trying to repeal a law which requires voters to provide identification prior to voting ("Voter law called racist," Feb. 26).

After the fiasco in Florida, we should be taking any measure possible to ensure the integrity of the voting system.

Yet Ms. Carter apparently feels that she, and other Democrats, would benefit from a system in which no safeguards are in place and voter fraud is rampant.

That may be the true, but it is a horrible reason for repealing a common-sense law such as this one.

Michael DeCicco

Severn

Mayor's attention comes too late

Obviously, the pressure of the press during a re-election year is stronger than falling historic bricks, five-alarm fires and earnest attempts to rebuild Annapolis' Main Street.

Only under attention from The Sun did Mayor Dean L. Johnson break his three-year silence. At 5 p.m. on March 11 (the day of Norris West's column "The Hole truth escapes Annapolis"), he left a message on my office answering machine.

Contrary to Mr. Johnson's claims in his recent letter ("`Main Street hole' isn't mayor's fault; it's the owner's," Howard letters, March 11), neither he nor anyone in his administration had made contact with this property owner by telephone, written correspondence, e-mail or fax for more than three years -- until The Sun's articles.

Moreover, contrary to Mayor Johnson's claim, construction fees were never an issue in demolishing the wall or rebuilding the structure.

Had Mr. Johnson cared about Main Street, he would have made communication efforts during the past three years, before The Sun's news article ("Annapolis anxious to fill gap in city-scape," March 4) and editorial criticism ("Main Street's hole," editorial, March 6) triggered his emotional attention back to the Main Street hole.

Mr. Johnson wants re-election, and he wishes to silence criticism about him, even well-deserved criticism.

Silence and inaction are the legacy of his tenure -- unless he has faced political pressure from historic preservation groups or from the press.

Only pressure from The Sun penetrated his wall of inaction.

Leadership?

Ronald B. Hollander

Annapolis

The writer owned the Main Street building destroyed by a five-alarm fire in December 1997 and owns the now-vacant site.

Towns need aid to fund improved plumbing

Norris West's column "Miserable conditions in rural Lothian" (column, March 4) highlighted the deplorable conditions of people without indoor plumbing in Lothian and other places.

More than 10 years ago, Rose Haven, where I live, and Holland Point, our neighboring community, set about getting new sewer systems. Holland Point had failing septic systems and Rose Haven had a very dilapidated wastewater treatment plant.

We now have a great new modern system, and it cost a bundle.

Without a $6 million federal grant and almost $4 million in state and county funds, the cost would have been prohibitive.

You can already see improvements in Holland Point -- new additions to home, second floors and, I am told, second bathrooms. Similar things could happen in Lothian if funding is made available.

But that's the rub.

Tom Gill

North Beach

Cartoon made callous fun of tragedy

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