Letters To The Editor


August 28, 2005

Samorajczyk fought hard for citizens

Anne Arundel County citizens who are concerned about growth and traffic, NOTE:

After threatening [County Council member Barbara D. Samorajczyk] with possible jail time, [County Executive Janet S. Owen's] "planner," Joe Rutter, finally answered Mrs. Samorajczyk's several questions about how the new Parole plan is about to get through Planning and Zoning with so little public input. He also answers, by not addressing her questions, why the plan by [Greenberg Commercial Corp.] has become so bloated and unconcerned about impact on the surrounding area:

Mrs. Samorajczyk asked Mr. Rutter to explain how the by-right density has increased 77.6 percent when so little benefit to the community has been committed to. She asked him to tell her the amounts of existing and committed future square footage in the 116-acre core area, and in the 1700-acre Parole Growth Management Area.

Mr. Rutter, clearly a development facilitator, not a planner for the community, answered: "The Office of Planning and Zoning does not maintain a database of this information." He dodged the main question about how the development plan is going to approval at 77.6 percent above the zoned-by-right area, information he must have.

You should be asking yourselves: How can Mr. Rutter "plan" in the absence of such CRITICAL and KEY planning information?

Here's how: Mrs. Owens, using Mr. Rutter as just one of her many instruments, has completely betrayed her voters' trust during her term: any and all developments that promise "Economic Growth" are her special projects, and she has swept aside as many of the obstacles to such growth as she possibly can to gain the trust of those who supported or will support her political campaigns financially.

The result? More traffic snarls, more sprawl, less planning, less concern about adequacy of roads and other public facilities.

We all began to realize this in November 2002. Little wonder she only had a 6,000-vote plurality last election.

County citizens concerned with the impact of [excessive] growth and woeful traffic jams on their daily lives need to search for the answers in the next election to unsnarl all these problems with planning. Mrs. Samorajczyk has consistently and vigorously sought answers that minimize impact of lousy planning decisions on her constituents.

As often as not, six other Anne Arundel County council members have voted against her efforts, and Mrs. Owens has openly battled with Mrs. Samorajczyk in the latter's efforts to represent her constituents. When you vote for your council person next time, remember the pro-development issues they have supported this term.

It is going to take someone as dedicated and diligent as Mrs. Samorajczyk to undo all the problems Mrs. Owens has saddled this county with. Remember this when the county executive election rolls around in 2006!

Dinsmoor White


Editor's note: Anne Arundel planning director Joseph W. Rutter Jr. told County Council member Barbara D. Samorajczyk at a meeting July 11 that he could not answer her questions about the Parole project without first seeking a legal opinion. He said that her line of questioning could be construed as giving him and his staff orders -- which would be illegal under the county charter. The penalties for a violation are loss of a council seat and possible fines and jail time.

Mr. White served as a member of the Parole Growth Management Committee, a group that worked for several years to set design standards for the former Parole Plaza site.

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