Speak Out!

July 23, 2006

LAST WEEK'S ISSUE -- The Pentagons military base realignment will swell Maryland's population by about 28,000 households over the next decade, a Towson University report predicts, in what some economists suggest will be the biggest defense-related buildup in the Baltimore-Washington region since World War II.

Analysts estimate that Anne Arundel County will net 12,639 jobs and 5,798 households, along with nearly $90 million in yearly tax revenue, because of military shifts. Most of the jobs are expected to arrive within the next five years.

County Executive Janet S. Owens believes Anne Arundel is ahead of the curve in preparing for the growth, having directed millions toward expanding Route 175 and Route 198 and improving the MARC commuter rail service. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has allocated $1 million for a study to expand Washington's Metrorail to Anne Arundel.

Do you believe the county is taking the necessary steps to prepare for the wave of defense workers to hit Anne Arundel County?

County developers are ready to benefit

Of course Anne Arundel County will be ready to meet the challenges resulting from the BRAC.

The BRAC committee is overwhelmingly populated by business and professional types that will "make it happen," ready or not. After all [County Executive] Janet Owens is dumping, oops, I mean taxpayers are, dumping millions into new highways, while neglecting school maintenance and deteriorating infrastructure.

The citizens of Anne Arundel County will be sold the benefits of added tax revenues, skewing the reality of development costs. It takes over 10 years for a new residential unit to begin paying for itself in additional taxes.

And while we are accommodating the newbies, the residents will bear the consequences of "inadequate" facilities and uncontrolled growth. The developers will get richer, politicians will tout how business-friendly they are and the quality of life ... will continue its decline.

Maryellen O. Brady Edgewater

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