LAST WEEK'S ISSUE -- Growth and development have emerged as the top issue in this fall's elections, particularly in Anne Arundel County as it prepares for 20,000 new jobs coming to Fort Meade in the next five years. Some voters have urged candidates to seek a temporary building ban along Route 3, several incumbents have vowed to raise developers' impact fees, and at least one office-seeker wants to ban big-box retail stores in South County.
Do you believe candidates' pledges to manage growth are sincere or realistic?
Johnson would curb sprawl
Electing George Johnson as county executive is Anne Arundel's best hope for tackling the problems of growth and development.
He knows the people and geography of the county. He is an experienced administrator and a leader who respects the right of the people to get the best performance from government.
The current County Council has rubber-stamped the pro-growth, pro-sprawl policies of current executive Janet Owens, so it is hardly realistic to believe that incumbent council members Cathleen Vitale and Ed Reilly - in spite of their rhetoric - have the ability to throw down the gauntlet.
They have consistently voted in favor of commerce over children, commerce over neighborhood and commerce over environmental protections.
Maryellen O. Brady Edgewater
Which party to tackle growth?
I am confident that the next county executive and Republican-led County Council will work together on this expansion project for the Fort Meade area.
It will be slow and manageable and will coincide with growth that has already been hitting the area for the past several years. Some people are panicking, saying the growth will be too big too fast. Others don't believe that.
It is necessary that you think about that before you cast your ballot on Tuesday. Has our Democratic county executive worked well with the Republican County Council? Should we in 2006, with this huge issue on the horizon, continue down that road, or should we elect a Republican to work with the Republican County Council? You decide.
Victor Henderson Glen Burnie