We want your opinions

May 20, 2007

ISSUE:

Construction of a new Oak Hill Youth Center will proceed on 40 acres near the existing center in Laurel, just as planned, according to a "satisfactory division of agreement" hashed out last week by officials in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Though Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin has long fought to relocate the detention center into the district, the Maryland Democrat characterized last week's agreement as a partial victory because Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty is willing to cooperate with federal and state officials about the disposition of the remaining 848 acres of the property.

Cardin is reserving the right to continue fighting development of the new center. He has introduced a Senate bill to close the juvenile facility and divide the land between the National Security Agency and Anne Arundel County.

After learning this month that work was imminent on the new detention center, Cardin placed a hold on federal legislation that would allow Fenty to take over his city's school system. The schools takeover, a key initiative of the Fenty administration, requires congressional approval.

Cardin removed the hold Monday after a handshake agreement with Eleanor Holmes Norton, the district's nonvoting delegate to Congress. Cardin said his legislative maneuver didn't affect the schools legislation, which he supports.

YOUR VIEW:

What do you think of Cardin's negotiations?

Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by Thursday. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be printed next Sunday.

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