Another side to statements made by Laurel mayoral candidate

Letter to the editor

October 06, 2011

I found it annoying to read the innuendoes and half-truths contained in Michael Sarich's candidate profile ("Sarich seeking a return to local elective office," Leader, Sept. 29).

The economy did adversely impact the developer's ability to obtain requisite funding for mall renovation. The $16 million tax increment financing "carrot" offered by the mayor and City Council to save the project was clearly an exercise of leadership.

His call for a Main Street Marketer defies logic. Serious business persons make marketing decisions based on a site's profit-producing potential. Mall renovation is the first step toward improving our financial potential and that effort is ongoing.

Having earned a reputation for "being often at odds with my colleagues," i.e., disruptive and argumentative, does not occur to me as a badge of honor on its own merit.

Virtually every City Council and commission meeting is held in the Municipal Center and open to the general public as a rule. Some meetings are aired on local TV. Public hearings are held on major issues and others contested by the general public.

Mr. Sarich did not explain that Prince George's County is responsible for the stream bed and that the city of Laurel is responsible only for the stream bed banks at Laurel Lakes. Prince George's County officials directed stream-bed studies (several). They determined that upper lake clean-up would not occur until the upstream problems were resolved. That clean-up project is ongoing. It can be observed on Van Dusen Road, south of Cherry Lane.

The city's Parks and Planning staff coordinator surveyed the Laurel Lakes path closure in 2010 with virtually no responses from the general public, prior to erecting the Cherry Lane by-pass path and enlarging the sidewalk. Differences that surfaced in 2011 among residents of North Lakes Court and several others, regarding the path, precipitated the current controversy. There was never an arbitrary decision by either the mayor or his staff.

The Northlake HOA will address the problem at their annual meeting in October and present their findings to the mayor and his staff for a practical decision and possibly a public hearing on the matter.

Donald E. Williford


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