Editor’s Note: Mail-in ballots are now being accepted, drop-off boxes are open at several sites across the county, early voting begins Oct. 26 and Election Day is Nov. 3. The Times will publish letters to the editor endorsing candidates (one per writer) through Oct. 26, as space allows.
Carroll’s rezoning practices puts profits first
Six years ago, I moved back to Carroll County because this was the place I fondly grew up in. The peace, tranquility, clean air, and open space is a great environment to raise a family. The 170-acre parcel adjoining my property is currently zoned conservation and agricultural. I naively thought, “they will never build next to me.” Unfortunately, the adjoining property is now slated to be re-zoned for industrial building; a scenario I never thought plausible.
Anything can change at a moment’s notice with little notification. The process has many shortcomings.
1. Improper or lack of notification. The community received their first notification on Aug, 28 from a concerned neighbor. This first meeting was scheduled a full month before, on July 21. As described in the recorded meeting, the first several rezoning requests went uncontested. The published agenda was outdated so we could not even prepare for the meeting. The meeting was not interactive. We could not have important questions answered prior to the board making their recommendation. This was merely a “voice your grievances session.” Every individual in that meeting complained about improper notification yet the meeting proceeded. We were informed this was merely a recommendation meeting but were not given any insight on how to provide input.
2. Rezoning is based on 2D topographical maps. The rezoning commissioners only view the potential property rezoning on a map. Have you ever looked at a rural 2-D map? This vantage point does not allow for awareness or the ability to view geographical and elevation changes. It only takes one drive down our country road, to realize how steep the property terrain is and how dangerously narrow and difficult our roads are to navigate. The rezoning review does not consider the impact on the surrounding community, the availability of the infrastructure (roads, water, and sewer facilities) nor the impact on the waterways and flood prone areas.
3. No health and safety assurances for residents. How are we preserving the quality of our waterways in the Liberty Reservoir watershed and an already polluted Patapsco tributary? What measures are going to be put in place to prevent erosion from deforestation? How will chemicals be stored on these adjacent properties? What means will be put in place due to the lack of public water and sewer? What safety measures will be made to prevent accidents?
Republicans’ SCOTUS sentiment has changed
Responding to M. K. Sprinkle’s column regarding replacing Justice Ginsburg, Sprinkle states that a sitting president has the absolute right to send the name of a nominee to the Senate for consideration to fill the position left vacant with Ginsburg’s passing. Where was this sentiment when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace Justice Scalia?
Confirming a Supreme Court Justice so close to a presidential election would be an egregious violation of the standard set by the Senate Republicans just four years ago. Paraphrasing Lindsey Graham, if there is a Supreme Court opening in the last year of a presidential election the next president shall choose the nominee. Leader McConnell himself said, “A nation has a unique opportunity to make an impact on the court by filling it along with the timeline of voting for a new president, as they decide who they trust to both lead the country and nominate the next Supreme Court Justice.”
Amy Coney Barrett herself stated that it is wrong to fill a SCOTUS vacancy during a presidential election year when it will “dramatically flip the balance of power.” Ginsburg’s dying wish was that she should not be replaced until a new president is installed. There is nothing more grotesque than the GOP working to ram through a Supreme Court pick before they get substantive coronavirus relief to their constituents. They only care about power and not about people.
Disliked spirit of letter
Regarding Dave Price’s Community Voices column (“Transformation from love of country to disdain a part of Left’s master plan,” Sept. 22), I felt the response to it in letters to the editor (“Distortions in column must be challenged,” Sept. 27) was not in good spirit of disagreement.