Flood of Concern Over Golf Course
I commend The Sun for continuing to cover the golf course in Running Brook. The article in the June 17 paper, however, did not mention the first of two important issues I presented to the Columbia Council.
. . . The Columbia Association staff impute to the state Department of Natural Resources' permit a guarantee of safety that simply is not there.
. . . DNR acknowledges looking only at the flooding effects associated with these 100-year flood plain activities: grading, filling and constructing sand traps, tee areas, greens, fairways, bridges, boardwalks and pervious cartpaths. DNR says it is legally required to do no more. . . .
DNR did not consider many changes in the land resulting from differences in its pre- and post-construction characteristics in both flood plain and uplands. It ignored increases in runoff from changes in permeability, surface roughness, compaction and moisture content of the soil. . . .
In short, the DNR permit does not mean the Running Brook
neighborhood won't experience more frequent or more severe flooding. . . . If Columbia Council members are relying on it to protect CA against liability for damage to property in Running Brook, there is a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell them.
. . . Maryland needs an open primary both in which independents can participate and in which all voters may select their primary party balloting of choice. Some states have such systems and they work well. Interestingly, either party in Maryland now could permit independents and "crossovers" to vote in their primaries but opt not to. . . .
Marylanders also need more choices at the polls, including more qualified independents. Current nominating petition qualifications . . . deter such efforts.
To provide contrast, I needed approximately 1,200 valid, verified signatures merely to run for delegate in a two-member district (13A), with roughly 40,000 voters or 73,000 residents. To run for mayor of Los Angeles, 500 signatures are required, or 7,500 for New York City! Such a high threshold for delegate is excessive to "protect the ballot." It is anti-democratic and possibly discriminatory. An open primary, coupled with reasonable ballot access rules, could increase voter turnout as well as be more equitable.
Finally, when will Marylanders of all partisan persuasions finally get totally disgusted with Bruce Bereano's legislature, our General Assembly, the "best legislature money can buy"?
. . . Does Rep. Ben Cardin, the able and gracious gentleman that he is notwithstanding, really need to spend more than $600,000 on a race he has already easily won? Does our county executive need $200 per person fund-raisers when he is running unopposed? Does a certain candidate for delegate in 13A need to suggest she needs $50,000 for her race? We should consider strict limitations on political action committee contributions, "global" ceilings on campaign costs coupled with more, inexpensive media access for all candidates and, perhaps, publicly financed short campaigns. . . .
The writer is an independent candidate for state delegate in District 13A.
It Wasn't Just About Race
As the newly elected vice president of the Columbia Democratic Club, I am surprised that Melody Higgins sought to air her dismay about our recent election of officers. (Letters to the editor, June 19). . . .
I believe that Ms. Higgins has underestimated the intelligence of CDC members. CDC's membership consists of community and political activists who have worked over 17 years side-by-side with me in addressing a wide range of concerns in our community. The majority membership of CDC voted for me because of my proven record . . . which was very well known to the members.
My platform, as a candidate for District 13A, is to represent a very diverse district with different concerns. District 13A is a multi-cultural district, and because of my 17 years of proven ability to work with all segments of the community, I believe that I am the best person to represent this new district in Annapolis. I stand for recognizing the concerns for managed growth, creation of jobs and economic development. I support efforts to protect the environment, to provide affordable health care, to provide funds for quality schools, to offer protection and safety in our homes and streets. I want to ensure that our youth and seniors are able to afford to live in our county. . . .
This is in response to the letter by Melody Higgins. Several members of our organization, Maryland Federal of Democratic Women, Howard County Chapter, were present at the Columbia Democratic Club meeting and elections. . . . We respectfully disagree with her interpretation of the events of the evening.
MFDW, Howard County, is an organization founded by Pearl Atkinson-Stewart. Our membership has always been multi-cultural. Pearl Atkinson-Stewart has been elected president of MFDW for two terms because the membership respects her leadership ability, integrity, tenacity and ability to work with everyone.
Our organization, under Ms. Stewart's leadership, encourages women to seek elected office and in the upcoming primary the following members are doing so: Maryland Senate, Virginia Thomas; county executive, Sue-Ellen Hantman; House of Delegates, Pearl Atkinson-Stewart, Liz Bobo, Ethel Hill, Wanda Hurt, Rosemary Mortimer, Shane Pendergrass; County Council, Kathryn Mann; Clerk of the Court, Leslie Cale; Democratic Central Committee, Wendy Fiedler, Carole Fisher, Heidi Gerzowski and Temmie Shade. Sen. Barbara Mikulski is an honorary charter member.
These women are all political and community leaders who have chosen to work with Pearl in building a better Howard County. . . .
Leslie J. Cale
The writers are members of the Maryland Federation of Democratic Women, Howard County chapter.