The appointment of two South Carroll slow-growth advocates to the seven-member planning commission is one way to get serious about controlling growth, say two of the county's three commissioners. "There's been a lot w case of doing too little, too late."
He and Commissioner Richard T. Yates decided last week not to reappoint Planning Commission Chairman Dennis P. Bowman to a second five-year term, instead choosing to elevate alternate Joseph H. Mettle as a full member and to appoint Marriottsville resident Grant S. Dannelly to fill Mr. Mettle's spot.
"We really need to see some new thinking on the planning commission," said Mr. Yates. "It signifies that at least two of us, as commissioners, are doing our jobs to control growth."
Mr. Mettle was appointed by Mr. Yates in February, and he quickly became an outspoken critic of the way the commission has handled growth in South Carroll.
"This uncontrolled growth is not good for our quality of life," Mr. Mettle said yesterday. "I want to do something about it."
Commissioner Donald I. Dell, who favored retaining Mr. Bowman, a fellow farmer, said yesterday that he didn't want to discuss the appointments.
"I want to think this thing through, and I want to be decent about it," Mr. Dell said. "I have concerns about a lot of things that have taken place."
Mr. Bowman, who said he wasn't particularly surprised at the commissioners' decision, expressed concern yesterday that farmers no longer have a voice on the body responsible for deciding land-use policies.
"I am sorry that the single largest group of landowners are no longer represented," Mr. Bowman said.
"But this move didn't totally surprise me, given what seems to be the political agenda of Commissioners Brown and Yates."
Both new commissioners, who campaigned last year on a platform of growth issues, said the planning commission's recent decision to halt final approval of developments near crowded schools was a good one but not enough.
"I don't want to raise people's hopes in a way that is not appropriate," Mr. Brown said. "This thing's not going to be turned around overnight, although I hope the record of the next 15 years is better than the one of the last 15 years."
In the past 15 years, Carroll's population has nearly doubled, the schools have become crowded, and water and sewer services are becoming overwhelmed.
With the new composition of the planning commission, three of the seven come from the southern part of the county: Mr. Mettle, Mr. Dannelly and Thomas G. Hiltz. Zeno M. Fisher Jr., Robert H. Lennon, Robin M. Frazier and David T. Duree are from the northern part of the county.
Most of the vocal opposition to growth in recent months has come from South Carroll citizens who said they were tired of a planning commission that they saw as favorable to developers.
Mr. Brown echoed that sentiment yesterday, saying that there has to be a balancing of interests. He said that there was a legitimate concern for the welfare of the 4,000 county residents who work in the building industry but that the welfare of other residents also has to be weighed.
Mr. Bowman's term will expire Nov. 1.