Republican state Sen. Martin G. Madden of Clarksville said last night that he plans to lobby for more school construction money in the coming General Assembly session to build schools and expand and renovate aging ones throughout the county.
Madden, who represents District 13 -- which stretches from southern Howard County into northern Prince George's County -- spoke at a meeting of the North Laurel Civic Association.
"Every dollar we bring back to the county benefits the county," he said. "The allocation of school construction funds [is] a political issue. That's not right. We have to fashion it in a way in which it is nonpolitical and based on the growth of a jurisdiction."
Howard County school officials were disappointed that the General Assembly allocated $13 million for school projects last year instead of the $20 million requested.
Madden, who has been praised by Republicans and Democrats as a consensus builder, also said that he will work with local residents to "ease the impact" of a controversial Rouse Co.project -- a 1,200-unit, Columbia-style village that is planned for the north side of Gorman Road in North Laurel.
Residents have been working to overturn a decision by the county Zoning Board approving code changes the Rouse Co. needed to proceed with the development. Neighbors have long complained that existing roads cannot accommodate a development that would include retail, business, light industry and private homes.
Madden urged residents to closely follow bills that are introduced in the legislature, particularly those that relate to the county.
"Call us. Check out the information on the Web. Check out how we vote. Hold us accountable," Madden told the residents."
Ken Dorn, a North Laurel resident, said that Madden's plans resonated with him.
"I think he does a good job representing our interest," Dorn said.
Pub Date: 1/06/99