Good things come to those who plan

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman's recent column about Columbia was a timely reminder that the communities we care about do not become that way by accident ("Columbia reborn: Good planning created Rouse's 'Next America,' and good planning will revive it," July 29).

The valued places where we live, work, play and learn will only be there if we continue to invest in them, preserve them and plan for their sustainable future.

With strong, historic cities and towns and a passion for abundant natural resources, our state has a long tradition of valuing planning. However, that outlook is now being challenged in several communities in Maryland, and to some degree at the state level as well.

I ask Marylanders to get involved with planning to ensure that the places we care about will be there for our children 20 years from now and beyond. Winston Churchill is credited with the quotation, but many have uttered variations on it: "He who fails to plan is planning to fail."

Richard Eberhart Hall, Baltimore

The writer is Maryland secretary of planning.

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