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County Council Meeting

18 September 2012

After several years I attended a Harford County Council Meeting.   ICYMI, the video is here: – just go to the video for Sept 18.  You can skip directly to the comments from attending citizens.  Citizen comments were the 18th item on the agenda, and start at one hour and two minutes into the video.   I am the 4th person.  The 1st person, Mr. Weland, also speaks about the Walmart issue.

We should attend County Council meetings more often, if only for the chance to meet our Harford Living Treasures. After hearing about them and seeing them photographed with their family and friends, we heard the Council Vice President read out various bills that were being introduced, on technical matters related to Bonds, Appropriations and Capital Projects. Then the council members talked about county officials who had passed away in the past two weeks, Ian Adam Loughran and Theodore S. Moyer, both police officials, School Board President Leonard Wheeler, and Deputed Testimoney, a horse. Who knew a Harford County Horse had won the Preakness? Just so happens I saw a horse race in Saratoga last month – at that time I thought it a coincidence that I had recently seen a horse race in cinema.

After reading out a number of proposed bills, the time came for citizens to comment. The first person to speak was Bill Weland, who had spoken at a previous meeting and was requested to come and speak again. He was fairly knowledgeable about the Zoning codes and legal issues that we needed to address to make a credible case to oppose the permission.

Then a gentleman spoke about public support for the schools, and a woman came to appeal for proper regulation of “All Terrain Vehicles” and some other kind of motorcycles that are very loud and apparently in constant use in her otherwise quiet neighborhood. My turn came. Here is what I said:

My Weland brought to our attention key points in this democratic struggle to protect Bel Air, to protect Harford County from the whims and fancies of a giant Big Box corporation to abandon one site, like an old toy that it as gotten tired of, just because it can buy a new one .

Before the meeting started today Captain Jim introduced himself and told me that the issue largely rested on the traffic study and if technically all was satisfactory, then there was nothing the citizens could do to oppose this move, and even if all of us are opposed to it, the County will be forced to approve it because of some B3 zoning regulation set in place several years ago.

As concerned citizens of Harford County, we need to operate by the ethics of our society and not what is dictated by the market.  Not everyting is for sale and Harford County’s land and landscape are not disposable.

I will not revisit the detailed legal and technical issues tat Mr Weland raised but I will tell you why this issue is so important to me and ofr our community.

Last month we have seen two of our Main Street businesses go out of business.  If Walmart comes to Emmorton Road, which is the same as Main Street, won’t more go the same way.

First Friday, Third Thursday, Girls Night out, Farmer’s Market twice a week – will we still have these without our Downtown Businesses?

This is not a time for us to be tearing up the roads to make way for a 24/7 Big Box Store, this is a time when we should be supporting our small businesses.

[full transcript of my remarks to be added, meanwhile please see the video].


From → Civics, Economy

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