Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Open Forum: Commissioners are heeding majority of voters

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I was surprised to read Blaine Young's Jan. 24 column concerning the Frederick Board of County Commissioners’ proposed growth management initiative.

As Mr. Young purports to be a keen observer of county politics, he should know better than to describe the overwhelming majority of voters who elected this board to address these very issues as a “narrow minority.“

His ire would be better directed at the “narrow majority“ of commissioners on the previous board who disregarded the electorate, ignored established plans and guidelines, and irresponsibly approved development that could have a lasting negative impact on county residents and businesses.

I do appreciate his concern for the hundreds of people in the building industry that may be affected by this initiative. Their questions must be addressed as this proposal moves forward.

But it is a shame that he does not demonstrate the same concern for the tens of thousands of Frederick County residents who would bear the burden of higher taxes, more traffic, overcrowded schools, and increased sprawl in the wake of under-controlled residential developments pushed through under the previous board.

Wrestling with these inherited problems will not be easy, and the process should include ample public discourse and debate; however, our commissioners should be credited for taking the first critical steps. We all benefit from well-planned and adequately controlled development that protects and enhances the quality of life in our county: residents, businesses, and developers alike.

James R. Racheff, Frederick