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Oppose Uncontrolled Development

Before I ever thought about public service, I worked for the Frederick News Post. I began as a humor columnist writing about the follies of being married to David Afzali and raising two energetic daughters. As time went on, my political bent began emerging and one of my first controversial columns  (2004) was about development in Frederick County. I grew up in California between 1957 and 1979 where I saw first-hand what overdevelopment did to the area. I was determined NOT to let that happen in my adopted home of Frederick County.

The Smart Growth movement spearheaded by Maryland Governor, Parris Glendening, was a bold initiative with some very good ideas. The embedded articles shared here, provide a good overview of the Glendening/O’Malley Smart Growth and Plan Maryland policies. The intentions were correct; Glendening had been a County Executive and saw first-hand the loss of farmland in PG County and sought to save the rural legacy throughout the state. However, the devil was in the details - rural leaders saw this as a power grab from Annapolis.

LOCAL RESULTS

Development became high density in Frederick County with places like Monrovia, caught in the cross hairs. Monrovia was put on the future growth map and was slated for growth by the county’s comprehensive plan, but there would be NO state money coming for infrastructure and road improvements because of the rural location. What a mess! The rise of R.A.L.E. and other grassroots groups are a result of poor vision and overzealous pro-growthers.

I came out in full support of R.A.L.E. and caught much heat from local Republicans because of my anti-Monrovia Town Center stand. I’m not afraid to stand up to my own party when I must. My decisions are about people, not political party. I stood up against MTC because it was the right thing to do.

Being a California survivor, I hate most of the high-density housing developments approved and promoted by the former Board of County Commissioners.