July 9, 2012 9:35 am ET
Council in same old rut with usual unanimous vote.
Spike Lee’s breakout film was titled Do the Right Thing.
County Executive Kevin Kamaentz did exactly that when he announced he will veto the controversial Owings Mills Metro Centre bill, despite a unanimous vote by the county council to pass it.
The reason is simple. It is the right thing to do. How so, one may ask? That answer is rooted in what we lay folk refer to as law. It’s the integrity of the process that is at stake and either we have rules or we don’t in dealing with these laws. Sadly the council’s unanimous vote reflects what is often referred to as councilmanic courtesy.
What better way to respond than Mr. Kamenetz’s own words from : “I am vetoing Council Bill 43-12 because it contravenes fifty years of regulation that mandates public input and government review of development projects in Baltimore County.”
Fifty years of regulations including government review and the most important aspect, public input, is cast aside by a council who seemingly is lost in the woods without a leader.
This quote from Ms. Almond is troubling: “The amendments were for the purpose of allowing future development around this TOD site and to make Owings Mills, which is partly mine and Councilman Oliver’s the best that it can possibly be …”. Almond further added, “This is our last chance to get it right.”
Get it right for whom, the developers or the constituents? “… partly mine …”? I thought a councilperson represents the people and the council is not a monarchy.
This video posted by Open Eyes on Catonsville Patch is one of the best I have ever seen on this topic of the relationships between developers and elected officials. It would behoove all council members to take heed of Patch’s readers and their awareness of the gaffs of their leaders.
For the council’s own sake, I would suggest at least one token “no” vote to at least make it look good. Fifty years of law and lack of public input is worthy of at least that much.
As for Mr. Kamanetz, I applaud your decision to do as Spike would say – the right thing.