Facing the Issues
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 21st January 2017
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March 17, 2016 9:58 pm ET

Gossman deals with pellet-gun assault, rats, Section 8, and zoning

Source: Facing the Issues

Gray Manor and Northshire Community Association President Linda Gossman wasted little time in addressing the issues facing her community at a recent meeting.

That list of issues was rather lengthy. Topics of concern included persistent rat infestation problems, lack of response from the county’s code enforcement office, a new apartment complex and the accompanying Section 8 unease, and assaults with pellet guns.

Just to name a few…

The pellet gun assaults were directed at a teen walking home from Patapsco High School who was shot twice, leaving large welts on one leg. As a parent was revealing that story, another member present at the meeting said a window was shot out of a vehicle in the same area. Both incidents were reported to the police.

I was also informed of some other situations that are not allowed in the county schools as stated in the student handbook. It appears that the only way something remotely controversial will happen in the schools is via a progressive movement fostered by Dr. Dance.

Yes that was a facetious remark. More on that later.

The guest speaker for the meeting was Councilman Crandell’s Senior Assistant, Doug Anderson, who spoke on the CMPZ zoning issue.

I did find out that the PUD process is not supposed to affect the zoning process. However, I kept hearing the term “councilmatic courtesy” tossed around, along with other terms that were not reassuring.

Mr. Anderson relayed problems with the exchange of information between the county and the constituents. I saw nothing unusual there, since there is no communication.

My assessment is based on the Thistle Landing PUD, which was killed and the brought back to life and passed. In plain language, the developers still rule by established “good ol’ boy” politics, amid the councilman’s refusal to delay his vote—even though the community requested it.

I did follow up with some questions concerning Trade Point at Sparrows Point relating to cost to the taxpayer’s regarding tax breaks and infrastructure upgrades, which include bridges and roads leading into the facility.

Mr. Anderson responded, saying there have been five bills submitted—in other words, some changes are coming and, trust me, they won’t benefit the taxpayers.

It strikes me as rather strange that the cost factors, i.e. tax breaks and infrastructure upgrades, were not known to Mr. Anderson, since his boss wrote the bill allowing the developers to circumvent government oversight and community input.

The best answer Mr. Anderson could muster is, “I don’t know.”

Why Councilman Crandell could not delay the vote on this bill for one month, so that the community could get a handle on it, is puzzling.

There was a guest speaker from the DRC who spoke on taxpayer funded home renovations. My thoughts were more focused on renovating the great problems that put Dundalk on the map for the worst areas to live and covering it in paint won’t fix that problem.

Ms. Gossman went on to speak about a new apartment project called Merritt Station and said the community supports it … with reservations. Among the “worry factors” are that 10% of the apartments will allow Section 8 housing, as well as the fact that more traffic will be to Merritt Blvd., which is already facing gridlock.

Like I said: “…with reservations.”

Meanwhile, Councilman Crandell is claiming victory on the homeless situation and crime issues in Dundalk’s Veterans Park by stating that crime is down because of his work. Again, all this is a bit perplexing since he blew off the situation at Patapsco High School by remarking, “It’s not my job.”

Many people in the audience complained about the county’s code enforcement and that office’s lack of response to much of what ails the county—rats, homelessness, and housing complaints.

This is not the first time I have heard about a lack of response from code enforcement. And residents have long been complaining about the rats, some of which are incredibly large.

If that is not bad enough, this article in today’s Sun might give you some pause for thought:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/maryland-health/bs-hs-rats-and-depression-20160316-story.html

One resident spoke of a homeless camp right off Lynch Road.

Ms. Gossman said that she was disappointed in the turnout for the meeting. In her belief, the room should have been filled with residents who care about the community in which they live.

I can think of a few reasons why people weren’t there, and it has nothing to do with Ms. Gossman’s hard work.

But that’s a blog for another day…

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