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As Long as We Remember...

May 31, 2010

Campaign Diary This and That

Michael Kurtianyk

May 23 – Local Fundraiser


I had the good fortune of going to the Doug Gantzler fundraiser at a local supporter’s home in Frederick. It was a good turnout, in spite of the rain that fell over the weekend. It was great seeing everybody and there were great discussions and plans for this summer’s campaigns.


May 24 – Growth vs. No-Growth


This should be fun – it looks like the issue of “growth vs. no-growth” is rearing its ugly head again. Aren’t we tired of this? Do the citizens really care about this? The answers seem to be: “doesn’t seem like it” and “some do; some don’t.” Let me explain.


First, we have those who are being painted as “no-growthers.” These are people who suggest that Frederick County should continue to resist the development of residential homes. There’s even a petition to de-annex the 151-acre Thatcher Farm and 285-acre Crumland Farm parcel. They cite reasons such as that currently there is adequate development planned in the existing pipeline. These should be developed first, and make sure it’s done in an environmentally sustainable manner.


Then there are those who are being painted as “growthers.” These are people who suggest that Frederick County does not have enough residential development in the pipeline. They cite reasons such as future population growth: state and county governments both project that the growth rate will increase about 2.2% annually over the next 20 years. This suggests an additional 36,000 lots by 2030, a rate of 1,600 units needed annually.


Aren’t we tired of this? It sure doesn’t seem like it. The rhetoric has increased on both sides in recent weeks. I have had people ask me: “Are you for growth or against it?” It’s not a “yes or no” question. Yet we have Frederick citizens and leaders who are polarizing and want to make it so.


Do citizens really care about this? In my conversations, some do, and some don’t. The people I talk to, from going door-to-door and at gatherings, raise questions about jobs, and having good schools. Economic development is important, and this is what’s missing in the “growth vs. no-growth” debate. If the jobs aren’t here, and the population increases, then we will continue to see our county used as a thoroughfare for commuters. Let’s focus on being better stewards of economic development, rather than being polarizing figures in the local papers and online.


Going back to the county-adopted Comprehensive Plan, the county is anticipating that the average annual absorption of lots will be about 1,600 units per year (36,000 lots by 2030). We currently have about 18,000 lots in the pipeline. Based on the Comprehensive Plan, I wonder where the other 18,000 lots will come from. I don’t see where the zoned land will accommodate the projected population growth in the area.


May 28-31 – Memorial Day Weekend


I had the chance to watch my daughters’ in a dance recital this weekend. Brenda and I are very proud of them, as we always are. It’s amazing how fast children grow, as we adults stay the same age.


We went to the Middletown Memorial Day Parade and Ice Cream Social. It was the first time we’d been to it, because we typically go to New York to see our parents. However, due to the dance recital, we stayed home.


Staying in town did allow us to participate in the Middletown 4 v. 4 soccer tournament for the first time. That was a great time.


Quick Takes….


…My daughters’ soccer regular season ended, and now we look forward to the annual Frederick County tournament…


…Glad to see Inter Milan win the Champions’ League, by beating Bayern Munich 2-0. Maybe Coach Jose Marinho will win the tournament next year with Real Madrid…


…Glad to see the Frederick Keys getting off to a good start…


…I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day today.


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