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As Long as We Remember...

Throwing Gas on the Fire

December 26, 2007

Mr. Berryman, I feel your pain (Homeland Security Fails I-270 – Tentacle Monday December 17). I too run this commute on a daily basis, and although I have found a “secret” back roads route, it still takes me far too much time to commute the “as the crow flies” 16 miles (if I believe what the sign says) down to Gaithersburg.

I wholeheartedly agree that we need to hold the politicians to task to ensure that our roads are safe, well maintained, and managed in terms of traffic. It is an interesting thought, requiring the Department of Homeland Security to ensure our safety by widening the roads, but in fact, the National Defense Highway System is administered by the Department of Transportation, and I haven’t heard of a case where a federal agency communicates well within itself, much less with one another!

I also agree that Dwight D. Eisenhower’s National Defense Highway System may be woefully inadequate in today’s world. However, I am not sure whether his farewell speech warnings about the profiteers of the Congressional Military Industrial Complex (CMIC) play a role in the highway system, and even if the CMIC was involved, I am not sure if widening the roads will help. It may temporarily alleviate some of our pains, but the roads will eventually fill up again. Instead of a Band-Aid, we need a solution. Why are our roads jammed and dangerous?

I would like to direct illumination onto an equally insidious group of profiteers: the State/Local Political Developer Industrial Complex (SLPDIC. I hope this new term will become as famous as Eisenhower’s Congressional Military Industrial Complex.

More than 90% of commuters (a random statistic that is as good as any other, but conveying the obvious) are folks that were lured to Frederick County by the SLPDIC to live a better life in the country.

Let’s move away from the hustle and bustle of Montgomery County, and move to where we can bring up our kids in schools that are not crowded, live on land that is green and surrounded by farmland, air that is clean to breath and water safe to drink.

That was the illusion that folks kept holding onto as Montgomery County was developed towards the Frederick County line, and now that it has passed this line, it is marching towards the Pennsylvania line and beyond.

The SLPDIC hacks are simply sitting back in their mansions watching the money roll in. The typical scenario is to buy up farm, convince the local, county and state commissioners that growth is good – “it brings in jobs and money,” it is good for the “tax base” and the old standby “growth is inevitable.”

They are allowed to throw up huge developments, which engulf the local communities, and the area never recovers. Meanwhile they ask for tax breaks, require water and sewer and roads and schools to be built, strains the fire and rescue and police agencies, all at the tax payer’s expense.

The local and state governments never have the funds to pay for the step wise increases in population and the infrastructure improvements that are required with these sudden demands. They actually never will, because it costs more to maintain the infrastructure than is received by the so-called bountiful increase in tax revenues from this growth.

Who is this Local/State Political Developer Industrial Complex?

It is any group of developers and politicians who continue to promote and allow uncontrolled growth.

If we want our roads to be manageable, we need to have strong folks in office that will say STOP! If we don’t want our schools overcrowded, our water restricted, our sewers over capacity, our police and fire over-extended, etc., we need to stop the growth.

We need politicians to generate the APFO’s that control this process, and get this into effect now! We need politicians that care for public good and enact policies to these ends, not make campaign promises and renege. It all starts with us.

So, as we are driving down I-270 after leaving our 4000 sq ft McMansion on .26 acres in the new development of 800 houses, and dropping our kids off at the school that is now at 133% of state mandated levels, and getting to this point after driving for 30 minutes on the country roads that formally were rarely travelled but for farm equipment, and wondering when the water restrictions will be dropped, just remember where the real problem lays, and its easy to find…..look in the rear view mirror…its you, for falling victim to the dream of moving away from unmanaged development. Instead, you moved into it.

Again, I hear the Local/State Political Developer Industrial Complex laughing…..they got away with it again, without paying a dime and while making millions.

Oh, and by the way Mr. Berryman, don’t worry. I-270 will eventually be widened, all with your tax dollars. I wonder if that just will invigorate the development cycle?

Russ Winch Walkersville

Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
The Covert Letter

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