Gerald Winegrad: More development means more taxes and more pollution

Recent Capital articles on the proposed city property tax increase have promoted the need for new development to increase the city tax base. Other stories note news on bay grass increases and also the decline of the blue crab population. How do these articles intersect? Any argument that increasing residential development results in a net increase in city revenue — such as the arguments advanced to promote the development of annexed land at Crystal Spring, Parkside Preserve and Rocky Gorge — is fallacious. (Capital)

Read Full Article

May 22 // Maryland election law needs a serious upgrade

There are some big things that are wrong with the way Marylanders elect candidates to office. We hand the drawing of legislative and congressional district lines to self-interested politicians who abuse the process to bolster their political parties, reward friends and punish enemies. And we have a campaign finance system that magnifies the influence of wealthy special interests. Those are foundational problems in our political system, and the possible solutions to them — redistricting reform and publicly financed campaigns — have proven to be difficult to enact. But this year’s elections have uncovered some dumb problems that are eminently fixable. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Schuh's additions to school budget welcome

It’s a basic skill for a county executive, and Steve Schuh has it down pat. Last week he again showed how you use a supplemental budget request to demonstrate responsiveness and address the loudest criticisms of a county budget plan. Drawing on a windfall from an arbitration decision that actually went against the county, Schuh decided to use a $640,000 supplemental budget to add counselors, social workers and other conflict-addressing staff members to Anne Arundel County schools. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Union Bridge officials should support solar project

Union Bridge officials should strongly consider drafting a letter in support of a project to bring a solar field to Carroll County. Citizens UB Solar LLC, a nonprofit energy company, owns roughly 50 acres of land along Main, W. Locust and S. Whyte streets in Union Bridge, across from the Lehigh Cement plant and bordering the line with Frederick County. It wants to turn that land into a solar field, potentially striking a deal with Lehigh to provide the facility with power. But the project stands to greatly benefit the small town of Union Bridge. (Carr. Co. Times)

Read Full Article

May 21 // Laslo Boyd: Death and taxes

As sure as we are that the sun will appear each morning, we are just as certain that the next mass shooting is coming soon. And in what may be the perfect symmetry of irresponsibility, many of the very same people who have prevented a rational response to our public health crisis of gun violence are also leading the charge to undermine the system of taxation that has provided the funds to make America great. Irony intended. (From a Certain Point of View)

Read Full Article

Democrats should choose Rushern Baker for Maryland governor

It can be easy to forget the spectacular mess that Rushern L. Baker III inherited when, in 2010, he became the top elected official in Prince George’s County, Maryland’s second-most-populous locality. Given his brand of steady, sane, no-drama leadership as county executive over the past eight years, it is equally easy to overlook the extent to which he has succeeded in radically rebranding a locality whose reputation had been so badly stained by public corruption, chaotic governance and crime. Mr. Baker’s admirable, ambitious record in Prince George’s is the basis on which we support him in Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, on June 26. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Student protest — peaceful dissent must be allowed

Here’s something most everyone can agree upon — the business of kneeling during a patriotic display has become a singularly polarizing event and unnecessarily so. What started with NFL player Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem two years ago to protest wrongdoings against African Americans and other minorities became an exercise in Red State-Blue State politics when President Donald Trump equated it to dissing war veterans. The ACLU of Maryland is asking the Baltimore County school system to clarify its policies on student dissent after it says an 11-year-old girl at Catonsville Middle School was reprimanded by her teacher for “taking a knee” during the Pledge of Allegiance. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

We support 9.9 cent tax increase in Annapolis — with some caveats

The 9.9-cent property tax rate increase now up for debate by the Annapolis City Council is a bitter pill. We say bitter because no one likes to swallow hard and pay more taxes than they used to, no matter where they live. But Mayor Gavin Buckley and the members of the council Finance Committee have made a credible argument that Annapolis has to raise more funds to support the programs its residents want. So, we’ll go along with the premise — provisionally. (Capital)

Read Full Article