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In Queen Anne’s It’s About Economic Growth

While I am loath to link to anything from Center Maryland that den of rent-seeking corporatists masquerading as a straight “news” site, this piece from Stevensville attorney Clayton Mitchell, Jr. is worth reading. Mitchell highlights the tough fiscal issues Queen Anne’s County faces as a result of anti economic growth policies pursued by the last set of county commissioners and the know nothing/no growth special interests, who pulled their strings.

On November 2, 2010, the Queen Anne’s County taxpayers said, “We are cutting government to the bone because we are tired of being pushed around”. We were pushed around when the preservationists shut down the Four Seasons development (and kept millions of additional property tax dollars from the County’s coffers) because the prior Commissioners lacked the political will to do what was socially and fiscally responsible in order make it happen.

The prior Commissioners were prepared to let a small vocal minority of protesters organize and prevent a multi-million dollar Federal training center from locating in the County – a project which would have yielded 500 new jobs, transferred in 500 additional taxpayers and which would have brought with it a catalyst to jump start and fuel the local economy. Because of the loss of these and other large economic development opportunities, the County consequently pushed us taxpayers to dig deeper and deeper into our pockets (every time our homes were re-assessed) to fund its penchant for ever more government services.

While I disagree with his call for tax hikes to fund county education budget—education spending cuts won’t hurt as much as he thinks—Mitchell is dead on here. I only wish he had mentioned that it was Governor O’Malley—whom Mitchell effusively praised—who cast a no vote against the Four Seasons project at the Board of Public Works. And, while I was not as sanguine about the federal training center (FASTC), there is no doubt a vocal minority of political bullies tossed their weight around and pulled the puppet strings attached to the previous commissioners.

Mitchell and I have our disagreements, but we both recognize the key for Queen Anne’s resurgence is economic growth. We must not let a small cadre of thugs stop the needed growth while frittering away our rights and prosperity on a bag of magic beans called “preservation.”






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