A Little Common Sense

Common sense is a great resource and Comptroller Peter Franchot may very well have a monopoly on that commodity in Maryland’s government.

Comptroller Peter Franchot continued his campaign for closer scrutiny of parkland purchases, telling county parks and recreation officials, “We don’t have a bottomless pit of money.”

But parks officials from both Baltimore and Howard counties argued with Franchot, saying it was important to buy open space when it became available. The state cannot take land for parks against the owner’s wishes.

“You might not get anything if you wait” for only the land the county has targeted for park and recreation use, said John Markley, deputy director of the Baltimore County Parks and Recreation Department.

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Open space is wonderful but at some point, dare I use the words again, common sense has to enter into the equation.

Acquiring open space is not cheap in either short or long run. Outside the acquisition of the land, one has to consider the impact as land is permanently removed from the tax rolls (hint: it contributes to a “structural deficit”) and the inevitable empire building by parks and recreation bureaucrats (still more “structural deficit”).

I have to give Franchot credit. I don’t agree with much in regards to his politics but he at least gives the illusion of attempting to act with something resembling fiduciary responsibility before tossing about our tax dollars like confetti. Too bad he’s going the get stump trained by O’Malley and his big spenders.

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