The County Council’s response to the lawsuit seeking a court order that they permit presentation of a citizen’s petition regarding Lakeside–as required by their own Rules of Procedure—was to say I sued the wrong party. Technically, “Talbot County, Maryland” needed to be named, not the County Council who is ignoring its own Rules. Fair enough. So, two weeks ago I re-filed the identical papers, and this silly and unnecessary action continues with a couple of weeks lost.
But believing there are adults in the room, last night I sent the following communication to all Council Members copying key staff. (Any citizen who might want to express their own view on the Councils’ intransigence can reach Council members at the addresses below.) And to add your own name to the 227 who have so far voiced support for Petition 21-01, just send an email to that effect to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Council Members,
Ms. Moran, the Council’s Secretary, has so far listed 227 individuals (plus TPA representing its constituency) who have taken the time to email the Council to join in or voice support for Petition 21-01, submitted more than three months ago. I know few of these people, and they are from all over the County.
Your own Rules of Procedure provide specific provisions that any citizen must follow to petition the Council (in the words of the first amendment) for a redress of grievances. The provisions were followed to a Tee. I reiterate the request—for myself, the other 227 so far on that roster, and many other citizens you know are interested–that you permit the presentation of Petition 21-01, and also that you introduce the Resolution it proposes. In due time, after proper consideration, you will have the opportunity to adopt or reject (or amend) that Resolution.
You’ll recall this petition was triggered by a need to uphold the integrity of our land use review process: unbeknownst to the County, apparently significant changes were made to the Lakeside groundwater discharge permit after your approval of Resolution 281. That would be troubling in any instance, but doubly so given the scale and significance of Lakeside to the future of Talbot County. And other questions have arisen concerning the existing Trappe sewer plant that has been in violation for months, but is slated to receive hookups of the first 120 Lakeside homes.
Many of your constituents are puzzled why, instead of simply permitting presentation of Petition 21-01, you have hired a lawyer (oddly, the same gentleman who you hired as “independent counsel” to the Planning Commission) to fight not one, but two lawsuits that have had to be filed in our effort to get a court order mandating you to do what you are actually obligated to do: give us an opportunity to present our case. If your objective is delay, it has succeeded so far; this whole matter might already have been resolved (at little cost) had you permitted presentation months ago.
Council Members’ email addresses (per the County website) are:
- Chuck Callahan email@example.com
- Pete Lesher firstname.lastname@example.org
- Corey Pack email@example.com
- Frank Divilio firstname.lastname@example.org
- Laura Price email@example.com