This is a topic that, beyond this short update, should rightly wait till after Christmas. Just know that red flags are out, flying stiff on the wind.
Six weeks after the Council election in which “Reset Lakeside” was front and center and where a majority of three explicitly voiced support for the movement (and another candidate was non-committal), the political winds seem suddenly to have shifted. The “Reset” initiative of course was not the only issue considered in the recent election, but no one can deny that it was a real focus.
The Reset initiative, triggered by improprieties in the Lakeside approval processes during the prior Council’s term, demands protection of our Planning Commission’s authority under Maryland law to decide if amendments to our sewer plan are, or are not, consistent with our Comprehensive Plan. In the case of Lakeside, the Planning Commission determined it is NOT consistent, which the former Council ignored and a majority of the new Council pledged to set right.
The consequence of acknowledging the Commission’s authority would be to “Reset Lakeside,” and before proceeding it would have to come back to the Commission for a new review. And not just by the Planning Commission: the Public Works Advisory Board, the citizens (in a public hearing), and ultimately the new Council would review it too. In that process, for the first time the community can discuss schools, traffic, taxes, health care capacity and all the rest.
Beyond yard signs, specific legislation to set this right was respectfully submitted to Council members and made public over two weeks ago. Pete Lesher announced at the Council’s first meeting last week that he is prepared to introduce it at the next meeting (January 10th, put it on your calendar).
But do not assume all is well and the initiative is proceeding as one would expect. There are indications to the contrary, though there will be time enough after the holidays to better evaluate the situation.
(Perhaps there is really no serious problem afoot, and those of us familiar with current events are just seeing the conflation two things. First, some Council members may be thinking this request is really just Dan Watson’s caper alone, as former Councilman Divilio always portrayed it…”one dude down the road.” Hearing often from one spokesman, perhaps it’s easy to forget this is a community-wide project with broad support. The second reality is that, while not the intent, I’m sure my continued efforts for adoption of the needed Resolution can seem annoyingly pushy, very irritating in fact. Maybe the messenger is detracting from the message.)
In any event, an alert is enough. All the rest should be set aside till after the holidays, as family and friends and the meaning of the season take precedent. Merry Christmas!
The Talbot Integrity Project
Letters to Editor
Bob Wenneson says
The holidays are here. Lots of focus on family and non-County matters… And even unrelated County matters are plentiful (like the litigation initiated due to the unseemly, last-minute appointment of a new Planning Commission member by the outgoing council). BUT, there is no question that the Lakeside Reset matter is of the highest priority to many members of the community. We certainly hope it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle or reprioritized by whatever new issue comes along. This will be a real opportunity for the County citizenry to see if the new Council members are really there to thoroughly address the Lakeside matter (for the first time) and whether they will actually follow through on their campaign commitments.
Michael Davis says
I will put the date on my calendar to do something about this. Resetting Lakeside is not just a Dan Watson caper.
Robert Flower says
I strongly support “reset lakeside” as a mega project and others planned for our county will forever change the character and environment of our wonderful home.
Totch Hartge says
Let’s go back to day one. Learn from the missteps, the omissions and commissions of a very flawed history. Let’s have a “best practices” approach on every facet of a growth and development project. Certainly it is done right elsewhere. Let’s identify good examples and carefully plagiarize.
At this point, no hurry to do it right.
Sheilah Egan says
Dan Watson, thank you for the Alert. You are not just “one dude” — you do have people ready to stand with you on these important issues. Thank you for your persistence and knowledgeable efforts.
Karl Cadem Lemp says
Thanks, Dan. Please keep at it!