On August 28th at the Talbot County Council meeting I watched the most amazing game of Kick the Can played by three adults that I have ever seen. The “can” is the zoning changes known as Nextstep190. It has been in the works for two years, since the update of the County Comprehensive Plan which also took two years to draft. There was to be a vote by the Council to accept or reject the zoning changes with amendments attached. All but one, introduced by Jennifer Williams Friday late afternoon of August 24 two days before scheduled vote; of these of these amendments had been before the public and the Council for several weeks and had been subject to public hearings.
Mr. Callahan said he needed more time to study Nextstep190 and its amendments. Ms. Williams happily gave him more time. Now what baffles me is these zoning changes have been TWO years in the making. The changes are in order to be in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan, that also took TWO years to update. FOUR years of dwelling on these issues is not enough time? Perhaps someone should offer Cliff Notes.
Mr. Pack is going on vacation and will out of the country on September 11, the next Council meeting where Nextstep190 will once again be on the agenda. He will give his proxy. What if other amendments are offered after Mr. Pack leaves? A split vote kills it. Does the entirety of Nextstep190 die as well?
So, how does this game end? Does Jennifer Williams, with her manipulative, opaque methodology accompanied by two enablers win, dooming Talbot County to sprawling, ear splitting, uncontrolled growth? Or do the voters cast their votes in November for Laura Price, who listens, considers, offers thoughtful solutions to the issues of concern, along with four new council members who have no vested interest, as Ms. Williams and Mr. Callahan do? I want to protect my home and County. I know how I’m voting. But first, we have to get through the next Council meeting on September 11 and possible vote up or down. Let your voices be heard.