So, I woke up this morning, turned on my Iphone, and popped on HoCoRising for my usual morning activity of looking at the links to get the day's news. I realized I was having a "moment" as I AM HoCoRising this week, and unless I sleep-blogged the night before, there were not going to be any links waiting for me.
I decided it is my duty to at least put some links, with some commentary. Here goes:
The George Howard Building renovations are almost complete. It looks like the current council will meet there September 7th. The current members of the council will have at least a little while in their new and improved permanent home before the election. An interesting quote, " The entire project cost about $40 million, Irvin said. The sale of surplus county property will leave an estimated $7 million debt to resolve in the 2012 budget."
One piece of county property the county is in the process of selling to fund the George Howard Building renovations is the Gateway School Site, across 108 from the River Hill Village Center. I often wonder about the logic of selling that prime real-estate right in the middle of one of the most depressed real estate markets of our lives. On the other hand, I am excited to see what gets built at that site. Everyone involved has been very hush-hush on the sale, and will continue to be so until everything is finalized. Some details have leaked out. The group negotiating with the county is called "GreenStone Ventures." There was a lengthy bid process, where a group of citizens appointed by Ken Ulman heard different proposals, and picked the GreenStone Ventures proposal. What is interesting about this proposal is the emphasis on "Environment Sustainability." I'm not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds pioneering
The redevelopment of the Gateway School Site, the passage last year of CB-29-2009 (the Village Center Redevelopment bill), along with meetings we had with Mary Kay, pushed the River Hill Village Board towards forming a Master Planning Committee. This committee, comprised of an amazing group of talented and involved River Hill residents is seeking to make a Master Plan to help guide future development in the River Hill area. The committee is meeting this upcoming Wednesday to decide what area to focus on. My hunch, is that the focus of the Master Plan will be along route 108 from Trotter Road (near RH High School) down past Ten Oaks Road (around the St. Louis Church and the proposed Funeral Home). I could go on and on about this master plan committee, but suffice it to say that the committee is planning on doing everything it can to obtain advice, commentary, and suggestions from the residents of the River Hill and Clarksville communities, the business and property owners along 108 and any other interested stakeholders.
In a race that will become very interesting as we get closer to the election, Watson and Flanagan traded barbs at each other. I think those involved in local politics will see Watson as somewhat of a moderate. It was quite smart of her to vote cut funds to the Healthy Howard Access Plan. Those not involved in politics (which is probably at least 75% of county residents) will see the D next to Watson's name and think twice about voting for an incumbent.
Anyone who reads this blog already saw all the numbers that HCR posted a few days ago, but here it is again in Baltimore Sun form. Basically, the article is saying that incumbents have alot more money than challengers. It is really shocking, just how little money some challengers have. Some challengers are having fund raisers very soon, though. Jody Venkatasen is having a fund raiser with Kendel Ehrlich this upcoming Saturday. As you know, I gave Jody my "winner of the Night" award in my famous (infamous?) LOWV Forum review. I was not involved in his campaign before that night, but I am now. If you are at all interested in local politics, and would like to help get someone elected that will be great for the small business community, great for jobs and great for fiscal responsibility, I strongly urge you attend his fund raiser. If you go, tell them you decided to go because you read it here.
That is it for this morning. Perhaps someone with blogging experience can help me. I can't get discus to work. I can't even find anywhere to turn it on. Any Suggestions?