Volume 15, Issue 4 ~ January 25 - January 31, 2007

Letters to the Editor

We welcome your opinions and letters – with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 • E-mail them to editor@bayweekly.com. or submit your letters on line, click here

Leopold Defends His Environmentalism

Dear Bay Weekly:

In order to achieve its stated mission of providing “more than dismal, doom-and-gloom news,” Bay Weekly should hone its journalistic objectivity skills and try to avoid feckless editorials such as its recent one [Prove It Isn’t So, Executive Leopold: Vol. xv, No. 3: Jan. 18] regarding smart growth.

Restructuring county government does not, as the editorial implied, equate to a diminished commitment to responsible growth management.

Consider the following:

1. My decision to abolish an unnecessary level of bureaucracy between the county executive and the department heads (land use officer) was mentioned often during the marathon campaign for county executive, and no one should be surprised at this cost-saving action.

2. I was the first sponsor of smart growth legislation in 1996 (with then-delegate and now-senator Jim Rosapepe) and sponsored legislation, which was enacted, that encourages regional smart growth (again, mentioned often in the campaign). I have discussed my interest in acting upon this initiative with Gov. Martin O’Malley and several county executives in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

3. I have announced my intent to forward violations of the Critical Area Law to the attorney general’s office for prosecution and have asked the Anne Arundel Senate-House Delegation to sponsor legislation that would extend from one to three years the statute of limitations for environmental law prosecutions.

I have appointed Betty Dixon as the director of the Office of Inspections and Permits; Ms. Dixon has a well-deserved reputation for competence and integrity on land use and environment issues.

As promised, I have begun the preliminary planning for the 2007 revision of the General Development Plan, which will be the central tool for managing county growth in a responsible way.

In short, growth remains “at the top of my list of priorities,” and even a cursory review of my administration’s actions to date would confirm this fact. Bay Weekly was not timid about interviewing me during the campaign prior to the publication of its numerous articles, interviews and editorials. In the interest of objectivity, it should endeavor to continue to do so.

—John R. Leopold, Anne Arundel County Executive

Readers’ Best of Bay Weekly

Dear Bay Weekly:

A friend sent me an article from your paper written by Allen Delaney about a pencil holder [Bay Weekly’s 11th Hour Guide to Gifted Giving: Vol. xiv, No.50: Dec. 14, 2006], and I was deeply moved. I am a mother and elementary school teacher. He gave a touching example that brought back many memories. I really enjoyed it and would like to give him my vote for best articles.

—Alice R. Otis, Potomac Falls, Va.

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