Not a real ‘town hall’ meet­ing

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - John Coller, Port Tobacco

This is to ex­pose the de­cep­tions per­pe­trated at the Feb. 15 pub­lic meet­ing for the Charles County Com­mis­sion­ers. This meet­ing was fraud­u­lently ad­ver­tised as a town hall meet­ing. It was, in­stead, con­ducted as a to­tal­i­tar­ian dis­missal of le­git­i­mate ques­tions per­tain­ing to the pro­posed Wa­ter­shed Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict (WCD). No one from the pub­lic was al­lowed to ask any ques­tions in their own voice. Ques­tions had to be sub­mit­ted in writ­ing in ad­vance out­side of the meet­ing room. They were then as­sem­bled to be read aloud by Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son. This de­cep­tive tac­tic al­lowed Com­mis­sioner Robin­son to in­fer tone, edit and in some cases, dis­miss each ques­tion as he pleased. What a sham.

This bo­gus town hall meet­ing was or­ches­trated in this way to al­low Com­mis­sion­ers Robin­son, Amanda Ste­wart and Peter Mur­phy to con­tinue to con­ceal their sup­port of the WCD. They are hid­ing be­hind a disin­gen­u­ous po­si­tion that they await the fi­nal con­struct of the lan­guage prior to dis­clos­ing their sup­port. These com­mis­sion­ers ini­ti­ated al­ter­ations pro­posed in this WCD and re­turned it to the plan­ning com­mis­sion. Their egre­gious new zon- ing cat­e­gory should be re­named the “Prop­erty Con­fis­ca­tion Dis­trict.”

Charles County gov­ern­ment is headed by five com­mis­sion­ers. Ex­ec­u­tive and leg­isla­tive pow­ers within that of­fice are han­dled by a sim­ple ma­jor­ity vote. These are right ver­sus wrong is­sues, not Demo­crat ver­sus Repub­li­can is­sues. All five of our com­mis­sion­ers are Demo­crat party mem­bers. Com­mis­sion­ers Bobby Rucci and De­bra Davis have pub­licly and clearly stated their op­po­si­tion to the WCD. It is time that we hear from Com­mis­sion­ers Robin­son, Ste­wart and Mur­phy on why they sup­port the WCD. They had a per­fect op­por­tu­nity to de­fend their po­si­tions and they blew it.

Charles County cit­i­zens should con­tact Com­mis­sion­ers Rucci and Davis to com­mend them for tak­ing a stand. They also need to con­tact Com­mis­sion­ers Ste­wart, Mur­phy and Robin­son to en­cour­age them to pub­licly de­fend their po­si­tions on the WCD and how to con­duct real town hall meet­ings. This work can­not be left to only those 9,500 fam­i­lies di­rectly af­fected by these is­sues. Our neigh­bors on the western side of Charles County are wor­thy of our ad­vo­cacy and pro­tec­tion.

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