Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Back in the saddle?

My mental absence or recent aversion to controversy has not gone unnoticed. Verses have been penned, lamentations expressed, and gauntlet thrown. The fluff pieces of the past couple weeks, it seems, weren't meaty enough for some -- although the post about Metro and Personal Rapid Transit drew several comments, many of which, I think, were from non-Howard County transit partisans.

Anyway, I want to quickly respond to a few things written over the last couple days about the zoning reforms being pushed by the council Democrats. As I've said before, I am supportive of what they are trying to do, even though these are only tweaks to a system in need of a full-scale overhauling. And, though I understand why the council Democrats took the larger proposed changes off the table, I think that to a large part the criticism they received for their plan was unwarranted. But, then, I also think that council members who dealt with numerous controversial and sticky zoning cases -- Maple Lawn, Town Center, Comp Zoning and Comp Lite -- would do a better job at amending the process than a group of newbies. But, political realities dictated otherwise, which is the way it goes.

More specifically, I want to respond to David Keelan's post in response to The Sun's story about Monday's hearing on the zoning bills. It sounds like those who offered testimony at the hearing, including Keelan, generally supported most of the proposed changes, but not without offering several suggestions for how to tweak the tweaks. The Democratic sponsors of the bills responded to the Sun thusly:

“We’re going to take the feedback and make them better,” said east Columbia Democrat Calvin Ball

The idea of using voluntary mediation in Zoning Board cases took the most fire from a baker’s dozen speakers, and Guzzone, a North Laurel-Savage Democrat, suggested changing that bill.

Added Ulman, a west Columbia Democrat: “We’ll work through potential changes.”

It sounds like they're doing their jobs as legislators. That is, proposing bills, soliciting feedback, and making changes to the bills accordingly. Here's what Keelan had to say about these three quotes:

Make it better, changing the bill, and POTENTIAL changes.

Is it me? It has to be me. Am I reading something into Ulman’s words that isn’t there? Potential changes? Why are Ball and Guzzone on board with changes and Ulman will look at that potential. It comes off as arrogant.

In answer to his first two questions, yes. Parsing written policies or laws is fine, but doing so to a five-word quote without context is beyond reasonable speculation. Although I wasn't there and didn't watch the hearing on GTV, I'm pretty sure that there were numerous, non-uniform suggestions made by the participating citizens, meaning the council members should probably consider all of the potential changes and decide upon them using their best judgment, which is precisely what we elected them to do.

Now, if Keelan perceives this statement as arrogant, who am I to argue someone else's perception? But he did ask the questions.

The second thing I want to respond to regarding this slate of bills is a comment made by blog poet laureate (and I mean that honestly -- I really enjoyed your poem, Mary) Mary Smith on Keelan's blog. She says:
Does anyone really think that any member of the sitting council cares about citizen input on zoning? If so, based on what? They don’t care! Come on. None of them.
I know not everyone in Howard County is as concerned about Town Center as me or other Columbians. And I know memories are often short. But I think it's worthwhile to look back to almost exactly three years ago -- my 26th birthday to be exact -- when the first hearing was held on the Rouse Company's hubristic proposal to forge ahead with new development in Town Center against the almost unanimous wishes of the community.

During that entire process, in which I was intimately involved, both Ulman and Guzzone adamantly supported citizens and worked dilligently to ensure the ill-conceived plans of Rouse Co. (later GGP) did not move forward. They both made abundantly clear that a plan involving and supported by residents would be the only way large-scale additional development would be approved. Out of this drawn-out imbriolgio came the Columbia charrette, which was the most citizen-driven planning process this county has ever known.

Now, I know there are some who feel the citizens were shut out of or poorly informed about the charrette, that the outcomes were predetermined. I put very little stock in these arguments, mainly because of the tremendous work still being done by the Focus Group and others to craft an agreeable plan. I would also point to the fact that, after a meeting in February when citizens expressed concern about the timetable in which the plan was being developed, the county agreed to slow things down.

Hmm, there was something else I wanted to say but I forgot...

Oh yeah, the proposal to add mediation as a possible solution to developer-citizen impasses. For some reason this seems to be the most maligned of the proposed zoning changes, but I really like it. The argument against it is that zoning decisions and zoning laws are black and white and there's no need to mediate when the issues are black and white. While some are, many of these cases aren't black and white. The zoning board case involving Rouse Co.'s initial Town Center proposal wasn't clear cut and the charrette, I think, was a form of mediation.

Of course, my opinion of mediation is probably a result of my predilection for compromise (which is why I'm an awful partisan) and my belief that Euclidean zoning should be banished. But that, my friends, is a whole 'nother story.

(Note: Something went totally haywire when I ran spellchecker and a bunch of words got thrown around. I've tried to correct the multitude of errors, but let me know in comments if you spot something amiss. Thanks!)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I didn't participate in the charette, I was glad to see both the level of community involvement and the slowing down of the process to a pace where sufficient input, scrutiny, and planning are now possible.

That said, I would very much welcome further improving the charette process to become an e-charette, allowing time- and distance-shifting, making it far more inclusive for those who can't be at location X at time Y to participate.

David W. Keelan said...

Welcome back.

I hope I wasn't responsible for your upset stomach.

Love,

Keelan

mary smith said...

That is not the only argument against mediation. Mediation is compromise and assumes compromise is a good thing but in fact is highly inappropriate in cases where the balance of power is skewed toward one side, ie., nearly every conflict humans engage and certainly with the power-wielding developer community who has private access to council members at will, vs. the ignored citizenry (without tangentially travelling down the example path). The second reason is that mediation is compromise, again: two parties agree to middle ground, without regard for the original positions, or the really representative positions. Party A can be extremely far away from the real middle, but as long as Party B is in the middle at the outset, the new middle is very close to Party A's objectives, creating an atmosphere that fosters rigid extreme posturing prior to mediation, and patently unfair compromise. Compromise wouldn't have been good for many conflicts in our history.

Hayduke said...

Anon: I've thought the same thing about making our entire planning and development system (not just the charrette) more open and participatory using technology. It is ironic and unfortunate that the charrette focus group meets at 3:30 pm on Wednesdays. I'm actually a little surprised there hasn't been a louder chorus calling holding these meetings at more accessible times.

Keelan: I wish you were responsible. Then, I could just stop reading your blog and I'd be fine. (insert smiley face here).

Mary: ...creating an atmosphere that fosters rigid extreme posturing prior to mediation...

Which is not an inapt description of situations we see now, unfortunately, only without the option of mediation or real compromise.

Anonymous said...

Making it even more ironic that the focus groups meet at 3:30 p.m. is that DPZ regulations were changed for required meetings developers have to hold to inform interested neighbors to a development of the planned project. Originally, the developer was allowed to hold these meetings during business hours, forcing neighbors to choose between their paycheck and attending a development meeting. I believe regulations changed a couple years ago and now these meetings must be held in the evening, making them far more convenient for most folks. Maybe someone should bring up this fact at the next focus group meeting?

Anonymous said...

Hayduke, i must really disagree with your perception of the whole zoning process and your embracing of the cahrette process and the ill-advised proposals to use mediation in land use disputes. You even want to do away with Euclidean zoning??? What would you put in it's place - anarchy? I'll get back to that, but first I must jump in an set the record straight about the whole Town Center Columbia fiasco. And I can make these statements since I was very involved in the Crescent Property sketch plan, so this is not speculation.

In the beginning, HRD proposed a zoning change for Columbia New Town (not just Town Center, but for the whole project since it was started under a single initial zoning application). The Zoning Board, aka the Council, heard that case and took action to deny the request. I make no issue of whether that action was right or wrong. It could have gone either way, but the political winds were blowing in a certain direction at that time.

After that denial, HRD (now called General Growth Properties - GGP), filed a sketch plan to develop the Crescent Property located next to Merriweather Post Pavillion. The Crescent Property was desingated as "Commercial" and "Open Space", with the majority being commercial, under the original zoning request filed by Jim Rouse (whose name is over-invoked by those opposed to development in Columbia, without knowing the facts about Columbia New Town). GGP had every right to develop that land with retail, offices, and elderly housing since those proposed uses were consistent with what was approved when Columbia New Town was first approved. It does NOT matter that that approval occured long ago. Ken Ulman and Guy Guzzone ordered the Planning Board to delay action indefinitely as leverage to get GGP to promise not to sell MPP (I know this for a FACT - I'm friends with an attorney in the County OFFICE of LAW who told me so). BUT, that promise would not come free of charge. Ulman and Guzzone had to promise GGP something in return. And what was promised was additional density. But how could they do that without contradicting their denial of the prior zoning change??? This is where Ken Ulman thought up the wonderful idea of a Charette. Let's get the public involved, make them feel like part of the discussion, and the public can give their voice of approval on the course of action for Town Center. That way, Ken Ulman and Guy Guzzone wouldn't be blamed for all of the subsequent problems: massive gridlock, noise, overcrowding of schools, lack of water and sewer service from an overburdened system. It really was quite clever. The Zoning Board wouldn't take action on their own, they would simply follow "the will of the people". The whole charette (or as I think it should be referred to - the CHARADE) was PREDETERMINED from the start. It ranks as the best con job since Robert Redford and Paul Newman in "THe STING".

Some additional thoughts to consider:

1) If the Planning was "correct" to not approve the Crescent Property sketch plan, then why would they approve the charette (charade) produced Master Plan recommendations, which proposed even MORE density and commercial development than the sketch plan proposed???????

2) Where in the County Code or Charter is there even any mention of a "charette" process? How is any of what is being done legitimate under the law? Does GGP have to adhere to any restrictions imposed?

3) Why is Ulman backing away from the charette that he was so proud of when it first started? Maybe he's embarassed that the public caught onto the flim-flam-sham that he started?

4) Why didn't Ulman and Guzzone look into traffic and water/sewer capacity issues BEFORE they wasted $250,000 of tax payer dollars for their little game of "Let's Make A Deal" with GGP.

5) Hayduke - you testified at the Crescent Property hearings (you actually did a very good job of presenting facts and concrete questions as opposed to emotional blatherings like most of the testifiers). Were you only opposed to the development because of potential impacts to MPP? Or, were you opposed to development altogether? If the latter, then why support the charette?

6) If all of the additional density is approved, do you really think that MPP will STAY open air? Think about it. Several thousand more residences on the Crescent Property and elsewhere in Town Center. Those units will be built, and then there will be a quiet push to enclose MPP since the noise will be too bothersome for the residents. Ken Ulman will betray the efforts of Save Merriweather if the charette backed plan is approved and he is elected Executive. Mark my words (stated on this day) - he will betray you because he has promises to uphold to a lot of people.

Hayduke said...

Anonymous:

You’ve done little to set the record straight.


There’s a very clear point in your comment when you dispense with facts in favor of hyperbole, insulations and simple lies. This is not speculation on my part, because, like you, I was very involved in the Crescent Property sketch plan.

Your description of the process leading up to the charrette is correct, until you say this:

Ken Ulman and Guy Guzzone ordered the Planning Board to delay action indefinitely as leverage to get GGP to promise not to sell MPP (I know this for a FACT - I'm friends with an attorney in the County OFFICE of LAW who told me so).

Even if your inside source said it to be so, that does not make your accusation a FACT. During the time of the Planning Board case, the county was actively studying whether to buy Merriweather. What’s more, before the PB case had finished, GGP had already announced its intentions to hold on to the pavilion and keep it open.
You then prattle off an extensive, non-reality-based conspiracy theory that rests on your initial flawed assumptions, even invoking the tired, cynical charrette-charade pun. I don’t have the energy or even the remote desire to address your perfectly-concocted fantasy of the nefarious motives and overly-calculated actions.

Once you’ve gotten your fill of conspiracy theories you do ask a few relevant questions.

If the Planning was "correct" to not approve the Crescent Property sketch plan, then why would they approve the charette (charade) produced Master Plan recommendations, which proposed even MORE density and commercial development than the sketch plan proposed???????



For someone with such a keen understanding of the process, you really don’t go out of your way to show it. It was, of course, the Zoning Board that didn’t approve the Crescent Property sketch plan, but I’ll agree that that is a minor, inconsequential detail. As for why, I seem to remember that a major justification used to deny the Crescent sketch plan was a lack of a plan and a lack of even some citizen input in future development decisions – hence the charrette and master plan.

2) Where in the County Code or Charter is there even any mention of a "charette" process? How is any of what is being done legitimate under the law? Does GGP have to adhere to any restrictions imposed?

Since part of the master plan will be a new overlay zoning district, then I’m guessing, like all property owners, GGP will have to adhere to the zoning on their property.

3) Why is Ulman backing away from the charette that he was so proud of when it first started? Maybe he's embarassed that the public caught onto the flim-flam-sham that he started?

I don’t think he’s backing away from it. I think he’s letting the process work itself out. I know, it seems strange that something that was predetermined from the start would require so much time-consuming nitpicking and analysis from a group of citizens – the Focus Group. But I guess they’re all in on it, too.

4) Why didn't Ulman and Guzzone look into traffic and water/sewer capacity issues BEFORE they wasted $250,000 of tax payer dollars for their little game of "Let's Make A Deal" with GGP.

How do you know what kind of capacity you’re going to need before you have a plan for future development? Seems like you’re putting the cart before the horse with this one.

5) Hayduke - you testified at the Crescent Property hearings (you actually did a very good job of presenting facts and concrete questions as opposed to emotional blatherings like most of the testifiers). Were you only opposed to the development because of potential impacts to MPP? Or, were you opposed to development altogether? If the latter, then why support the charette?

Actually, Save Merriweather was never opposed to development on the Crescent. I’m too lazy to link to it now, but you can read our position on our website – www.savemerriweather.com. Indeed, the main thrust of our opposition was always that Rouse then GGP were going ahead with the final, key developments in Town Center without a plan. And what’s more, the citizens would have very little say in development decisions. THIS WAS AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN OUR POSITION.

6) If all of the additional density is approved, do you really think that MPP will STAY open air? Think about it. Several thousand more residences on the Crescent Property and elsewhere in Town Center. Those units will be built, and then there will be a quiet push to enclose MPP since the noise will be too bothersome for the residents. Ken Ulman will betray the efforts of Save Merriweather if the charette backed plan is approved and he is elected Executive. Mark my words (stated on this day) - he will betray you because he has promises to uphold to a lot of people.

I hope MPP stays. Granted, we don’t own it, but GGP (I think) has learned its lesson about messing with it. And people like me will always be around to keep an eye on things.

As for Ulman, I’d be happy to mark your words, but they hold almost no weight coming from someone who can’t even bother to use an identifier when spouting off. I know, I was anonymous for several months when I started this blog, but then and now, I never attacked without cause or offered unsubstantiated accusations about others. I have no problem with anonymity so long as those behind its veil adhere to some level of decorum and respect for others (and, for that matter, facts).

Anonymous said...

Hayduke - I am afraid YOU have your facts wrong. The Zoning Board never heard any of the Crescent SKETCH PLAN hearings. The Zoning Board acted on the original re-zoning request. The PLANNING BOARD, and only the PLANNING BOARD was involved with the Sketch Plan (I believe it was file reference S-05-03). SKETCH PLANS do not require Zoning Board approval - so please, get your facts straight before you pipe off to me about the process.

Secondly, you accuse me of speculation and wrongly accusing Ulman of misdeeds without any facts. It's convenient for you to dismiss the facts that I do offer, and if you refuse to see the light, then no amount of additional facts will help.

Thirdly, and again, you're showing YOUR lack of knowledge of the process, the County application checklist for the Crescent Sketch Plan does NOT require detailed plans to be submitted. It's a sketch plan, so the information is conceptual - it will then be fine-tuned during the Site Plan process, at which time the Planning Board must review and approve those plans as well. So, there is no need for 100% details at the sketch plan stage. The details come at the SITE PLAN stage. The Planning Board could have, and always has done in the past, approved the sketch plan, subject to CONDITIONS of APPROVAL if there were certain issues such as pedestrian safety, that were raised at the Sketch Plan stage. Developers don't come up with a final plan first. They incrementally fine tune it as they go through the County established process. It looks as though you're the one that wants to put the cart (the SITE PLAN) before the horse (the SKETCH PLAN).

As for being anonymous, well, let's just say that I have concerns about retribution from people like Ulman who does not play nicely when it comes to people criticizing him and his brazen arrogance. Oh - I can also offer plenty of other examples where Ulman, and even Guzzone, broke the law to curry favor with their developer friends, but I guess that's just me "making up conspiracy theories".

The Focus Group is not in on the charette scam. That's my whole point. They think that their input is going to matter but it won't because Ulman, Guzzone, and Robey have already decided what course of action to take. They are simply "humoring" the people by making them feel like they are part of the discussion when they really aren't. That's what is offensive.

Keep saying to yourself that Ulman is not corrupt - but it won't make it true.

Anonymous said...

Hayduke - I am afraid YOU have your facts wrong. The Zoning Board never heard any of the Crescent SKETCH PLAN hearings. The Zoning Board acted on the original re-zoning request. The PLANNING BOARD, and only the PLANNING BOARD was involved with the Sketch Plan (I believe it was file reference S-05-03). SKETCH PLANS do not require Zoning Board approval - so please, get your facts straight before you pipe off to me about the process.

Secondly, you accuse me of speculation and wrongly accusing Ulman of misdeeds without any facts. It's convenient for you to dismiss the facts that I do offer, and if you refuse to see the light, then no amount of additional facts will help.

Thirdly, and again, you're showing YOUR lack of knowledge of the process, the County application checklist for the Crescent Sketch Plan does NOT require detailed plans to be submitted. It's a sketch plan, so the information is conceptual - it will then be fine-tuned during the Site Plan process, at which time the Planning Board must review and approve those plans as well. So, there is no need for 100% details at the sketch plan stage. The details come at the SITE PLAN stage. The Planning Board could have, and always has done in the past, approved the sketch plan, subject to CONDITIONS of APPROVAL if there were certain issues such as pedestrian safety, that were raised at the Sketch Plan stage. Developers don't come up with a final plan first. They incrementally fine tune it as they go through the County established process. It looks as though you're the one that wants to put the cart (the SITE PLAN) before the horse (the SKETCH PLAN).

As for being anonymous, well, let's just say that I have concerns about retribution from people like Ulman who does not play nicely when it comes to people criticizing him and his brazen arrogance. Oh - I can also offer plenty of other examples where Ulman, and even Guzzone, broke the law to curry favor with their developer friends, but I guess that's just me "making up conspiracy theories".

The Focus Group is not in on the charette scam. That's my whole point. They think that their input is going to matter but it won't because Ulman, Guzzone, and Robey have already decided what course of action to take. They are simply "humoring" the people by making them feel like they are part of the discussion when they really aren't. That's what is offensive.

Keep saying to yourself that Ulman is not corrupt - but it won't make it true.

Anonymous said...

One other thing Hayduke - if GGP had already promised not enclose MPP, and since GGP also promised to not build "big box retail" on the Crescent Property, then why didn't the Planning Board approve the plan? Or, if not satisfied, why not deny it? Instead, they dragged it out (also in violation of Board procedures to schedule continuances not more than 2 weeks later) and never took action. If they had denied it, GGP would have appealed, and would have won because they met the letter of the law.

I know people like you don't believe in the letter of the law. You think that law should be nebulous. What if one day, a council person just decided that decks should not be allowed? There is a legislative process to change the laws. If you, or Mr. Ulman, do not like the DPZ process and what information is required of the developer, then change the process. But, don't try to change it in the middle of an application. That's like changing the rules in the 7th inning of a baseball game.

Anonymous said...

Hayduke - let's clarify this.

4) Why didn't Ulman and Guzzone look into traffic and water/sewer capacity issues BEFORE they wasted $250,000 of tax payer dollars for their little game of "Let's Make A Deal" with GGP.

[Your response to me] How do you know what kind of capacity you’re going to need before you have a plan for future development? Seems like you’re putting the cart before the horse with this one.


Well, let's think about this. Ulman and Guzzone obivously knew from all of their various dealing with GGP on the denied zoning case and through various meetings that they had together (which have been documented in the press - so no accusations of speculation, please), that GGP's goal was to get several thousand additional residential units and a large amount of commercial retail and or office space. The exact number is not necessary. Just taking a ballpark figure and examining the current water and sewer systems that serve Columbia would have told them if there would or would not be a problem. It's called doing your homework, and Ulman and Guzzone get an "F".

You also surprise me in one of your other postings by inidcating that you hope the Focus Group doesn't get bogged down in details of the Master Plan. Yet, you wanted ALL of the details up front for the Crescent Property Sketch Plan. You seem to be a little inconsistent in your stances.

Hayduke said...

I obviously acted like an ass last Friday. Well, I’m not sure I acted like one, but I wrote like one. I admit to confusion over the sketch plan vs. text change sought in the zoning case. Mea culpa.

With respect to plans, no one in either the zoning board or the planning board case asked for plans with 100 percent of the details. However, the idea that a plan was needed before any additional development occurred was supported almost unanimously by citizens, public officials and General Growth. Would you insinuate that all those who supported in concept the process of a charrette for Town Center are people, like you said of me, “who don’t believe in the letter of the law”? There was also support for more citizen involvement and for changing the process. All three of these are components of the town center master plan.

Also, I think it’s important to point out that the planning board never took any action on the sketch plan, aside from continuing the hearings. GGP withdrew from the case (at least temporarily) months after it had undertaken its own community planning process.

As for my own “inconsistencies” regarding the level of detail we should have in a plan. Maybe I’m just being an ass again, but I’m going to say there’s a degree of nuance you aren’t seeing. I’ve never said I wanted to see all of the details – as some have advocated for the TC master plan – but I do think we need some, and I think for the most part the focus group has found a decent balance. It is, after all, a 30 year plan, pinning down all the details is impossible and makes the plan unworkable.

Considering most are prominent members and leaders in our community, if the final plan that’s presented reflects none of their input, how do you think they will react? Do you really think a plan would be approved without their support -- in fact over their outright opposition?

On then to your baseless attacks. You say with respect to Ken Ulman’s supposed misdeeds: “It’s convenient for you to dismiss the facts that I do offer, and if you refuse to see the light, then no amount of additional facts will help.” The fact you offered was that your friend worked for the Office of Law and that’s what he told you. That is not a fact. That is gossip and insinuation. There is no way for me or anyone reading this to independently verify your “fact.”

There’s also this one: “I can also offer plenty of other examples where Ulman, and even Guzzone, broke the law to curry favor with their developer friends, but I guess that’s just me “making up conspiracy theories.” Until you cite specific examples, yes. Do you realize that you are throwing out criminal accusations without any corroborating evidence? I know they’re public officials and they’re used to getting attacked, but that’s no excuse. Show some evidence or show some restraint.

Finally, there’s this sentence: “As for being anonymous, well, let’s just say that I have concerns about retribution from people like Ulman who does not play nicely when it comes to people criticizing him and his brazen arrogance.” What do you think would happen to you? Do you question if maybe you’re being paranoid, or do you have evidence of actual retribution?

The last time I heard something along those lines it was from someone who had the same fears about the Rouse Company. He warned that those willing to stand in the way of their financial gain would suffer the company's ire, would be followed on the way home from meetings, and would find their lives tampered in other ways. Was it you who told me this?

Anonymous said...

Hayduke - it's fine to admit to being an ass on occasion. Heck, it happens to all of us from time to time.

I'm not opposed to the concept of a charette, as long as it is TRULY open to all comers and not just some election year stunt (which I believe this charette is - that's my opinion). However, I am opposed to an elected official like Ken Ulman, interfering in the review process (established laws and procedures) as he did with the Crescent Sketch Plan. The person in the Office of Law was not gossiping - that person was given an order by Ulman, so I view that as corroberation of Ulman's misdeeds. My main point on the Crescent Property is that GGP had A RIGHT to do what they were proposing to do under THAT PLAN. That plan was nothing more than a procedural confirmation of the land use designations given to that land on the Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) for Columbia, 40 years ago. How did the Planning Board, or any citizen, or Ken Ulman, have any right to deny GGP what they were already given approval to do? Again, the citizen input could have come at the SITE PLAN stage, and I have no objection to citizens offering their input and participating in the development process in an OPEN manner, and in accordance with the laws, as opposed to Ken's behind the scenes manipulation of the Planning Board.

If you want other examples of misdeeds by Mr. Ulman, go review the site plan case for the Iron Bridge Wine Copmay (SDP-05-03, I think). Better yet, go talk to the neighbors of that restaurant and ask them how they were treated by Mr. Ulman when they appoached him with concerns about the Wine Bridge Company.

Or, how about the Comp Lite fiasco? Surely you have heard about that? He BROKE THE LAW. Go and read the County Code (you should also read the posting on HoCoMd blog site that explains the legalities perfectly) and you will see FOR FACT, that what he did was ILLEGAL. And, there are some 8,000 other people who signed the referendum petition who agree with me. Or maybe they are just spinning conspiracy theories also.

So, my statement that Ken Ulman is CORRUPT, is not a criminal accusation, it is a factual statement proven by his actions on Comp Lite, and reinforced by his other misdeeds in office.

As for Mr. Guzzone, go to the County offices and ask to see WP-03-145, Waterford Lot 3 (I think I'm right on that file number). The file has been missing for 3 years. Mr. Guzzone is friends with the Petitioner, Mr. Nazario. The waiver was never approved, nor was his plat ever re-recorded, but the Petitioner nevertheless built his driveway. Oh I almost forgot, the Petitioner also gave Mr. Guzzone a $200 campaign contribution around the same time. Coindence? I'll let you be the judge. That file, by the way is a public record, so whoever hid/destroyed it broke the law as well.

Go back to the last Council election when Ken Ulman accused Joan Lancos (who is a VERY upstanding and honorable person) of being in the developers' pockets. NOW, jump forward to today and go take a look at who is giving Ken Ulman campaign contributions. A lot of BIG developers. Gotta love a HYPOCRITE!

As for your question on retribution, you don't wait for something bad to happen before taking preventitve measures. If it really came down to it, I would sign a sworn affidavit to all of the knowledge that I have about what I allege Ulman to have done. That should indicate that I do not make these statements lightly. It is a very serious situation, and I take my position very seriously.

It's hard to admit that the person you support is corrupt, but there you have it. COMP LITE. COMP LITE. COMP LITE. It is the essence of Ulman's "legacy".

mary smith said...

Anon:

Where did you go? Readers need to hear both sides of discussions, but you seem to have disappeared, providing no further dimensions on some of these weightier topics.