Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday Round Up...

I can’t really even call this a Round Up, because I’m only linking to one story. But, whatever. I can give posts any title I want. In fact, I’m renaming this post “Thursday Stock Market Predictions and Hard Boiled Egg Pontification…” Yeah, that’s it.

Anyway, for those of you with good FM antennas, tune into 103.1 WRNR tonight for a chance to hear my band, Bittersweet, live in the Annapolis station’s studio. I’m not exactly sure what we’re doing but I know I need to be ready to go on at 9 pm.

For those of you who don’t have good FM antennas but still want to hear the band, tomorrow (Friday) is your lucky day. We’ll be playing all night at Ram’s Head in Savage, and the best part is: it’s free! Well, that and you get to see me dance.

Anyway, let’s get on with the Round Up, er, you know…

Although it may raise the cost of government and require additional planning staff, this strikes me as a good idea:

A Howard County planning and zoning staff member should attend community meetings with developers to address questions from residents, community activists said.

“It’s an opportunity for [residents] to connect to the department and the department to connect to them,” said Grace Kubofcik, co-president of the Howard County League of Women Voters, at Tuesday’s public hearing.

Residents want this provision to be included in a bill introduced by Council Member Courtney Watson, D-District 1. The proposal requires the so-called pre-submission meetings between the community and developers be held in a public building within five miles of the site, extending the current three-mile requirement.

But “we’re short on a lot of staff to do a lot of things,” said Planning and Zoning Director Marsha McLaughlin, who instead suggested providing more guidance to the developer on what questions they should be prepared to answer or issues to discuss.

The department also could provide a handout for residents explaining the zoning process and answering some frequent questions, McLaughlin said.
Handouts? Really? Don’t they already offer such materials on their website? Yes, yes they do.

I know sending a staff person to each pre-submission meeting is a burden on existing resources, but it would also provide a good deal of value to the process. I only hope that those supporting such a provision will also support the funding necessary to make it happen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

“we’re short on a lot of staff to do a lot of things,”?

How big is this shortage and for how long has it lasted? Why does the shortage exist? How soon will this staff shortage be corrected?

What things aren't being done because of this staff shortage? Are the duties of this department being completely fulfilled while this shortage exists?