The Good News:
Ulman also intends to seek additional staffing for the Police Department, calling the 380-officer department woefully inadequate. He expects developers to dig deeper to help provide greater public amenities. He wants the county to be a national leader in finding solutions to problems of public health, education and smart growth. And Ulman expects his staff to read. "I will be assigning books ... to my staff members," he says. "I have a lot of ideas. I love people who want to solve problems and want to be focused on our challenges and look at models." Mostly, he says, the administration will be "focused on delivering the most efficient and accountable government services. ... The nuts and bolts."
(emphasis supplied). The Bad News:
His administration, for example, will not support building 5,500 housing units in downtown Columbia - a key component of the current plan to transform it into an urban center.
Now, I don't think there is anything magical about the number 5,500. But I am concerned about the NAMBY reaction the usually environmentally sensitive people of Howard County are having concerning downtown. First of all, if you want "urban," you need density. Second, whether we like it or not, growth is coming to our future. If the BRAC process works out as planned, a lot more people are coming to our area. We can either house them by expanding into presently rural areas (which is terrible for the environment and wastes energy), or we can build up rather than out. That is the real choice. Basically, we can either build these units in downtown and along the route 1 corridor or we can build them in Western HoCo or Carroll County and savour the sweet smell of their car exhaust as they drive between Carroll County and Fort Meade.
End of rant...for now at least.