The following is from the December edition of a monthly column written by Anne Arundel County Councilman Dick Ladd (R-5th District), a resident of the Broadneck peninsula.
As we move beyond another notable demonstration of the constitutionally based power of our democratic institutions to peacefully select our government leadership, we should be proud of the seminal, precursor events that occurred here which officially ended the Revolutionary War and began the pre-Constitution period (1774-1786). During the so-called “Annapolis Era” (1783-86), many of the fundamentals and enduring details were worked out here as Annapolis served temporarily as our Nation’s capital (1783-1784).
Of current note, I must recognize and be thankful for Albert M. Johnston, who passed away recently. For decades, Al has been the nucleus of civic mindedness in Severna Park. Yes, there has been others, there are others, and there will be others, but no one will surpass his vigor, fairness, diligence, thoroughness, thoughtfulness, and his vision. Al knew and loved Severna Park and Anne Arundel County. He was selfless in his willingness to help others help their community. After discussions with Al, I would leave with a clear picture of what Severna Park was, is, and should be. He, his faith in people, and his vision will be missed deeply. We all lost a good friend.
On a much happier note, Severna Park resident, Ande Fulton, Personnel Director for Anne Arundel County, was recently named Personnel Executive of the Year by the Local Government Personnel Association. This is a well-deserved recognition for the person responsible for the County’s human resources management. The backbone of local government is its employees, their qualifications, and experience. We are fortunate to have Ande leading our HR team and we thank her for caring.
Two points of information:
First, residents who have a “grinder pump” in their sewer connection are probably aware of the consequences of losing electrical power. After working diligently with the folks in the Department of Public Works on this issue and after a lot of discussion, DPW has agreed to allow private, whole house generators (not to be confused with portable generators) to provide emergency backup power to grinder pumps. Information on the requirements will soon be distributed to those “grinder pump” residents. In the meantime, if you would like information on this subject, please sure to contact our office and I will be happy to send you more detailed information.
Second, Bill 93-12 (http://www.aacounty.org/CountyCouncil/Resources/2012/93-12.pdf) has been introduced by the County which will incorporate recent changes required by the State’s critical area law. (See www.dnr.state.md.us/criticalarea/ for information on the State’s critical area law.). This legislation is not easily and quickly understood. Some initial impressions follow.
The legislation will strengthen the administration and enforcement of the County’s critical area program by substantially increasing (doubling) certain fines, increasing fees (20-25%) and making certain technical changes.
Significantly, special interest parties – not just adjoining property interests -- can become a party to any waiver request, appeal or violation process.
Based on my read of 93-12, if you are a property owner within the critical area (common to much of Severna Park and the Broadneck peninsula), little has changed -- no unapproved use of a shovel or saw is permitted. There is nothing you can do other than weed, garden and cut grass without getting prior approval – without getting a vegetation management plan (buffer management plan), a standard grading plan or a grading permit approved. I hope more home owner flexibility will be clearly permitted in the final version. (See www.aacounty.org/PlanZone/Development/CriticalAreas.cfm)
The public hearing for Bill 93-12 is scheduled for January 7, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. at the County Council Chambers at 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland.
In closing, I remain thankful for the bounty placed in my life by family, friends, and circumstances to include the opportunity to serve my community. I wish you a very Happy Holiday and hope that the bountiful blessings of our great Country fill your life with pleasure, wonder, and thankfulness in the New Year.
To contact Councilman Ladd, call 410-222-1401 or email email@example.com.
Read more columns by Ladd:
- Councilman Ladd Highlights October's Council Progress (November)
- Ladd Against Limiting County Executive's Veto Power (October)
- Ladd Reviews Charter Amendments on Nov. Ballot (September)
- Councilman Ladd: Schools Benefiting from Budget Actions (August)
- Councilman Ladd Outlines Local Budget Impacts (July)
- Ladd: Council Will Address Bylaws This Month (June)