OK, I know the polls have closed just 24 hours ago, and that there are still yet votes to be counted. But the outcome of the Democratic Primary in District 4 is clear; incumbent Mary Kay Sigaty convincingly defeated her opponent, Alan Klein. In this post-election environment, news stories and comments on local websites speak of conciliation, about working together for the greater good of Columbia and Howard County, about welcoming Alan Klein back to the discussion.
Well, I don't want to.
I'll start with the most basic reason. I don't like Alan Klein personally. I find him officious, pompous, arrogant, and only about 1/5 as knowledgeable about the issues as he claims he is. He is the example of the person for whom the saying "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" was created.
Second, I totally disagree with the premise for his entire campaign for the County Council. I don't think the downtown development process has been skewed towards developers, I don't think county elected and appointed officials are in the pockets of development interests, I do think a lot of opportunity was given for people to participate in the process, and overall, I think Mary Kay Sigaty did a pretty bloody good job. So, now that we're all giving Alan a big hug and welcoming him back into the discussion, did all those things just go away? Does he smile coyly at us all and say, "Psyche!" I don't think so.
Does Alan Klein, the CCD types, etc. have a right to participate in the continuing conversation to redevelop downtown? Of course they do. But to me, this guy has shown too much of his hand, and too much of the hand of too many other people who are very active in civic affairs here. They are afraid of any progress, skeptical of private enterprise, unwilling to allow new generations the opportunity to reinvent Columbia as so many of them had an opportunity to help invent it decades ago. And these things are not OK with me.
Everyone else can go put their arm around him if they want. I'll keep my distance, thanks.