Been falling behind lately on the news you can use going on around here, so here goes with three quickies about three goodies-- or baddies, depending upon your point of view.
The TIF proposal for downtown Columbia's Crescent property passed, and, at the same time, Councilmember Jen Terrasa's proposals regarding more affordable housing in downtown Columbia were voted down by her Council colleagues. I'm disappointed in myself for not writing more about this within the last week or two, and so criticism of the proposal or the vote would seem very sour grapey at this point. And I am glad that the path is cleared for a parking garage for Merriweather, though I'm also glad that I'll likely never have to park there!
On the topic of downtown development, I'm ready to move to the next thing, which is that HoHu and all their sycophants told us that they absolutely, definitely, 100% needed, needed, needed the TIF to keep downtown Columbia from looking like some cookie cutter suburban downtown. OK, so now it's been passed. Now deliver. More in a coming post.
I commend Governor Hogan on his appointment of former Howard County Chief of Police Bill McMahon as the new Sheriff in town. There simply could not have been a better choice made for Howard County. Now, I don't know if Sheriff McMahon is a Democrat or Republican. And frankly, I don't care. I don't see how there's a partisan way to run a Sheriff's office, and so what I'm looking forward to is competence, and a capable guiding hand to head this office so it can start to become again what it could be.
Third and last thing I have in this message for today. In case you haven't noticed the atmosphere around here lately, Howard County got a bit heated in 2016. A bit harried. Maybe even a bit uncivil. And definitely less sweet. And now, literally as well as figuratively! Indeed, looks like sales of sugary drinks have fallen precipitously over the past few years.
I know I've given the whole "Howard County Unsweetened" thing a bit of grief in the past, but I do commend the folks involved in this, as someone with a family history of diabetes, for bringing this issue to the community awareness and for their work in reducing the sales of sugary drinks.
I would, however, literally perform backflips if I saw similar headlines about how every Howard County addict seeking access to recovery services were able to find them. And were able to pay for them, or have them paid for. And if addicts trying to recover were protected by the negative influences-- pushers and other users-- trying to drag them back into addiction. And if the network of recovery from addiction providers and services were less byzantine to negotiate than a hedge maze out of some Victorian novel. So-- great on HoCo for reducing sugar sales. How about if we fight the harder stuff head on? More on this in posts to come as well.
Let's be careful out there.
#columbiamd #hocopolitics #hocohealth