Real estate development in Montgomery County is out of control. Poorly managed growth is overwhelming our roads and schools, threatening public safety, and degrading our quality of life. The root cause of the problem is the extraordinary influence that developers have over the County's building and zoning policies -- influence bought with huge campaign donations.
I have pledged not to accept a single penny from any corporation or special interest Political Action Committee (PAC).
It is the only course that will allow me to remain completely independent of special interests and entirely focused on the best interests of District 39 citizens and business owners.
I urge my opponents to take a similar pledge.
We must get control over traffic congestion, class sizes within our schools, and the overburdening of public services such as fire and police protection. The only way to do it is to commit to sensible growth.
New housing and commercial development must be constrained within an overall plan. Roads and schools must be built out before we allow construction of yet more apartments, town homes, and single-family units, which translate into yet more vehicles and more students. We must preserve the green spaces that make Montgomery County such an attractive place to live and design residential communities, commercial districts, and transportation systems with careful consideration of their current and future environmental impact.
Eminent domain is a longstanding tradition that allows local governments to appropriate private property without the owner's consent in order to complete public projects such as roads. I fully support the rights of local governments to do this.
However, in the case Kelo v. New London the US Supreme Court recently decided that a local government may legally seize property owned by individuals or small businesses and turn that property over to private developers for "economic development." I adamantly oppose this ruling. It is unthinkable that we should allow our government to seize private property and sell it to the highest bidder.
I promise to pursue the passage of legislation that will bar this ruthless expansion of eminent domain in the State of Maryland. I adamantly oppose this ruling. We cannot allow
Maryland cities, counties or the state government to seize a property
owner's holdings and then sell it to the highest bidder. As a remedy, I believe that we should pass legislation specifically barring
local governments from taking land for non-public usage.
As your Delegate I promise to pursue the passage of legislation that will bar this ruthless expansion of eminent domain in the State of Maryland.
Eminent Domain was originally intended to allow the government to pay a fair price for property needed for civic
improvements. It was not intended as a tool for big developers and retailers to take away
peoples homes or small businesses.
To see a Gazette article about this subject, click here.