Written by Richard Falknor
Government Over Reach?
O'Malley Signs PlanMaryland Executive Order
Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild told the Forum this afternoon that governor Martin O’Malley’s signing the PlanMaryland executive order on Monday by no means concludes the fight for Maryland property-rights and against smart-growth abuses.
Rather it marked just “the end of the beginning” of a growing pushback against administrative rule from Annapolis.
Rothschild explained that, actually, “the governor has done us a favor” in bringing together central and western Maryland counties and the Eastern Shore jurisdictions in a common struggle.
Just this October 31, the freshman County Commissioner,with the strong support of fellow Carroll County commissioner Robin Frazier , had put together a state-wide conference of national and international experts on PlanMaryland for other Maryland state and county officials.Related indepth videos:
The leading speaker was Christopher Monckton, an adviser to former United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Monckton systematically (and instructively) deconstructed PlanMaryland. Readers can click here to hear Ginni Thomas interview Lord Monckton.
We detected a celebratory note in Megan Poinski’s post (Maryland Reporter) yesterday in her O’Malley orders implementation of PlanMaryland as state policy –
“Comments have been heard, changes have been incorporated, and now PlanMaryland is an official state policy.
Gov. Martin O’Malley received the final draft of the planning document from Planning Secretary Richard Hall at a State House ceremony Monday morning. O’Malley issued an executive order declaring that the plan will now be recognized as the official state development plan.
Flanked by former governors Harry Hughes and Parris Glendening – his predecessors in smart growth and environmentally sensitive policies – O’Malley explained that the plan will help Maryland move forward by maintaining the natural environment, clean water, and the state’s farmland.
’At the end of the day, PlanMaryland is really about building a stronger and more sustainable future for our kids and grandkids so they can have the same quality of life we have,’ O’Malley said.”
Here is the Monday official press release “Governor O’Malley Accepts ‘PlanMaryland’” –
“MDP Submits Phase 1 of Long-Range Plan for Sustainable Growth
ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 19, 2011) – Governor Martin O’Malley today accepted ‘PlanMaryland,’ the State’s first long-range plan for sustainable growth, from Secretary Richard Eberhart Hall of the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) – achieving a vision first laid out by the General Assembly a half-century ago.”
The analysis, “Focus on Agenda 21 Should Not Divert Attention from Homegrown Anti-Growth Policies,” went right to the authors’ action plan –
“Agenda 21, a voluntary plan adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, unabashedly calls on governments to intervene and regulate nearly every potential impact that human activity could have on the environment. However, Agenda 21 is non-binding; it depends on governments for implementation. If opponents focus excessively on Agenda 21, it is much more likely that homegrown smart-growth policies that undermine the quality of life, personal choice, and property rights in American communities will be implemented by local, state, and federal authorities at the behest of environmental groups and other vested interests. Preventing American implementation of Agenda 21 should therefore be viewed as only one part of a broader effort to convince U.S. government officials to repeal destructive smart-growth programs and prevent the enactment of new ones.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
The Heritage backgrounder went on to explain –
“Adding to the problem, the Obama Administration has warmly embraced smart-growth policies and, more broadly, increased environmental regulation and restriction of use of natural resources. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is the Administration’s point man in selling smart-growth policies to the American people. . . He and other key Administration officials are abetted by state and local elected officials and numerous interest groups, including the Urban Land Institute, local Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Smart Growth America, the American Public Transportation Association, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and shortsighted local business associations.
Opponents of these policies have been very effective in their work. A good example is the state of Florida, where Governor Rick Scott (R) and the state legislature repealed a 25-year-old smart-growth law a few months ago. . . .” (Emphasis Forum’s.)
And on the home front, elected county leaders, Carroll County’s Richard Rothschild emphasized, are right now weighing political, legal, and legislative remedies to protect citizens against implementation of PlanMaryland.
Stay tuned to what could be a long but crucial pushback next year.
Stay tuned to the Blue Ridge Forum and Richard's frequent updates.