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POLL: Should the Board Have Voted on Two Rivers?

The school board unexpectedly gave approval for a concept plan for a new developer-funded elementary school. Should they have waited to hear more public input?

On Wednesday, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education surprised some people when it went ahead and voted in favor of a concept plan for a new developer-funded elementary school.

The board voted 5-4 to support the concept plan for the Two Rivers school, allowing school staff to begin negotiating a construction agreement with Koch Homes and Classic Communities Corp.

Originally, the Two Rivers school plan was an "information-only" item, and board members had indicated it would only be up for a vote in September, at the earliest.

Some local residents objected to the vote, because some community groups, including the Greater Crofton Council, had not yet been formally briefed on the plan.

Furthermore, the developer and school officials remained in talks with the Forks of the Patuxent Improvement Association about lifting covenant agreements to allow the Two Rivers development to move forward.

Some residents also had asked the board to consider moving the vote to an evening meeting, so that more members of the public could attend.

Board members who supported the school plan said they liked the idea of getting a new elementary school without having to pay for it, and didn't see the need to wait. According to school system staff, the plan will come before the board at least five more times before any construction can begin.

Do you think the school board should have waited to vote?

Patrick H. September 01, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Dave - I'd love to sit down with you over coffee and get your take on the area and the local communities. Give me a chance to re-read the policies for responding on the PATCH and see how I need to go about posting personal information. I am a firm believeing in privacy rights and would not want to violate them.
Dave September 01, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Patrick, I don't want to put too fine a point on it, but I doubt that more than 10-15% of the people who live in Piney Orchard could definitively locate the proposed landfill, road, and school on the map. I know, because I canvassed the community in a letter-writing campaign against the Cunningham landfill. As you said before, most folks leave it to others to take the lead on these sorts of things and just do not get involved. I guess my point is that if most folks want to remain blissfully ignorant of these kinds of issues, then what do their opinions contribute to wise decision-making? I strongly suspect that a majority of people in Piney Orchard would be against a landfill adjacent to Piney Orchard and GORC park, and they would also be against increased traffic near their homes and on their streets. You have a good weekend as well. Kauffman's recently rennovated and changed their name, they are now "J.Kings": http://www.jkingsrestaurant.com/menus/main-menu I haven't been there in awhile, but I would also recommend Four Seasons as being a good place to eat. They are a bit expensive for dinner - I recommend their lunch menu.
Patrick H. September 01, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Dave - you're probably right on all of your points. I doubt if the 10-15% you quote is even close to the actual number (much less). I gues that if people keep doing (or not doing) what they do they shouldn't complain when they keep getting what they got (but I guarantee that they will complain and very angrily). I appreciate your canvassing the community and really am impressed with your advocacy. But there is always a but - I am still curious as to what the area constituents have to say. Minimizing their input would be like forgoing a jury trial and taking the Judges word for it. What does the jury have to say? No wonder I had trouble finding Kauffman's. We will be sure to take a look at Four Seasons for lunch - thanks for the tip - we try to get out once a month for something different and special.
Chris W September 02, 2012 at 01:46 AM
I'm not trying to be antagonistic. I just thought Patrick made a great point and wanted to follow up on it. Truthfully, in these modern times there is no reason that the home owners would not be able to vote electronically. It would empower people. I disagree with Jeff and others that are opposed to this, but I give Jeff credit forthe time he invests in his work for POCA. His hearts in the right place. Patrick, Piney Orchard is a nice place to live if you are ok with the planned community/HOA concept. There are older neighborhoods in Odenton that are nice too and don't have the HOA. It all depends on what you are looking for. Christopher's on route 3 in crofton is a nice restaurant. Hunan Rose is the best local Chinese restaurant.
David Daughters October 01, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Patrick H.: To my knowledge, none of those arguing above live in Four Seasons, which is a separate community and where I have lived for 39 years, We do have occasional disagreements, but we handle them without the name-calling. We have community associations (there are actally three separate developments - Four Seasons, The Courts of Four Seasons and Four Seasons Estates) that work on issues in the best way possible, taking a rational approach. I personally oppose the proposed school location - miles from the proposed development, but I've already said my piece on that. Come give us a look, and if you want to see how the FSCA functions, we have a meeting on October 11th, and you're welcome to sit in as an observer.

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