Highly Anticipated Carroll Commissioners' PlanMaryland Forum Set (Update)

Originally referred to as the "summit," the Carroll County commissioner-sponsored forum to discuss PlanMaryland is scheduled for Oct. 31.

After Patch originally posted this story, Carroll County government issued a news release with additional details about its upcoming PlanMaryland forum.

According to the news release, a limited number of tickets may be provided to the public on an as available basis at a cost of $25 per ticket.

Additionally, the speakers that will attend are contributing their time and at minimal cost. Private donors have also stepped forward with funding to minimize costs to taxpayers.

The news release also detailed topics that will be covered in the forum which will include: the role of automobiles versus mass transit in our economy, the role of septic systems versus treatment plants in Bay health, assumptions embedded in nitrate loading calculations, the costs versus benefits of compact development templates, and economic implications and validity of proposed greenhouse gas mitigation initiatives.

--Story as it was originally reported--

The anticipated Carroll County Commissioners' PlanMaryland forum is set for Oct. 31 in Pikesville.

The forum is scheduled for noon at the Pikesville Hilton, and according to Jim Simpson, the county's public relations consultant, it will likely be an invitation-only event. He said details were still being worked out.

"We only have room for 125 people," Simpson said. "We decided to scale back on spending, which necessitated a smaller venue. We will be inviting city, county and state officials."

Simpson said the public will have access to the meeting through a video that will be posted on the county's website.

The forum, previously referred to as a "summit,"will include a panel discussion on "technical and economic premises," Simpson said.

"The panel will be a discussion between experts, PlanMaryland folks and local leadership from around the state," Simpson said. "It's a discussion intended to explore and question the underlying premises behind PlanMaryland. It's an educational opportunity."

PlanMaryland has been a , especially in Carroll County. The the state's sustainable growth plan, arguing that it is not truly about the environment or smart growth, but rather about control and politics.

Simpson said there will be at least one representative from the Maryland Department of Planning on the panel.

The following panel members are listed on the event invitation:

  • Lord Christopher Monckton--a science policy advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a contributing author to the Science and Public Policy Institute and a speaker on climate change science.
  • Wendell Cox--an expert in urban planning and transportation policy, principal of an international urban policy firm, senior fellow at the Institut economique de Montreal in Quebec, a three-term Los Angeles County transportation commissioner and chairman of the Financial Analysis Committee of the Amtrak Reform Council.
  • Patrick Moffitt--served on the White House committee on environmental technology (under Clinton/Gore), founder of CFM Environmental Services, Inc. and former president of US Water LLC.
  • George Frigon--wastewater treatment expert, senior partner at NewFields, a global environmental consulting firm, co-author of the USEPA's manual for wastewater treatment for small communities, co-chair of the advisory board for the graduate part-time program in Environmental Engineering and Science at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Ed Braddy--executive director of the American Dream Coalition conducting forums on urban planning, transportation, land use, housing and property rights, former commissioners of Gainsville, FL and a published columnist and speaker.

Simpson did not say how much the forum will cost, but he did say that he anticipates the forum will be largely funded through donations.

He said the Pikesville venue was chosen because it was economical and is more central for those traveling from other parts the state.

Bonnie Grady October 19, 2011 at 12:10 PM
The Power of The Press! "After Patch originally posted this story, Carroll County government issued a news release..."
Kathy October 19, 2011 at 01:04 PM
Are you getting an equal voice if you aren't one of the special invitees to this "forum"? Is there an equal voice if the Commissioners are only inviting people that they know will be favorable towards them? Is there an equal voice if all the presenters already have the same opinion? I can't believe that the taxpayers are footing the bill for this farce.
WatchingInMtAiry October 19, 2011 at 02:21 PM
@JoAnn - thanks for the continuing the mischaracterization of my comments. I don't think that I've called anyone a criminal. I've called Comm Rothschild a hypocrite for continuing the contract of Jim Simpson, a crony of his, after campaigning to end such practices. That's not calling anyone a criminal. I've called the commissioners office to inquire about tickets for the general public. They informed me that the priority will be for elected officials, staff, and donors. What ever is left will be sold for $25 each and there is a waiting list. The donors list is still being formed, so those names may/may not be made public. Typical donations are on the order of $500.
WatchingInMtAiry October 19, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Also...this is definitely not open government that the commissioners pledged during their swearing in ceremonies. To quote withavengence from comments on a similar story, "This cant be correct. Howard, above, says "these debates to be held in community halls and libraries in your own community" and #9 on their governing principals, is Citizen Participation: this Board will promote better communication with citizens by scheduling key hearings on evenings or weekends, and provide increased opportunity for two-way dialogue at our public hearings." Your comment, "Those who relish in shadow government are running scared," are disingenuous. PlanMaryland had at least one lengthy meeting where the public were able to comment.
WatchingInMtAiry October 19, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Commenting anonymously is something both sides do. Search for withavengence and WM Mom, inspector1, buck56, zorro, wearedoomed, etc. Just because we post anonymously doesn't mean we don't have valid points.
WatchingInMtAiry October 19, 2011 at 02:47 PM
Thanks JoAnn. I didn't' realize that Jim Simpson's hiring was actually done in the full light of public scrutiny with a open session that would allow public comments. I thought it was done a in closed door meeting with a limited time frame to limited to cost below the level that would require public job posting. Silly me! </sarcasm>
Bonnie Grady October 19, 2011 at 02:59 PM
JoAnne, the ONLY reason you have ANY details about this "summit" is because a group of citizens dug around and tipped off Patch. Frazier told me face-to-face last Thursday night that a press release would be issued the following day. Nothing happened. And so we went to work. We found out the out-of-county location, the time, the speaker line-up, the fact that it would be closed to citizen participation, how it was supposedly being funded, and more. As soon as we gave that info to Patch, they ran with it, posting a story within a couple of hours. So if citizens have to report details of the event to the media in order to get an official statement from their elected officials, how is that "open government"? And how open and effective is their "pr consultant" if he's hiding information about a meeting, which YOU and I are paying for by the way, from the media and the folks who are paying his $150 an hour fees (do the math)???
Don West October 19, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Actually, JoAnn, you and every citizen of Maryland was invited to offer input into PlanMaryland. And you were allowed to attend at least two presentations held here in CC this Fall, free of charge I might add.
Bonnie Grady October 19, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Just to repeat that, so no one misses it, Rothschild's boy Jim Simpson is soaking Carroll County taxpayers to the tune of $150 an hour. That is equivalent to an annual salary of $312,000!!! Who earns that kind of money in Carroll County??? How is that fiscal responsibility??? (This must be the same kind of math Doug Howard used when he ran CATS...right into a sea of debt!)
Bonnie Grady October 19, 2011 at 05:42 PM
No, JoAnn, I don't own my own company anymore. You're digging up old, old info. Prior to becoming an energy broker, I ran the largest business advocacy nonprofit in Carroll County. I'm proud to say that I am now part of the green energy industry, and I'm helping to protect our planet for your grandchildren and mine. Surely you don't object to clean air, JoAnn???
I. DeFeo October 19, 2011 at 05:56 PM
I fancy myself a moderate, and I'm a registered (not happy) Republican, and I am not a fan of this summit. People are losing jobs and benefits, and we are here talking about a fluff summit. Fortunately they backed off on the county footing the whole bill, but I think it's money poorly spent. Without even discussing the merits of PlanMaryland, I would rather see money spent lobbying the MD legislature -- at least that's a clear objective. As for Simpson? He's not much of a writer. There are lot of people here (who live in Carroll) who have the credentials and who would write well worded press releases that would put the commissioners and the county in good light for a lot less money. Look at the county's site for official press releases - http://ccgovernment.carr.org/ccg/releases/default.asp - do the math from when Simpson was hired to today and work out for yourself how much we are paying per release. ** Just had a thought ... maybe those aren't his; maybe his is somehwere else. ** I'd like to see an accounting of exactly what he has done and who he has contacted to promote Carroll -- Frankly, I am not sure if he is promoting releases for the entire county or just for the commissioners....What a mess.
Blue Carroll County October 19, 2011 at 06:59 PM
Sounds like you might have some inside info JoAnn
ModerateinCC October 19, 2011 at 07:05 PM
I'll bet a whole lot of people who voted for Rothschild had no idea he was on a mission to save us from the U.N. Agenda 21 world takeover. Or that he and the other commissioners would be global warming deniers. Believe it or not, there are a lot of moderate, non-tea-party Republicans in Carroll County. They may not be as vocal as tea party members, but they are likely to turn out at the polls next election if Rothschild and the other commissioners haven't turned out to be who they thought they were voting for. Also, I have to laugh when you tea partiers characterize the CC Times as a leftist newspaper. The CC Times is actually pretty centrist. Read recent Other Voices pieces by Star Parker and Deroy Murdock (hoping I got the names spelled correctly). It's just that to you, anything that doesn't agree with your extreme right-wing positions is a liberal, Marxist, left-leaning plot to destroy America.
Kym Byrnes (Editor) October 19, 2011 at 08:46 PM
Thanks for the continued dialogue on this topic, it's clear people are passionate about what is happening in our community. So what we can we do, as a collective group of Carroll County citizens, to focus less on the people on the other side of the fence (our neighbors who "live" in the other political parties) and more on affecting change that will mean a better life for everyone in Carroll County? Ideas? Aside from having someone else change all of their ideas to fit in with what you think, what could we do as a community to try to work together to get something done? I'm not sure there's an answer, but how do we know?
David J Iacono October 19, 2011 at 09:11 PM
How about a protest march outside of the county office building in Westminster regarding the wasteful use of our tax dollars. We could call it Occupy Carroll County. With schools struggling to provide textbooks to our students, the use of tax dollars on bogus summits and PR consultants is something worth protesting and drawing attention to the mismanagement of tax dollars by this board of commissioners. The commissioners work for the tax payers of Carroll County, not the other way around.
ModerateinCC October 19, 2011 at 09:32 PM
JoAnn, some of us choose to remain anonymous on a public forum like this for several reasons: we are local business owners who fear losing business because of our political viewpoints; we've received Ku Klux Klan-style hatemail; we fear for our physical safety or that of our children; etc. I admire your courage and that of others who come here and use your real names. I didn't know you and others had trouble getting your letters published in the CC Times. I, too, have had at least one letter that was never received by the editor. It's hard for me to believe that Jim Lee would deliberately not publish your letters when I've seen him publish some pretty hateful stuff from Rob Spring and Michelle Jefferson, among others. And it's obviously him who chooses Other Voices pieces from other newspapers by people like Star Parker and Deroy Murdock, who are obviously tea party members.
ModerateinCC October 19, 2011 at 09:42 PM
The sad thing about it, Kym, is that we probably have many things in common when it comes to what we would like to see happen in our community. If we were to set aside all partisan bickering and have a nice neighborly conversation over coffee, we would probably be amazed to find how many of the same things we all want. But we can't talk as long as we demonize anyone who disagrees with us. I think we already have a pretty good life here in Carroll County. I'm not sure I want to see it change very much. That's why I'm so worried about a radical board of commissioners who don't seem to think they're accountable to the majority of Carroll County residents--only to the conservative Republicans who voted them into office and now support everything they're doing.
WatchingInMtAiry October 19, 2011 at 10:35 PM
There was a very interesting expose' on "Lord" Monckton done. Here's the YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=w833cAs9EN0
JoeEldersburg October 20, 2011 at 12:39 AM
@JoAnn- I am a Republican and I think the Tea Party is more dangerous to this country than al Qaeda. I truly believe them to be the "American Taliban", just not Muslim, but perhaps even less tolerant. I supported Doug Howard, because I thought he was a Republican. I never knew he was a Tea Party supporter and am disappointed in myself for being fooled. I knew Rothschild was dangerous during the election and I think his paranoid positions on planning and Agenda 21 to be complete and utter fantasy. I am concerned for him (and our county under his leadership). I honestly believe he suffers from mental illness and should be evaluated by a psychiatrist before being allowed to carry his gun in public. I've read many of Jim Simpson's columns and know him to express hate and to support positions which I feel contribute mightily to racism, divisiveness and disharmony. He was hired without a competitive bid and in an obvious effort to circumvent Carroll's contracting laws. Simpson knows many climate change deniers, one of which is this nut case UK politician Monckton, who calls himself a Lord, but is doing so illegally. He has no scientific credentials and calls some climatologists, 99%+ who believe that man is contributing to the warming of the earlh, Nazis. This forum is a waste of county tax dollars and will prove nothing. The CCT & Patch are reputable news sources that verify facts. The Commissioners offer no science and nothing but erroneous conclusions supporting their positions.
Bonnie Grady October 20, 2011 at 05:33 AM
From a previous comment above: "Most reasonable people want the full truth." If that is the case, can we interpret the commissioners' decision to have 5 anti-science speakers and 1 pro-science speaker as UNreasonable? With a 5:1 ratio, how will the truth be heard? That is not open government, it's not reasonable, and I am mad that my tax dollars are being used to "educate" elected officials from other counties. I challenge everyone who wants to know the truth about "Lord" Monckton to watch that YouTube video that's linked above. It speaks volumes about this phony and the commissioners for bringing him here. .
SUSAN October 20, 2011 at 01:11 PM
let's think about this: we are paying for our commissioners to throw an invitation only party for county officials ( home counties and positions TBA) at which a small cadre of like-minded speakers will address an audience of friends and family. in re: the Brit Lord, just go to : utube/lord monkton and get an ear/eyefull of his drivelings.
Robert Armstrong October 20, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Has anybody looked into the background of these speakers? They are snake oil salesmen. No wonder they didn't have the balls to hold this meeting of Nutjobs in the county proper.
Robert Armstrong October 20, 2011 at 03:13 PM
They are using taxpayer's money to hire a fraud. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jul/18/climate-monckton-member-house-lords
Robert Armstrong October 20, 2011 at 03:34 PM
The Phony Lord called for people with HIV to be forced into concentration camps. http://news.change.org/stories/conservative-climate-expert-wants-to-quarantine-people-with-aids
WeThePeople October 20, 2011 at 04:13 PM
@JoAnn - I've held my keyboard long enough. (I'm going to show my geeky side here) 1. Avatars are digital images used to represent one's self online. The word you are reaching for is pseudonym or screen-name. 2. I'm not sure that one could lug down a $5500 dollar Mac as it would be a 12 core PowerMac. I assume you meant this as a slam to owners Apple products because only liberal elitist would Apple products. This is just not true. Apple makes a superior product for laptops, phones, media players, and tablet computers. Lots of people use them. 11.12M iPads and 17.07M iPhone owners from last quarter can't all be fuzzy headed liberals. You just sound silly. 3. Your over use of ellipsis [...] is totally inappropriate. Here's a proper use. Jim Simpson said above "We decided to scale back on spending...We will be inviting city, county and state officials." See how that works. Here's a reference for you: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/ellipsis.htm Thanks!
WatchingInMtAiry October 20, 2011 at 04:29 PM
Just like your arguments, JoAnn, your link doesn't go anywhere...
Robert Armstrong October 20, 2011 at 05:20 PM
ROTFLMAO. Carroll County has been taken hook, line and sinker by these frauds. Check out this satire piece on the phony Lord. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w833cAs9EN0
Robert Armstrong October 20, 2011 at 05:34 PM
No wonder they have to hold the meeting in Baltimore County. I am surprised they didn't hold it someplace farther away. Far, far away..... http://www.thinkorswim.ie/?p=1279
Robert Armstrong October 20, 2011 at 05:37 PM
LOL The "Lord" is a birther too! http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-adams-blog/2010/apr/16/lord-monckton-obama-tea-party-birthers
Robert Armstrong October 20, 2011 at 05:48 PM
You do know that Oxford Union is a totally separate entity from Oxford University don't you?


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