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Murray Levy cursed Terry Cummings of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation after the Jan. 8 hearing on the draft tier map. The map was designed by the Balanced Growth Initiative, the developers’ lobby, for whom Levy is a paid spokesman.

I don’t believe Mr. Levy was blowing his cool. I think it was a statement. Mr. Cummings had expressed, in civil words, outrage that what had started in 2011 as an open democratic process had devolved into a plan actually written by BGI.

He was not personally insulting to Mr. Levy. But after the hearing, Levy was fresh from the frustrating experience of having a majority of the citizens there criticize what he is advocating. And among the voices criticizing his work was this particular person of standing and credibility.

To me, this is strongly reminiscent of the Sept. 24 Charles County Planning Commission meeting, at which the pro-BGI planning commission majority tried to stop citizens from criticizing Murray Levy by name.

The commission minority can be counted on to support the greater public interest, and sure enough, in this case they spoke up for the right of citizens to speak their minds. The pro-BGI majority put its foot down, and it culminated with one of them screaming in anger, inventing a totally false pretext that his patriotism had been impugned. By attacking those on the planning commission who stand up for us, they were sending a message to the public: “Sit down and be quiet. This is our county, and you are just here for window dressing and to pay our bills.”

There are people who have a lot of power in this county who like to yell at us when we have the audacity to stand up for our rights.

Citizens, if we are to protect our interests against uncontrolled growth and undemocratic government, we must not be intimidated but do more of what the citizens did at the Jan. 8 hearing. A relentless pursuit of objective fact and clear presentation of it, in an atmosphere of growing understanding, knowledge and expressiveness by the citizenry, will make our future better.

Alex Winter, Bryans Road