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I attended the meetings called charettes to get public input on the comprehensive plan. I did not know what a charette was. I think I do if the Balanced Growth Initiative plan is accepted. It is another way to spell charade.

The version of charade I reference is the definition: “A blatant pretense or deception, especially something so full of pretense as to be a travesty.”

To ignore the Charles County planning staff recommendations, penned by excellent professionals, is an example of the slam-dunk approach used by pro-development faction of the planning commission, typical of Murray Levy and his paid cohorts driving Charles County and the Mattawoman Creek into extinction. I have lived in District 2 of Charles County for more than 25 years and have seen firsthand the destruction that Mr. Levy and his cohorts have wrought.

Levy is the one who put in place the “No Tree Left Standing” policy. The whip-poor-will and woodcock have now been gone for about 10 years from the northern part of the county. This is a direct response to wholesale destruction of the forest in the Mattawoman watershed.

What they have achieved is an overcrowded school system, understaffed police and fire support and incredible gridlock on the roads.

When will the water run out? We need to protect our environment.

The BGI plan does not do this, and I encourage the county commissioners to be responsible and reject this plan. By a margin of more than two to one, commenters at the Jan. 8 public meeting requested rejecting the BGI tier map. I hope you listen to those people.

Democracy is where the people rule, not special-interest groups. If you ignore this show of democracy in progress in Charles County, it will be just another charade.

Another serious concern about the BGI plan is that it is counterproductive to getting light rail in Waldorf. If we continue to spread the population across the entire county, we will not be able to reach the population threshold to get federal funds to build such a mass transit system.

I worked in Washington, D.C., for 30 years. I saw the commute go from not so bad to horrible. When I had the option of taking a commuter bus, I jumped on it. The commuter buses have limited capacity and contribute to global warming at a higher rate than a light rail system. If we had a light rail system, I and many more would use it.

There is also the legal aspect of the pro-development majority of the planning commission ignoring the public input and the planning staff recommendations, and bringing in an outside group to develop a pro-development approach. It seems to be contrary to the Administrative Procedures Act. The plan is not balanced and does not represent the public will.

It was dumped into the commissioners’ lap without sufficient public review and comment. You should also not reinstate planning commission member Lou Grasso or a clone of his.



George M. Jett, Waldorf