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The Dec. 7 article, “Tier map earns Charles County ‘rogue’ label,” contained two deplorable assertions by Charles County Planning Commission member Lou Grasso, whose eight-year term limit expired Dec. 31. Yet the county commissioners are shirking their responsibility to appoint a replacement in full public view.

Mr. Grasso said that county staff “refused to follow directions” to produce a land-plan tier map to his liking. This accusation followed an immodest and lengthy tirade he delivered at the planning commission meeting Oct. 15. Yet as staff made clear at that meeting, the tier map favored by Mr. Grasso, which was devised by an anti-environment, pro-development lobby calling itself the Balanced Growth Initiative, did not comply with the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act. One must ask, would Mr. Grasso have staff knowingly violate the law?

Mr. Grasso disdained two fundamental premises of another state law when he asserted that environmental groups are “all the same” as justification for his admission that he “doesn’t pay much attention to them anymore.” This law, the Land Use Article (previously Article 66B), dictates that a planning commission “shall implement” several visions, the first two of which deal with the environment and listening: “Quality of life and sustainability: a high quality of life is achieved through universal stewardship of the land, water and air resulting in sustainable communities and protection of the environment” and “Public participation: citizens are active partners in the planning and implementation of community initiatives and are sensitive to their responsibilities in achieving community goals.”

Now is the time for the county commissioners to clean up the mess left on the planning commission by the previous administration. Reject the flawed tier map passed on by the BGI faction to the planning commission and appoint in full public view a fair-minded replacement for Mr. Grasso, one without ties to the real estate industry.



Debi Krahling, Bryans Road