Dan Rodricks of the Baltimore Sun Comments on the Opinion Works Poll Results

26 Jan

“Nobody asked me but . . .

This news, via MarylandReporter.com, might come as a shock to members of the General Assembly who believe the O’Malley administration is waging a “war on rural Maryland”: A poll by OpinionWorks finds that 62 percent of registered voters in rural areas favor tighter regulations on septic systems while 57 percent favor “limiting the number of septic systems in rural areas.” Statewide support for tighter septic restrictions was 72 percent, with support for limiting new systems at 69 percent. OpinionWorks conducted the survey in December, questioning voters in southern and western Maryland counties and the Eastern Shore. So if there’s a “war on rural Maryland,” a majority of rural Marylanders apparently think the enemy has a point.

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The Real War on Rural Maryland: SPRAWL

26 Jan

The tough rhetoric used by opponents of Smart Growth initiatives is a strategy centering around the politics of fear. It seems that this fear rhetoric has blinded Marylanders to the real reasons behind policies such as Plan Maryland. A shared love for rural Maryland, with its picturesque landscapes and tradition of farming communities is why generations of Marylanders choose to raise families and live their lives on the Eastern Shore by the Chesapeake Bay. What both rural voters and policy makers on both sides of the aisle agree on is the need to keep our beloved rural Maryland just that: rural.

As MDP Secretary Hall explained today at the Plan Maryland briefing in front of the House Environmental Matters Committee, (after the Committee wished him a happy birthday in song) Plan Maryland is neither  regulation nor legislation. Instead, it is simply a way to knit together different state agency policies already in existence, without trumping local governments’ zoning ordinances, to make sure the state grows in an efficient way without sprawl. Secretary Hall stressed that the broad Plan is not something to be feared, but that empty political rhetoric has gotten in the way of the truth. In fact, the real “war on rural Maryland” is the unplanned growth that strips communities of their farmland and a healthy Bay that are the real reasons why they love the Eastern Shore in the first place.

Below is a page from the Plan Maryland executive summary explaining what the Plan is NOT.

View MDP Secretary Hall’s Presentation to the House Environmental Matters Committee on the Bay TMDL and WIP

23 Jan


Presented on January 19, 2012

Former Republican Representative Gilchrest Disagrees With ” War on Rural Maryland” Rhetoric

23 Jan

Wayne Gilchrest, a former Republican member of the House of Representatives who represented Maryland’s rural First District for 18 years wrote an oped in support of Bay restoration efforts. Read the full oped article below:

Jobs and Clean Water for Rural Maryland

New Poll Results Show Strong Support For Legislation To Save The Bay Among MD Voters

23 Jan

The poll by OpinionWorks, an Annapolis-based firm, was conducted December 11-15, 2011, and surveyed 801 registered voters statewide. It was commissioned by the Clean Water, Healthy Families Coalition.

Poll Press Release

Poll Memo

Detailed Poll Results

Calculate Your Nitrogen Footprint!

10 Mar


Video of Governor O’Malley Wading Into Polluted Lake

10 Mar