Though a number of bills recently introduced to the AA County Council dealing with speeding up permitting seem to be under fire for conflicts by Council persons who introduced them, they are nonetheless valid and overdue. While dedicated and competent county employees try to get the job done, it is the complete lack of true leadership that blocks them from moving the process along much faster. You would think that at a time when desperate for revenue, the County would permit things that were not controversial in any way, very quickly to derive the myriad of fees and taxes that come along with development. I have sat on county executive committees and professional study groups ad nauseum over the last thirty years dealing with the same issue.
I’ve come to the conclusion that only the County Executive can personally deliver the message and demand that the same process we follow now, just be done more efficiently. Time and again, Arundel Mills and other projects have shown when the county wants it done, it gets done quickly. Yet every other development is over taxed, over charged and under serviced when it comes to county review. Is it any wonder, every major professional development company shies away from Anne Arundel County for this and other reasons? Why would Howard County officials say “the best thing that ever happened to Howard County is Anne Arundel” if they weren’t the beneficiary of all the tax dollars being driven to our neighboring jurisdiction?