Brief preamble: I am stepping away from Forward Maryland for a bit to address some personal issues. I discussed this on the most recent episode, which can be found here (and many other platforms where fine podcasts are available). Just listen to Bill’s commentary, I was all over the place. You have to know when it’s best to not be in front of a hot mic. For me, that time is now. I hope to return soon.
Back to the topic at hand, I want to ask some questions. Please note, I am not an expert on housing/development issues. I put on my pollster hat in an effort to remove any bias – conscious or otherwise – in the wording. If I missed the mark on the articulation of any of them, please let me know. This is intended to spark a good-faith dialogue where we “come reason together” instead of talking at each other.
1. How many new homes should be built in Howard County, let’s say by the end of 2022? Note: 0 is a perfectly allowable response if you believe that is what the number should be. If you want to use another timeframe, please indicate the timeframe you are adopting for your response.
2. What is preventing Howard County from building 100% affordable housing only? Again, feel free to suggest a timetable.
3. Where should any new developments be built? Again, if you say “they should not be built anywhere in Howard County” that is an allowable response.
4. To avoid appearances of impropriety, should all County Council candidates pledge to not accept developer money, either directly or indirectly? If the first clause of the previous sentence bothers you, feel free to focus your response on the rest of the question.
5. What types of affordable housing should be built? For example, thinking globally, are there case studies regarding types of housing/developments that we could/should emulate/adapt. Again, "no" is a valid response.
6. How can we best address school overcrowding, infrastructure (broadly defined),and congestion issues while still building new affordable housing?
7. How can we best ensure that developers are paying their fair share?
8. How can we best ensure that deals that are made don’t “evolve” in a way that runs contrary to the spirit and principle of building affordable housing?
9. What are the best arguments for building now as opposed to waiting on other spending priorities such as alleviating school overcrowding? What are the best arguments for waiting to build?
10. Bonus question: What defines a “progressive?”
Feel free to answer all, some, or none of the questions. No skin off my nose.