Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Unwanted Gift


We have gotten used to public objections to new housing development in Howard County. I noticed the other day that Council member Liz Walsh described the Ilchester Road area as being “consumed” by development. I must admit I find it puzzling that so many people look at new houses with revulsion, however, that is not what this post is about.

Apparently Howard County government wants to give the community a fire station but nobody wants it. Well, I suppose they aren’t opposed to fire stations in theory. They don’t want one in Cedar Lane Park East. Okay, giving up green space is hard. I get that. But it isn’t as though the County wants to put in a toxic waste dump. It’s a fire station, for heaven’s sake. The only reason to build a new one is to increase public safety.

True confession: I am not highly educated on this fire station controversy but I do feel sorry for the county for getting so much hate. I wonder how it feels when you try to give people a fire station and they don’t want one.

Now, here’s a twist: the county has requested that the Howard County School System consider using the land where Central Office is for the new fire station. Hmm. That property contains offices, Homewood School and ARL. How much of that land would a new fire station need? I’m not particularly sentimental about Central Office but Homewood and ARL are valuable parts of the school system. I’d hate to see them displaced.

So let’s imagine that Central Office must go. (All that money spent on the updated board room, ouch!) Where should it be relocated? Any ideas? Who else can we annoy or offend in this process? 

This is what happens when I write a post without proper research. I’m sure it is far more nuanced than this. At face value it feels like an ongoing game of musical chairs and I have no idea how it is going to turn out. 

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