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Balanced Growth Initiative Fires Back at Edmonds; Robinson Responds
Waldorf, MD - 2/18/2012
By Andy Marquis
A non-profit organization known as the Balanced Growth Initiative, who runs the website savelandvalues.com, fired back in an email at comments made by Charles County Planning Commission Chairman Courtney Edmonds over the Comprehensive Plan earlier this week.
“I have attached a link to the Planning Commission video from last Monday night,” the email states. “This video is important for you to watch. It shows the Planning Commission Chair Courtney Edmonds attacking the Balanced Growth Initiative, as well as insinuating that we are racist, and again calling for the County to disregard your comments.”
The video then links to the video of the meeting.
Edmonds talked about the organization’s claims that down-sizing would decrease property values, takes away rights of county residents, would cause crime to sky-rocket in Waldorf and would result in higher tax rates were all boogeymen.
“I remember the same accusations being thrown around in Columbus when people of my skin tone started moving in,” Edmonds said in Monday night’s meeting. “Boogeyman one, downzoning will increase your taxes. Boogeyman two, downzoning will decrease property values and increase crime.”
Charles County Commissioner Ken Robinson (D: 1st) posted the email on his Facebook.
“Several citizens forwarded me the email from the so-called Balance Growth Initiative,” Robinson said. “I always subscribe to the theory that any electronic communication is ultimately subject to being read by anyone.
“This organization has been involved in fear mongering since its inception. It began with scaring farmers into believing that their land values would plummet under a more environmentally friendly Comprehensive Plan. Their newspaper ads also indicated that crime would become rampant in Waldorf under the same scenario that would concentrate our future growth in that part of the county.
"Now they have decided to target Mr. Courtney Edmonds, the Chairman of the Charles County Planning Commission. They are insinuating through their email that Mr. Edmonds, who is an esteemed member of our community and excellent Planning Commission Chairman made racist remarks at a commission meeting. It is simply not true. You do not have to agree with Mr. Edmonds but he deserves the same respect any of us would expect. By accusing Mr. Edmonds, who is African-American, of making racially charged comments, they are in turn engaging in the worst possible fear mongering by turning the tables.
“This is a passionate issue and I respect everyone weighing in with their opinions but this is over the line and they should be ashamed by their actions.”
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