Robinson: Taxpayers Should Not Pay For Mediation
Story Category: Politics »
Robinson: Taxpayers Should Not Pay For Mediation
La Plata, MD - 5/12/2012
By Andy Marquis
Joe Padgett (left) discusses the need to eliminate wasteful and fraudulent spending during a town hall meeting with Commissioner Ken Robinson (right).
Charles County Commissioner Ken Robinson (D: 1st) said taxpayers should not pay for a mediation session that will be held in the coming weeks over Resolution 2012-18, saying that it is a personal issue. Robinson’s comments came after a meeting he held with constituents in La Plata.
The mediation session will be held so the commissioners can settle their difference and would call for abuse of authority accusations be stated and allow a chance for commissioners to respond. Commissioner President Candice Quinn Kelly called for the mediation so differences can be settled in a fair environment.
“It’s coming before us next week who’s going to be doing the mediating,” Robinson said. “What the schedule will be and what the costs will be. Personally, I think this is a personal, not personnel, matter and I don’t believe the county taxpayers should be footing the bill for mediation. It’s up to the other four commissioners to determine what to do. I personally will reimburse the county for one-fifth the cost of mediation. I think some of it can be done in open session and I think the other aspects of it might not be able to because there might be legal questions involved. Anytime there are legal questions involved, it has to be done behind closed doors.”
When Howard Dent expressed his concerns about the Comprehensive Plan, sentiments he has expressed to other commissioners, Robinson responded with his criticism of the planning commission and their use of the 2006 plan, not the staff recommended compromise, as the main model for implementation.
“I will express my disappointment,” Robinson said. “We had two meetings with the PC where we had experts. I hoped the PC would follow up and take the advice with these experts. PC will come up with a recommendation. Ultimately, whatever is approved by the PC will have to come before the BOCC.
“Thank you for participating, thanks everybody for participating. We have a very engaged county, on both sides. I welcome opinions that may not be necessarily the same as mine. I welcome (developer) participation. They got well organized by the end of the process. Good for them. Any citizen and group, it should make for a well-rounded plan. I thought the merged scenario was great when I heard objections from both sides. It means we got something for everybody and not everything for some people.”
“The back and forth between the Balanced Growth Initiative (BGI) folks and environmentalists, I question the motives here,” Bruce Kirk said. “We’ve got a valuable creek in all this. The motivation behind BGI is basically greed. These folks are trying to get the most benefit out of where they do development. I don’t blame that. I feel their motivation is the problem here. Why do they insist they want to build in forested areas if there are areas in Waldorf already? BGI has been spouting a lot of misinformation. They’re saying downzoning will take money from landowners.”
“You made your comment which is your opinion, BGI has offered theirs. We don’t investigate opinions. I’d rather see studies rather than just opinions. The Transfer of Development Rights program has been run well in Calvert County.”
“There is a study about the Mattawoman that came out in March,” Dent said later after previously referencing the Mattawoman Creek. “It’s fascinating. The bass tournament generates $40 million in revenue.”
“We actually went to Smallwood State Park (during a county tour with George Washington University students),” Robinson replied. “We need to get back on it. That’s a lot of tourism dollars waiting to be captured.”
“There was a proposal about emailing the county,” Nancy Schertler said. “I’m not clear on what the controversy is.”
“The idea is setting up a system that validates an email,” Robinson replied. “It’s about validity. I don’t think this will get passed.”
“A lot of people have the option to have more than one email,” Kirk said. “Just because you’ve received 3,000 emails objecting to something doesn’t mean they didn’t come from one person.”
“These are not elections,” Robinson responded. “It’s a way to guide us.”
Joe Padgett grilled Robinson on taxes, saying the county should cut the education budget and the Sheriff’s Office budget by 25 percent and should cut fraud and waste. Robinson said he was unaware of any fraud or waste but urged Padgett to bring it to his attention if he knows of any.
“I’m not aware of any fraud,” Robinson said. “I suggest you take it up with those two agencies.”
Robinson also said that there are plans to build a senior center in Waldorf in the Capital Improvement Projects budget and that he would like to see a youth center built. He also said the community does not support the plans to build a juvenile detention center in Waldorf and hopes the Department of Juvenile Services selects another location.
Robinson has previously held his town hall meetings on Friday mornings at the Starbucks in La Plata but said he chose to move them to Charles Street Bakery in La Plata because others had asked him to do his meetings at a small, local business.
Be The First To Comment On This Story!
Send This Story to a Friend!