Thursday, December 07, 2006

Big vote to watch in Aberdeen

Aberdeen voters go to the polls Dec. 5 to decide whether to allow the city to annex 523 acres to make room for a development of more than 1,000 homes that is expected to house some of the the thousands expected to come to Maryland by 2011 due to the military's Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) plan. The plan has been highly controversial with supporters and opponents both putting their views on the Internet with rather sophisticated websites. For: www.aberdeenannexation.com; Against: www.saynoannex.com. Since residents forced this referendum with a 2,500 signature petition after the City Council approved the developers' plan by a 5-0 vote this past June, the issue has created a lot of heat. It was the subject of a Baltimore Sun story Monday. The story indicates that no matter how the vote shakes out, the issue is unlikely to die since the developer of the Wetlands project has already submitted a revamped plan. An organizer of the opposition group is quoted in the Sun story as saying:

"It's not just this one annexation," said Bobbie Randles, an organizer of the group. "[The base realignment] seems to be giving developers some leverage over government to push through their agendas. We're concerned we could get into a bad situation."

The tug of war up there by Aberdeen Proving Ground, where about 8,200 new jobs are scheduled to come, will be interesting to watch.

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