Monday, July 31, 2006

a response to the "progressives" of moco

Stop it. Just stop it right now.

I think it's funny that people say they like places like Dupont Circle or Georgetown - both spectacular examples of good urbanity and good place-making - but, when Mr. Evil Developer shows up to the Park and Planning Commission with plans of bringing a mini-Dupont or a mini-Georgetown to our county, it's suddenly "overdevelopment" and the "end of our quality-of-life," forcing the developer to bastardize attempts at good design and producing - guess what? Another strip mall. Another development of McMansions. And yet people still complain.

Tell me: who's going to build the Purple Line? Bob Ehrlich? No. Ike Leggett? No. They're both in cahoots with the Columbia Country Club crowd. Personally, I'd rather my politicians be bought by Mr. Evil Developer, who could profit from the Purple Line, than by self-possessed Montgomery County residents, who don't really seem to care how their maids get to work in the morning.

Steve Silverman is what he is: a career politician who is pro-growth. I do not consider that to be a handicap. Ike Leggett will make promises of slow growth, but only at the expense of our County's economy and status, and that is if he can actually slow growth. Do you want to live in a place that is stagnant? There are thousands of dying small towns throughout the country that would kill to have what we have. Why would we give that away?

You'll say Silverman gets his contributions from developers: fine. So did Ike Leggett in '98. And, besides, the financing and construction of new homes is one of the largest sectors of the American economy. Developers will have a lot of influence. Why is that? Greed? No, stupid. Because you need a place to live, and Mr. Evil Developer puts a roof over your head.

Why do we have McMansions? Developer Greed? No, stupid. Your Greed. You put down the money for one, and now you're fighting tooth-and-nail to keep those property values from plummeting when another one's built down the street. You could buy a smaller house - say in Silver Spring, by the Metro - but that would cramp your style. And, besides, all those apartments nearby, what with their low-income residents, would make you feel wildly uncomfortable. Face it, Montgomery County, are you really being progressive - or are you just prejudiced?

Neighbors for a Better Montgomery says they want to stop our "population overcrowding" and the "uncivil human behavior it spawns" in their thirteen-page manifesto, Where Are The Brakes? Now, is that being progressive - or is that a fascist streak? You tell me. They're next to you, pushing the anti-Silverman campaign along.

If you're going to continue your war against Steve Silverman, the development community and the sprawl it creates, you'd better practice what you preach. I want to see boycotts of strip malls and picket lines outside of Ryan Homes developments. Otherwise - you need to go back to your Ford Excursion. It's probably still on the Beltway where you left it at an hour ago.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

The link you give to support your claim that Leggett takes most of his contributions from developers simply doesn't support that claim. It takes you to an article in which Silverman makes that claim about Leggett, not to any objective source. And at this point Steve Silverman's veracity is in serious question. There is also some inconsistency in your argument. If you really believe that Leggett gets most of his money from developers, then the developers must like him. So why vote for Silverman over Leggett?

Josiah Gilbert Holland said...

First of all, if you want to reach people you might want to consider not calling them stupid all the time. Second of all, your thesis is flawed and your narrative is all over the place. Third of all, Steve Silverman has taken more speical interest money in the past year than Ike Leggett has in his career in public service. To try to "compare" the two is try to confuse. Finally, and most importantly, the development policies that Mr. Silverman has worked for are not at all akin to Dupont Circle, Georgetown, etc. I agree with you that these are examples of smart growth. What Mr. Silverman has repeatedly pushed for, at the behest of his special interest backers, is a type of unsustainable growth and development that makes a few people rich in the short term and hurts our community in the long term. This is why people take issue with him as a Council Member, and as a candidate to RUN OUR COUNTY!

Josiah Gilbert Holland said...

All that being said, I respect your comments. I almost feel like the blogosphere has become a de facto counter-balance to the developers. They're incredibly powerful and they back Steve Silverman,we're incredibly unpowerful and we have problems with what they/he have been doing.
I also think it's important that we avoid the straw man argument of: Rapid, Poorly Planned Growth vs. No Growth, Stagnation and Decay. There is a middle way of responsible, planned growth, and, at the risk of being partisan here, it's represented by Ike Leggett. And yes, I know that sentence had a lot of commas in it.

Anonymous said...

Ike Leggett was just endorsed by the carpenters' union. Those would be the guys who actually build the houses we all live in. Touche

Richard Layman said...

Your best example is Bethesda Row. It kills me that while Fed. Realty continues extending that place, we are building suburban-style s*** in the city.

Anonymous said...

You unfairly categorize those who live in big houses as being "prejudiced" because they don't want to live in apartments with "lower-income, minority residents". Please... do you think the residents of those apartments would be living there if they could afford a McMansion?

Anonymous said...

As a condo dwelling resident of downtown Silver Spring, I am a product of the development boom of the last decade. Even though I largely support the ideas that county government has produced, mainly thanks to Doug Duncan, there has been a cost. While I look out from my perch, I notice fewer housing options for the long time residents of Silver Spring.

Silverman would continue building and building.

Leggett realizes that we need to help protect some of those who help create the multicutural neighborhood that many of us enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the Purple Line... $3 billion+ to save you ten minutes... I doubt any Governor of Maryland will spend so much to get so little.

Anonymous said...

>> I notice fewer housing options for the long time residents of Silver Spring.

Therefore, we need to stop "building and building."

Huh????

Remember that Ike Leggett, on the Council, voted AGAINST the Friendship Heights Master Plan and FOR sprawl development in the upcounty.

Anonymous said...

"Building and building" does nothing to eliviate the housing squeeze of those at the lower economics levels.

We need to put safeguards and expand the number of MPU's in new development to make sure we don't push out those who can't afford such change.

Who would best do that?

thecourtyard said...

Ike Leggett said he wants to build entire neighborhoods exclusively for "workforce housing." I don't hear anything about MPDUs as part of new development there - I only see more apartment-ghettoes like Briggs Chaney.

That's not how you create a strong community or a strong County, and that's why I'm not interested in Ike.

Anonymous said...

Leggett never advocated building entire communities of "workforce housing"; he did talk about developments devoted to affordable housing. But it's quite a stretch to call townhouses that would sell for $350,000 a "ghetto". In case you didn't know, Leggett grew up in the slums of New Orleans. Do you really want to accuse him of trying to create a "ghetto"? You tend to be long on hyperbole and short on both accuracy and tact.

thecourtyard said...

The term "ghetto" refers to any conglomeration of one group of people, including the residents of a neighborhood solely composed of $350,000 townhomes. That's not a healthy way to create a community.

I live in a neighborhood which, including MPDUs, has houses selling from under $200k to over $700k. That's diversity. That's what the MPDU program is intended for, and that's what Silverman wants to expand, thank you.

And, before you make any more comments about me, how about coming out from behind the safety of anonymity?

Josiah Gilbert Holland said...

So, by your definition, you'd consider wealthy neighborhoods in Potomac "ghettoes"?

thecourtyard said...

Yes. A very special sort of ghetto, but one nonetheless. I mean, look at the kids who drive around there blasting rap music. They've got the right idea . . .

Anonymous said...

Do you really think you can just redefine words to suit your purposes? I guess you would probably agree with Silverman that the members of the SEIU are educators...just "a very special sort of" educator. That's half Alice in Wonderland and half Bill Clinton. I think I understand why Silverman appeals to you so much.

Josiah Gilbert Holland said...

That should be the town's new slogan. "Potomac: A Very Special Sort of Ghetto"

Robin Ficker said...

I'm not taking contributions from developers in this campaign

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ficker, it's no big trick not to take developer contributions...when none are offered to you. Please tell us the name of just one developer who would contribute to your campaign

Bethesda Guy said...

This is all interesting to me because I'm still scratching my head over Leggett vs. Silverman. I'm not persuaded that there's that big a difference. I've been (mostly) a Duncan fan, I'm pro-density, pro-development-- but I have some concern that the powers-that-be aren't thinking hard enough about the social and economic consequences of dense development.

Anonymous said...

And what might those be Bethesda Guy?

Bethesda Guy said...

Well, 'stratification', which is a euphemism for rich and poor living close to each other. Normal, healthy, and part of any real-life urban environment-- but a new and different situation for formerly spread-out and subdivisioned suburban centers that are morphing into cities.

Robin Ficker said...

No developer who wants the back door access that developers are used to in Montgomery County would contribute to my campaign because I absolutely guarantee they would not get back door access. Citizens first. Leggett and Silverman have both sold their public offices to developers. I can't be bought. Never have been. Never will be. Why do you blog with the name anonymous? Why are you a scaredy cat? Why are Leggett and Silverman afraid to blog in their own names. Are they going to be afraid to speak for us if elected too?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ficker, please don't give me a straight line like "back door access"; I'm only human. MUST...NOT..."So, you're not a back-door Ficker, huh?" I'm so weak

montgomery slacker said...

See Goodwin's Law. re: your comparison of Neighbors for a Better Montgomery to fascists.