Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Don’t listen to me, I represent a special interest group.

Posted by Ed C on Saturday, September 29, 2007

At the recent Howard County Council hearing, as reported by the Baltimore Sun (Tower fans, critics heard):

He (Alan Klein) urged the council members to “protect the human scale of Columbia” and not “bow to special interests.”

Who is Alan Klein?

But Alan Klein of the Coalition for Columbia’s Downtown, a group trying to block the tower, which they see as large building that will dwarf the rest of Town Center, said his group has “almost 400 supporters” who “have no vested interest in the decision other than the quality of life.”

I hate to be the one to break it to Mr. Klein, but he represents a “special interest” himself, unless of course he really meant “people who disagree with us and therefore are evil.”

The Hedgehog Report has an interesting poll from the local bloggers about the plaza Residences in Downtown Columbia, HoCo: What the Online Gang Thinks…


7 Responses to “Don’t listen to me, I represent a special interest group.”

  1. Ed, sorry I did not include you in the poll….

  2. Freemarket said

    Good point, good post.

  3. cynthia vaillancourt said

    We need some new vocabulary to address these kinds of issues. Certainly the individuals directly effected by this building have a “special interest” — as do the developers, builders and others who will “profit” from this building going forward.

    Any Columbia resident who has an opinion on the direction he would like to see this community move also has a “special interest” though not the same interest.

    When the Mr. Kleins of the community refer to “special interests” and suggest we take their comments with a grain of salt – I believe he is pointing out that we all need to listen critically and use our own brains and experience to decide how much credibility to give to various sources of information.

    People should be aware of the personal agendas of their sources of information — the “special interests”.
    cindy v

  4. General Zod said

    The term “special interest” has become fashionable, the same as “socialist” and “facist”.

    Columbia has bigger issues at hand than some building. When I’m strolling down Rt. 29 the last thing on my mind is the skyline. It’s as if the citizens of Columbia are living in Seahaven.


  5. cynthia vaillancourt said

    There may be bigger issues – any issue that effects you is going to seem bigger than one that doesn’t – but when it comes to “quality of life” (in this case preserving a particular scale and pace of a community that its’ members cherish), it is the little things that we need to be mindful of —- after all, a community is really the sum of all its’ little parts. Each little art has an impact on the whole.

    cindy v

  6. Andy Dufresne said

    There’s nothing special about the architecture, design or layout of Columbia. Maybe 40 years ago it was cutting edge but now it’s tired and staid. Rouse made his 100’s of millions, why can;t someone else make money?

    Let’s build up downtown Columbia, make it a real city, not a series of strip malls.

  7. cynthia vaillancourt said

    maybe we should let it be a real “town”, a real place where people live and raise families and work and shop and thrive —- why does it have to turn into a “real city”?
    cindy v

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