Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Best Reason to Vote NO on APFO



Campaign consulting, the kind that tells candidates to get a different haircut, or work certain buzzwords into their debate responses, is a booming business. Candidates and interests groups alike pay thousands, sometimes millions, for so-called seasoned campaign hands to give them the recipe for surefire success. Much of a campaign’s success can be attributed to finding that perfect can’t-miss message; most campaigns end without ever finding it.

In last week’s copy of The Shore Update, cleverly disguised as an ad for two pro-development amendments, was the best argument against making changes to the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance that a campaign could ever hope for.    

Changing the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) means that developers, like those who write the checks for advertisements in The Update, can crowd the county’s schools with new students and the county’s roads with more cars, and then pass the higher tax burden on to you, the taxpayer. The changes that are being sought to the APFO on the November ballot give developers a free pass, and help them avoid paying their fair share for their impacts on the county. Written another way, changes to the APFO are little more than a subsidy for sprawl that comes at your expense.  

We are fortunate here in Queen Anne’s County to have very good schools. We consistently score great marks on a variety of metrics, and our teacher’s deserve our appreciation. Not only do they do a fantastic job in the classroom, but they also do it economically; county schools spend less per pupil than many jurisdictions in the state, and get a much better end result. The schools are a good investment, both from the standpoint of the student and the taxpayers. 

But what happens when class sizes swell and teachers are asked to do even more with even less? Well, as it turns out, the Business Queen Anne’s advertisement in The Shore Update has an important lesson for us, as we head to the polls in just a few weeks.

The advertisement, which is only half a page of text, has seven, yes, SEVEN, grammatical errors. Out of a mere 18 lines of text, all of which are printed in large, 20+ point font, five have at least one grammatical error of some sort or another. There are errors of possession, plural and punctuation (it is an alliterative adventure in miswritten English!). We’ve got random capitalization, missing punctuation, wrong punctuation, and even some confusion about to and too thrown in just for good measure. It’s enough to make an English teacher blush!

So ignore the photo on the top of the page, which might be the most soul-dead image of the inside of a retail establishment that one could hope to find. Ignore the ridiculously laughable assertion that not having Big Box keeps our taxes high. Finally, ignore the asinine implication that not having Big Box development somehow keeps everyone commuting to work (will your commute change if we get a Walmart?). All of that is just so much sophistry. 

Focus instead on what the future will look like if we let our schools get over-crowded; the proof is staring us all right in the face, right there on the bottom half of page three.  

1 comment:

David Dunmyer said...

well said Mr. Kline. Always on top of your game.