The latest, As We Head Into 2012

Fall continues with great anticipation for the upcoming 2012 legislative session.  My staff and I are hard at work preparing to introduce legislation in response to the needs of our community and our state.  I look forward to discussing these matters with you in my upcoming session reports.  In this edition I want to report on two local matters of great significance to our community as well as a few matters of state election law.

First, the proposed water tower for Baltimore County in Sagamore Forest was an issue of great concern to me.  Along with my District 11 team, our councilwoman, and numerous residents, I questioned the process of selection at this proposed residential site at Bond and Timber Grove at the recent town hall meeting.  Thank you to all of you who also attended and voiced your thoughts on the matter.  To that end and with the steadfast advocacy of the community, the County Executive has decided to delay the project indefinitely to further consider the placement of the water tower in a non-residential area.  I commend this decision and was excited to see all parties work together to find common ground on this issue.

I am thrilled for the announcement that two companies have come together to redevelop and “de-mall” the Owings Mills Mall, tearing down and rebuilding portions of the mall in 2013.  It is also rumored that Wegmans is coming to the Solo Cup redevelopment project.  Good things are happening in Owings Mills.  That being said, BGE has asked us to plead for your patience as they undergo about 5 weeks of repairs to a main line conduit underneath Reisterstown Road just north of Painters Mill.

I recently held a House election law subcommittee meeting at the State Board of Elections to view the product of the hard work and investment of the department in preparing a new campaign finance reporting system.  The new software streamlines reporting and makes information far more accessible to the public.  I am certain that all Marylanders will be pleased once this new system is up and running early next year.

On a similar note, the House Speaker and Senate President finally appointed the members of the new Election Law Reform Commission.  I will be serving on the commission and expect the resulting report to include various policy change suggestions on everything from slate expenditures to voting processes.  This is a two year commission so I expect to report on our progress throughout the next 20 months or so.

I want to share how proud and excited I am that my Uncle has recommitted himself to a life of public service by officially announcing his candidacy for re-election to the United States Senate in 2012.  I have a feeling that after the November 2012 elections we will see other elected officials evaluate opportunities to serve our state in different ways.  We’ll all have to wait and see.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not introduce you all to my new legislative director, Helena Mastrogianis, a stellar young lawyer interested in effecting positive change in public policy.

Please stay tuned for my next Annapolis Report. 

Jon S. Cardin