|Below is Rick Moserís
statement to the Commissioners November 4, 2003. If you have written
a letter or made public testimony and would like it distributed, please
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Good evening Commissioners.
I was asked by the Board of KIDL to make a statement on their behalf. I was asked to be friendly with you, and encourage you to make sure your future efforts would benefit the existing citizens who live on Kent Island. I was supposed to ask you to disclose what your plans were for Kent Island, since it does not appear that you have a plan that will safeguard the quality of life or the environment for the citizens of Kent Island. After spending many hours studying the DRRA Settlement Agreement that Mr. Cupani, Mr. Niedomanski and Mr. Cassell signed last Tuesday, I could not, in good conscience, follow the Boardís suggested strategy. I submitted my resignation today, and am speaking on my own behalf this evening.
I would like to note that you collectively, and Mr. Cassell specifically, did not want to rescind and improve Title 18. You only made that decision because you knew the county-wide citizens referendum petition effort had collected 1,900 signatures in 3 weeks and that the effort was going to be successful. You have made significant improvements to some parts of Title 18, but last week you voted down design standards for Kent Island, and you have done absolutely nothing to resolve the issues presented by citizens from Kent Island. You have been given information that substantiates that citizens involved in the Chester and Stevensville planning process over the last 6 years were misled, deceived and ignored by QAC officials. You have been given information that substantiates that developers were buying property on Kent Island and your Planning Department was working in close cooperation with these developers during the Community Planning process to direct growth areas to those properties, and this information was not disclosed to the citizens. We watched Hovnanianís local engineer testify at the MDE sewage discharge permit hearing. He said he was from the Tributary Team, and that Queen Anneís County needed a permit to discharge an extra million gallons per day to improve water quality. He forgot to tell them he was Hovnanianís engineer. We watched our former Planning Commission Chairman tell the Critical Area Commission what a great project Four Seasons was. He then refused to vote on the Critical Area Growth Allocation, and never explained why he did not vote.
You have been given information that substantiates that the DRRA process was flawed, and that its contents were statutorily deficient.
This Board of Commissioners should be outraged at the conduct of prior County Officials and current and prior County Staff. You should be outraged that "the process" has been abused to the detriment of this County and its Citizens. Instead of being outraged, you have devised ways to insure this development progresses.
You have signed a Settlement Agreement that prevents the County from changing this project. You are facilitating a sewer plant expansion to support this project, and you have used taxpayer money to fund engineering studies to reduce the cost of the sewer plant. These cost savings will be passed on directly to the developer.
You knew when you stopped the review process of Hovnanianís project that you would get sued. You knew it was unlikely you would get a favorable ruling from the QAC Circuit Court because no one else has - Mr. Niedomanski said so last week. If you were sincere, you knew you would have to take the issues to the Appeals Court outside of this County to get satisfaction. You have now spent considerable taxpayer money to put up a show, and it now appears you had no intention of following through and doing what is right for this County or its Citizens. You have rolled over and signed a Settlement Agreement that goes far beyond ending the litigation.
Your agreement gives away the Countyís right to interfere with or oppose any approvals for the Four Seasons project. Your agreement hands over $350,000 to this developer for damages that have been grossly over-exagerated and never reviewed or approved of by the Court. Your agreement provides that the County will maintain and repair a collector road and a wooden bridge no goes nowhere, and that will not be built to County standards. Your agreement allows Hovnanian, and not the County, to control the utilities easement across and under Macum Creek. This control will likely be used to the detriment of local builders. Your agreement allows for "outside contractors" to quickly review their engineering submittals. These outside contractors will not look out for the interests of this County or its Citizens. Your agreement gives preference to Hovnanian over any other development review for projects submitted after March 6, 2002, and your agreement provides that Hovnanian will receive a general grading permit before final subdivision approval. This is unquestionably "special or preferential treatment" that will have detrimental effects on local builders. Your agreement states that if any County Commissioner or any County Agency directly or indirectly challenges the validity of your agreement, the County will pay Hovnanianís legal fees.
It is unthinkable that you could sign this agreement and say it is in the best interest of the County or its Citizens.
I commend Commissioners Ransom and Koval for sticking to their convictions and looking out for the interests of QAC and its Citizens by not signing this agreement. I assure them that I will spend the next three years making sure every person in this County knows exactly who sold out this County and its Citizens.
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