'Listen' to all the voices

Getting input from the community on various building-related codes and identifying ways to make processes easier is a good idea as long as the Board of Carroll County Commissioners doesn’t use this as yet another opportunity to push for finding ways that developers can increase their bottom line at the expense of the public. This board already has initiated several actions, which they dubbed “economic relief packages,” to help developers reduce costs and increase revenues. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Todd Eberly: Maryland 2014: Part 1 - The Democrats Running for Governor

It's been awhile since I've written about the 2014 gubernatorial contest in Maryland. In a post last September, I profiled the four men most likely to seek the nomination - Attorney General Doug Gansler, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Howard County Exec. Ken Ulman. I mentioned Heather Mizeur as a "rumored to be thinking about it" candidate. (Freestater)

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Frankly speaking

When it comes to the cost that the U.S. House of Representatives racks up annually from franked mail, the trend is down over recent years. The Internet, particularly email and social media, is the biggest reason why. Members of Congress have realized, along with businesses and organizations of all kinds, that communicating via cyberspace is the way to go when it comes to reaching large numbers of people and getting a good bang for the buck. (News-Post)

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Immigrants stuck waiting on a paralyzed Congress

It’s painful enough for most of us to see Congress fail to act on nearly every major issue. That’s when it’s not creating pointless crises that threaten federal services or the nation’s finances. But what if you were waiting to see whether you will ever get a shot at citizenship in this country — where you’ve already lived for years? What if that depended on Congress? What could be more frustrating? (Capital)

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August 12 // Track gambling profits

As gambling profits in the state increase and more casinos prepare to open, voters should demand better accountability of where, exactly, that money is going and what it is being used for. (Carroll Co. Times)

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On the politics of spending, can Neuman strike a balance?

You can’t teach timing — or luck. Laura Neuman had the good fortune to start as county executive when the economy began to thaw, so that she can spend more on needs to which her predecessor, John R. Leopold, gave short shrift, out of necessity as well as fiscal conservatism. This will be popular for a while. It will also open her up to attacks. The sniping has already started. (Capital)

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Reinforcements?

Unwilling at first to join the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition, Garrett County now says it is interested in signing up. So are three other counties — Harford, Queen Anne’s and Talbot.The coalition already consists of 10 counties, and the addition of four more would be significant. (Cumberland Times-News)

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Crying wolf on conspiracies

Before launching into his next rant against the federal government, Commissioner Richard Rothschild may want to revisit the popular fable of the boy who cried wolf because, with each new conspiracy theory he embraces, his credibility slips a little further. The board of commissioners last week was considering a $5.6 million bond allocation to help provide mortgage financing for first-time home buyers when Rothschild launched into a 6-minute tirade against the federal Housing and Urban Development agency. (Carroll Co. Times)

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