Olszewski seeks to bypass council to allow Lutherville apartments | READER COMMENTARY
- January 19, 2024
I am writing in reference to Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.’s proposed bill that would bypass the Baltimore County Council’s approval for mixed-use development (“Baltimore County executive to introduce legislation bypassing council approval for mixed-use developments,” Jan. 12).
If this bill is passed by the council, it will be a complete insult and slap in the face to how this country’s democracy was formed. Olszewski’s introduction of this bill is grossly unethical and immoral. His “vision” for Baltimore County is not in the best interests of the citizens he swore to represent honestly, in good faith and more. His proposed bill is unprecedented in the history of the county and goes against the county charter. No one has the authority to do that.
All citizens he is serving should be irate, and I know a large mass of citizens that are. The very publicly proposed and highly contested residential building of 450 units on West Ridgely Road in Lutherville is something he is supporting. He and his friend, developer Mark Renbaum, fear that the residential portion of the redevelopment will be voted down by the council. Therefore, the county executive is changing the rules so he can win at all costs and get what he and the very wealthy developer want.
The proposed residential development in Lutherville is highly opposed for several critical reasons. Lutherville and the surrounding ZIP codes are very dense. That’s what the opposition is about. The local schools are overcrowded, the infrastructure is beyond capacity, and the engineering study of the intersection of York and Ridgely roads gave it a failing grade.
Incidentally, the county executive claimed in his campaign materials that “I was a teacher, I know what the kids need.” The kids in the local overcrowded schools do not need less attention, lower grades and other detrimental things. Olszewski has turned his back on his vow and the kids he allegedly cares about. The county executive should never circumvent the council, their authority and his constituents. With that mindset, why even have a Baltimore County Council?
Councilman Wade Kach has given almost his entire adult life to Baltimore County government. He was even my 7th grade math teacher. He’s been extremely involved, informative and helpful regarding overdevelopment, and now Olszewski wants to completely negate his authority, along with his blood, sweat and tears — all for the county executive’s self-serving behavior and in order to disrespectfully throw the entire council under the bus.
Who does that?
— Walt Brewer, Lutherville
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