Letter: County official clarifies comments
I am writing with regard to your March 13 article titled “Planners to consider zoning for areas of recurrent flooding.” There are several statements attributed to me which are erroneous and I would like to set the record straight. First, I said that I grew up in Alexandria, near the District of Columbia and that, just like New York and Boston, it is built on drained or filled wetlands.
I further stated that the federal government is spending or will spend billions of dollars, if not trillions, to construct levees, floodgates, etc., to protect these wealthy areas which benefitted from developing their wetlands—yet, in the same breath, deny places like Mathews equal treatment, denying our requests in the name of protecting those precious few wetlands that we have remaining or demanding outrageous sums for mitigation.
A popular cause in Washington these days is “environmental justice.” My question is what could be more just than equal treatment?
I would also like to clarify my other comment which centered on reductions in public investment in infrastructure in the name of limiting the drain on our treasury with regard to development located in low-lying areas. I pointed out that I had served on an MPPDC group looking at sea-level rise and that our utilities were looking to eliminate recurring expenditures associated with flooding.
I stated that if there is any reduction in the services provided or infrastructure investment then we should also lose the right to levy taxes on these areas. When we consider abandoning places that have been developed and occupied for centuries in the name of costs, then we had better be prepared to live by that same rule. Thank you for your help in setting the record straight.
Member, Mathews Board of Supervisors
Mathews Planning Commission