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Residents Say Democracy Showcased During Water Tower Debate

Locals are praising Baltimore County elected officials for acting on constituents' desires.

Baltimore County’s elected officials heard the protests of a well-organized community group this week, leading to the indefinite deferral of an unpopular water tower project.

Witnessing the democratic process work has heartened some residents in Owings Mills and Reisterstown, including Bonnie Levitt, a county resident of more than 30 years.

“This is a great lesson for anybody who is young,” Levitt said. “Everybody is so negative about government…and I think this is a real lesson for the younger generation to learn that they can make a difference.”

A group that opposed the construction of the water tower in a residential setting mobilized that garnered almost 1,300 signatures.

Though studies apparently indicated a need for the water tower, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz after it became obvious the community would not be satisfied with any of .

Though Levitt commended the county’s top politician for acting on the wishes of his constituents, she saved her most effusive praise for the district’s local representatives.

“I think they [the county] can learn a lot from [Councilwoman] Vicki Almond,” Levitt said. “I think Vicki Almond’s office made the Baltimore County Executive’s office look good, because she showed the public that they will listen.”

“I don’t think this was an easy thing for Kamenetz to decide upon.”

Ayanna Chen, whose 3-year-old son got the conversation started after he saw surveyors inspecting a parcel at the corner of Timber Grove Road and Bond Avenue – – said seeing the project halted restored her faith in county government.

“I feel like this is America at its finest,” Chen said. “Isn’t that the point, for us to be able to speak to our representatives, and have them carry out what we’d like to see?”

John Rickell November 04, 2011 at 09:28 AM
I wouldn't mind it being put in my neighborhood, I would have a local committee to put a cool paint job on it.
Miriam Magaziner November 04, 2011 at 09:30 PM
John, if you want the tower in your neighborhood, maybe you should suggest it to the BCDPW. I'm surprised you didn't do this already.
John Rickell November 04, 2011 at 09:56 PM
I would, but now I live in the "Historic" Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore City and we have plenty of water, we get Liberty & Loch Ravens water. But when I lived in Reisterstown I lived at 311 Main Street, I'd let them put it my backyard, but I think the houses on Main Street are registered historic also. I don't get it, its just a well needed water tower, its not like they are putting up electrical power lines.
mel November 05, 2011 at 02:05 PM
The Baltimore County Executive showed absolutely no sense of leadership and caved in to a small group of protestors worried about their property values. He deferred it to the next Executive to make the right decision. A typical politician who worries about the next election and not what needs to be done. When a major house fire erupts and lifes are loss due to a lack of water, who will be blamed then? The same people who complained about the water tower will be complaining about the future development plans of the lot where the tower was going to be built. If they thought the tower would bring crime and vandalism, wait until they put a park there or section 8 housing. Then they will really be worried about their property values.
Bonnie Levitt November 07, 2011 at 05:29 AM
I disagree with Mel as I believe Mr. Kamenetz showed tremendous leadership qualities in working TOGETHER with Vicki Almond, Tony Baysmore, DPW, and the area constituents regarding his water tower decision. Where was Mel when there were numerous meetings, letter writing campaigns, and petition signing opportunities over the past 5 months? If he didn't advocate for the change he feels he deserves he shouldn't be complaining now. Why all the negativity...there must be an underlying reason.

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