Bobo, Klein and the Politics of Spin

We’ve had a great discussion over the last few days on this blog about schools downtown. A reader skeptical of the plan asked a thoughtful question, and we provided the facts of the legislation, while an original decision-maker on the issue weighed in with an insider perspective.  This was a substantive, reasoned conversation with a real outcome.

So how disappointing was it to see this article in the Sun today:

Bobo criticizes school board on Columbia redevelopment plan

Bobo asked why the Board was “not reserving a site for a possible new school for the proposed 30-year Columbia redevelopment.”  The Board, of course, replied that the issue had already been evaluated, decided, and legislated, with the result that the board has the right to reserve a site downtown if it deems it necessary, leaving their options open while development occurs so that they can make the best decision when the time comes – taking into account the ongoing needs of the rest of the county.  And Liz, Alan: everyone knows this.

It seems Delegate Bobo has resorted to spewing Alan Klein’s campaign rhetoric – making last-gasp lunges at any issue, regardless of the facts.  It’s embarrassing to watch them make these wild claims that are easily refuted with even a passing knowledge of the unanimously approved plan and the extensive process involved in its creation and refinement.

You’d think a seasoned politician like Liz Bobo would know better than to try to pull off last-ditch shenanigans like this – especially on behalf of a candidate like Alan Klein.  He’s already known for not being well-versed on the issues or the budget (which he admitted to never having read) without his Mentor chopping him off at the knees by making reckless public statements that betray their growing desperation.

We can’t wait to see what ridiculousness they’ll come up with next.

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Columbia 2.0 is a thriving grass-roots organization whose mission is to support the Next Generation of Columbia Town Center.

2 responses to “Bobo, Klein and the Politics of Spin”

  1. John Hannay says :

    It’s interesting to see that this issue is being continually misrepresented. A last-minute pro-Klein postcard that landed in my mailbox yesterday claimed that “students will have to be bussed elsewhere, thus costing taxpayers more” because the Downtown Plan lacks a specific site for a school. Well, I hate to tell Mr. Klein and his supporters this, but students currently living in downtown Columbia are already bussed to local schools (mostly Running Brook Elementary and Wilde Lake Middle) because these schools currently have capacity to handle them, and because their neighborhoods are not in the local school walking zones per long-standing Department of Education policy. Designating a site for a possible local school would not change this. Further (as Delegate Bobo well knows), matching state funds for school construction in downtown Columbia would not be released to Howard County until the existing local schools had reached (and slightly exceeded) capacity. All current schools in the immediate vacinity of downtown Columbia currently have excess capacity. The existence of a plot of land (which might or might not match whatever future need exists) is therefore, pointless. The Board of Education (BOE) exercised good judgement and wise use of public resources in this situation by recommending that they be instead empowered to require a plot of land when necessary. The County Council listened to and respected their advice. Both the Council and BOE need to be supported in this situation.

  2. columbia2.0 says :

    (Mr. Hannay is President of the PTA Council of Howard County)

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