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Bad Report Cards

Anne Arundel leaders need your tutoring to up their environmental grades

If you live in Anne Arundel County you’ve got a job to do.
    Unless you want our quality of life, and environmental future, to go down the tubes.
    On the latest green report card, Anne Arundel County leaders — the guys you voted into office in 2012 — got very bad grades.
    County Executive John Leopold scraped by with a grade of C- on his support last year for the environment, according to the Anne Arundel League of Conservation Voters. His grades ranged from B on comprehensive re-zoning to F on the stormwater, which Bob Gallagher, co-chair of the League, calls “Anne Arundel’s biggest environmental issue.”
    Cs on enforcement and open space and C- on leadership fill out the picture of “less-than-promised performance.”
    “He has not offered a single environmental initiative and certainly has not espoused an environmental agenda,” Gallagher said.
    On this report card’s bell-shaped curve, Leopold sits right in the middle.
    On the high end are councilmen Chris Trumbauer of Annapolis, himself a riverkeeper, with a score of A-, and Dick Ladd, of the Broadneck peninsula, with a score of B-.
    Earning those high grades was their support for a $30 annual fee per property for stormwater improvement.
    In the middle and slightly above Leopold are James Benoit, West County, and the outspoken John Grasso, North Central County, both with Cs.
    At the bottom with a D is Derek Fink, Northeast County. Jerry Walker, South County, and the now-unseated Daryl Jones, Northwest County, earned D+ grades.
    “The sad fact is the majority of the members simply do not give environmental policy the attention it deserves,” said Kincey Potter, co-chair of the Anne Arundel League.
    So it’s up to you: Anne Arundel’s greening is going to come from the grass roots. If you live in Anne Arundel, that means you.
    “Talk to your councilman and Leopold. Tell them you care what these ratings are and want to see them held accountable,” Gallagher says.
    Don’t stop there, Gallagher says. Tell them you want their support for controlling stormwater. It’s going to take four votes to pass next time around.