A Sunday School picnic on the Patuxent River at Huntersville.

A Better Deal for the Neighborhood

Please allow me to request your vote for Maryland State Senator in District 29
Please allow me to request your vote for Maryland State Senator in District 29

Twenty years ago, if someone told me that I would become a County Commissioner, I certainly would not have believed such an outlandish prediction.  Not only was I not politically involved, but I was working in a sawmill, playing music on the weekends, and fishing every chance I could get.  Nope, running for office was not my cup of tea.

A Sunday School picnic on the Patuxent River at Huntersville.
A Sunday School picnic on the Patuxent River at Huntersville.

Then, one day around 1992, a single page flyer showed up at my home warning of a stump dump being planned nearby.  The stump dump wasn’t really a stump dump but it was a disposal area for shredded garbage coming from Baltimore.

No, I did not live very close to the site, but garbage heaped into the deep ravines in Huntersville would leach out to impact the already degraded Patuxent River for many years to come.  It is not nice to mess with a man’s fishing grounds.

That flyer set in motion a chain of events that introduced me to Federal, State, and local politics.  Ultimately, as a neighborhood, we succeeded in stopping the landfill operation.  We also convinced St. Mary’s voters to replace the County Commissioner from that district.  I was the replacement.

With new Republican local leadership and help from Democratic Governor Glendening, the Huntersville area was established as the first Rural Legacy area in St. Mary’s County.  Thousands of acres have been set aside to protect the water quality in this Patuxent watershed as well as the quality of life for the neighboring citizens.

A stinky deal became a good deal when citizens stood up, spoke out, and voted the bums out.

I believe that the citizens who surround the controversial Macintosh Watershed property are just beginning to see the depths of lowdown dealing that can take place when a small network of wealthy people controls the votes of the majority of our County Commissioners.  The unwillingness of the commissioners to hold public hearings or even disclose the intended industrial use reeks of pompous arrogance.

Should they sit idly by, the likely scenario is a gas turbine power plant with many industrial uses nearby that would not be wanted in other areas.  The loss of water quality for the environmentally sensitive Macintosh Watershed and downstream Leonardtown is of minimal concern to Commissioners Russell, Dement, Mattingly, and Raley.  These same commissioners are documented in opposition to Governor O’Malley’s plan to protect oyster populations in our surrounding rivers.

Developer Paul Facchina has developed a reputation for quality development.  Excluding public participation from the process will likely leave his reputation scarred as greatly as was done with the Hackerman Deal when Governor Bob Ehrlich and former Commissioner President Tommy McKay subverted the State clearinghouse process to secure land for a developer friend.

The best deal is to leave the land as Rural Preservation District.  The developers can sell the Transferable Development Rights and donate the land to the County for a hunting and hiking preserve to help meet the State Open Space goals.  With enough land set aside one hundred percent of this funding can be used to upgrade the facilities like ball fields, boat ramps, or bleachers.  Presently, we can only use half of this money for these recreational amenities.

This long term vision of rural protection for the Macintosh Watershed will only be achieved when citizens take an active role in taking their government back.

I expect the flyers will arrive in the community shortly.

(Commissioner Jarboe’s weekly column from February 14, 2010)

Vernon Gray

Jarboe always faithful to the public interest

Vernon Gray
Vernon Gray
Letter to the Editor:


At every election, through a process of proven imperfection, we attempt to choose elected officials who will provide us with good government. Sadly, we provide the means by which we suffer when we poorly choose those officials.


In his address to Congress, December 8, 1829, President Andrew Jackson wrote: “There are, perhaps, few men who can for any great length of time enjoy office and power without being more or less under the influence of feelings unfavorable to the faithful discharge of their public duties. They are apt to acquire a habit of looking with indifference upon the public interests and of tolerating conduct from which an unpracticed man would revolt. Office is considered as a species of property, and government rather as a means of promoting individual interests than as an instrument created solely for the service of the people. Corruption in some and in others a perversion of correct feelings and principles divert government from its legitimate ends and make it an engine for the support of the few at the expense of the many.”


Unfortunately, too many of our present day public officials perfectly fit this description.


Surely, there must be citizens of the type needed to be reasonable and responsible officials; people with strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and honorable character, who cannot be seduced or corrupted by the lust or spoils of office.


I am writing this letter because I believe that the 16 year record in office of St. Mary’s County Commissioner Larry Jarboe meets the criteria of the type of citizen and elected official needed. Accordingly, I encourage voters to select Larry Jarboe for election to the Maryland Senate. I have never known him to be unfaithful in his representation of public interests.


Vernon Gray

Great Mills, Maryland

Jarboe Fish Finder

Common Sense in Government: Two More Stories

By St. Mary’s County Commissioner Larry Jarboe


The request to increase building height in St. Mary’s County in the areas outside of the Development Districts from forty to fifty feet high did not seem to be a big deal.


After all, people can build up to a hundred feet tall in the Development Districts and the St. Mary’s County Commissioners were correcting a glitch that allowed up to one hundred foot tall buildings outside of the Development Districts of Leonardtown and Lexington Park.


Of course, we had to correct the spelling error in the ordinance by including the letter “L” in the word public.


Land Use and Growth Management Director Denis Canavan recommended the height increase to diversify architectural design and roof pitches and also allow for ductwork between up to three stories. However, the Planning Commission bucked the proposal from our LUGM Director. The Planning Commission recommended that the existing forty-foot height limit stay the same.


Throughout discussion, the commissioners emphasized the concern of keeping the limitation of three stories though the height might increase. After discussion, Commissioners Dement, Mattingly, and Raley voted to increase the height limits. Commissioner President Jack Russell and I voted against the motion as we felt the Planning Commission’s recommendation was more appropriate.


Construction along Rt. 235 in California, Md.
Construction along Rt. 235 in California, Md.

Later that evening, during a public hearing on a Water Sewer Plan Amendment, Commissioner Dan Raley asked if the floors were kept nine feet or so apart, could a developer build a five story building with a fifty foot height limit.


The answer was yes.


Will we be seeing four and five story flat roofed buildings lined up along Rt. 235 in Town Creek? I hope not, but the door is open.


While a majority of the board is opening the door to increased development, I received a call from an Amish barn builder who had been denied a permit to operate his business because he did not have a sprinkler system installed in his work shed.


The Old Order Amish and Mennonites do not use electricity. Commercially available government approved sprinkler systems need a high-pressure water supply that is not compatible with the low-tech lifestyle of our gentle farming neighbors.


Following our County Commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday evening, I discussed this problem with Mr. Canavan. He assured me that agricultural buildings and workshops not intended for public use do not require installation of sprinkler systems.


Though it might be beneficial to have sophisticated fire prevention equipment in every chicken coop, equipment shed, and tobacco barn in St. Mary’s County, we are still free to make that choice based on practical and economic circumstances.


I hope, as the majority of our board allows wealthy developers to reach for the sky, they will not forget the importance of the local folks here on ground level.



Jarboe Fish Finder

Get out the fish, get out the vote! Join Senator Catfish Larry Jarboe on June 22nd!

Jarboe Fish Finder

Jarboe Checkmates Budget Bully

Jarboe Checkmates Budget Bully

Jarboe Checkmates Budget Bully
By Ken Rossignol
News and Commentary
LEONARDTOWN, MD. — The St. Mary’s School Board’s unexpected budget deficit which gave St. Mary’s Commissioner Todd Morgan the opportunity to show his business acumen by bludgeoning the educators over their failure will take a new turn on Monday. St. Mary’s Commissioner Larry Jarboe will propose that the county commissioners fund the deficit in the school budget, thereby saving the jobs of perhaps dozens of school employees.
In making plans for his budget session proposal, Jarboe points out that favorite project of Commissioner Todd Morgan is to build a ‘road to nowhere’ to pad the pockets of developers who will benefit from the FDR Blvd. while at the same time that Morgan fileted the school board in a bully-session two weeks ago over their unraveled budget.
Morgan’s bloody assault on the school board, complete with lectures and grandstanding took many by surprise and ignores the record of the county commissioners in paying twice the appraised value of the Hayden Farm in a fishy deal arranged by Morgan’s pals on the former board of commissioners. Morgan’s own proposal to build the FDR Blvd. a sixty-million boondoggle will match up with the $5 million redo of Great Mills Road.
The school system has worked hard to reach fiscal savings in the past seven years of national financial meltdown and eliminated many supervisory positions to keep their budget balanced.
Morgan’s new status as a commissioner without opposition in the election has apparently gone to his head and boosted his ego to new bounds, but the fact remains that the school system needs to be funded and bloviating by bullies won’t do the trick.
Jarboe’s formula to save the school employees from losing their jobs will come from moving $6 million from the capital budget for the Morgan-backed FDR Blvd. and giving the school board the money it needs to balance its budget.
School Board President Dr. Sal Raspa said on Sunday that he really appreciates Jarboe’s plan and hopes the votes will be on the commissioner board to pass the solution. School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano agreed with Raspa that Jarboe’s plan is welcome and eagerly looks forward to passage by the commissioners.
Jarboe provided this statement to The Chesapeake Today: “There are many challenges to resolve the fiscal shortfall the St. Mary’s Board of Education has experienced due to the Board members gambling with health care allocations.  Obviously, they should have trusted the estimate provided by CareFirst.
“Rather than berate or bully fellow elected officials, cooler heads must prevail to find solutions to protect blue collar non-union support employees like teachers’ aides or substitute teachers who in no way contributed to the present crisis.
“The solutions will not be immediate as union and health care negotiations take months.  Board of Ed employees must help meet these fiscal restraints as well as County Commissioners who have funded special interests and pet projects.
“For example, during the next 4 year term, FDR Boulevard construction will cost 18 million dollars and will require a trip to the bond market.  By delaying the project for 4 years, we save 1.5 million dollars in debt service each year.  Four times 1.5 million dollars is six million dollars.  Ultimately, we should make developers pay for this infrastructure improvement and save St. Mary’s taxpayers 60 million dollars.
“A portion of the BRAC Reserve Fund could be reallocated to forward fund bills that must be paid.  Quality public education is probably second only to our prime location on the Patuxent River for keeping our Navy Base operational and thriving.
“The savings from delaying FDR construction could be placed back into the BRAC Reserve Fund.   Or, the new County Commissioners could review the plans to deal with the BOE shortfall and prioritize education over special interests thus protecting the County in future years without funding “Sky is Falling” slush funds or thousands of dollars for consultants who do not understand the history and rich heritage of the Mother County.
“Bottom line, public education and public safety should be priorities of good government rather than putting up a $25,000.00 sign in homage to the Judge who tried to move the Circuit Court function out of the heart of Leonardtown.
“The St. Mary’s County Board of Education may have made a costly mistake but the majority of our elected officials in Annapolis and Leonardtown need a remedial course in history.”

Sen. Roy Dyson of Maryland – Pro-Life No More

From Prolifeblogs



Nineteen Senators were going to fillibuster the Embryonic stem cell research bill of Maryland.They key word is “were”.

This just made its way to me through the Knights of Columbus of Maryland, from the Christian Coalition of Maryland:

I regret to inform you that Senator Roy Dyson just voted in favor of ending debate on the SB 144, the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006. With only 18 voting to continue debate, the filibuster is over. It is nearly certain now that your tax dollars will be used to fund research involving the killing of human embryos.

Photo From Maryland Archives

I believe Senator Dyson was labeled as one of the “brave Senators” who were going to stand up against the culture of death. Though he is a Democrat, who traditionally vote for the culture of death, his record up to this point has been Pro-Life for many years.

I get the feeling some political or financial lubrication has taken place which helped him slide over to the culture of death.

Folks, we need to ring Senator Dyson’s phone off the hook & flood his email with our reaction to this! Embryonic stem cell research has not yielded one single benefit to mankind and is responsible for the deaths of many.

Annapolis, MD 21401 – 1991
(410) 841-3673, (301) 858-3673
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3673 (toll free)
e-mail: roy.dyson@senate.state.md.us

If you do nothing, expect nothing in return.


United we stand – Divided they die – Pass it on

Larry Jarboe has a lot of experience in paddling against the tide of Democrat big spending.

Democrats Howl Over Jarboe Budget Cuts; Insist on Raising Taxes

Jarboe yard sign


LEONARDTOWN (May 19, 2009 ) — Democrats on the St. Mary’s Board of Commissioners once again wallowed in the shallow waters of good times and delusional plentiful funds for operations of county government as they turned down a proposal by Commissioner Larry Jarboe (R. Golden Beach) to cut $6 million in spending in order to avoid yet another hike in property taxes.

Before the ink was dry on the morning session of the board meeting, the county’s finance director began a review of the budget which included the latest report from the state on the distribution of the county’s share of income tax revenue which revealed yet another cut in state funds.

Finance Director Elaine Kramer said that this month’s distribution was only $11.9 million down from $12.1 million this month last year.

Jarboe laid out his plan for cutting $6 million through a series of cuts and reorganization of county departments and his proposal was panned by the Democrats on the Board who howled, yelped and cried like hoot owls being bitten by raccoons.

Commissioner Jackie Russell (D. St. Georges Island) berated Jarboe with the late hour of his proposal to avoid a tax hike for the second year of the nation’s current deep recession.

Jarboe, who had began the budget process in December by proposing to the Board that each county department be charged with bringing in a budget of five percent lower than the year before, failed to gain any support from the board for that proposal, even from fellow Republican Kenny Dement (R. Piney Point).

Amazingly, instead of following Jarboe’s recommendation to make a slight cut in spending, the Democrats and Dement, acting with a wisdom perhaps anointed directly from Mount Olympus, instructed county departments to bring in spending plans with five percent increases.

But at today’s meeting, Russell spoke with shock and umbrage at the sudden spending cuts designed by Jarboe and citizens who aided him in reviewing the budget for efficiency and economies.

“How would you suggest how we do this, we have had a public hearing and now you make suggestions for changes,” asked Russell of Jarboe, implying that while it is never too late to spend money, there is never a good time to save.

Jarboe told Russell, “We have to deal with that, we are having a public  session right now, I am sure there are more budget issues coming up today, there is nothing wrong to finding ways to save money.”

Jarboe’s retort hit the nail on the head.  The Board only seems to find ways to spend money and apparently thinks that the time is never right to save money, not when Jarboe proposed doing so last November at the beginning of the budget process and not at the end, actually never.

One of the buzz words of contemporary politicians is “transparency”, which apparently was missing in the process the Board undertook in purchasing the Hayden Farm when the snuck in a public hearing on the issue on the morning of Christmas Eve, at time when those who had left the county for the holiday could not attend and those who were still here were attending to decorating homes and trees and wrapping presents.

Russell, who just three years ago blocked the televising of the budget work sessions as he told his fellow board members he didn’t want the public to see his lack of familiarity with the budget, now likes to perform on TV.

“The transparency issue we have dealt with over the years, we put the budget sessions on television,” cleverly attempting to take credit for televising what he personally had blocked before,” said Russell, “How did you come to bring this today and not share this with Commissioner Dement to bring forward a consensus, I have ask, at the last minute.  You are bringing it to the table today just before the clock strikes twelve, you are doing this today and the budget has to be done at the end of the month.”

Russell, who apparently thinks everyone in St. Mary’s County had no knowledge of Jarboe’s attempt last year to block the tax hike, his beginning of the budget cycle attempt to cut spending and his almost weekly suggestions at consolidation and savings, raised his voice and indignation level to a point not often seen at the commissioner’s meeting.

Evidently, Russell had spent some time at home in the mirror with his “eleventh hour” speech as he repeated the phrase quite often and seemed well satisfied with his delivery and enunciation in his best waterman’s dialect.

“I find it very difficult to govern in a vacuum, I don’t think we can jeopardize ourselves by using our fund balance,” said Russell. “Its 43 cents a day that people would save.  I am concerned about the transparency issue that these proposals are being made, you are dropping this on us at five minutes to twelve.”

Once again, Russell was in his ‘eleventh hour’ mode, this time almost making it to midnight.

Commissioner Tommy Mattingly (D. Leonardtown), who each week reminds the board that he attends a lot of meetings with state officials and is always ready to relay important developments to the county, perhaps showcasing himself in a run against Del. Johnny Wood next year, was ready to rock and roll against cutting the budget and avoiding a tax hike.

“I have concerns with all the cuts and I read about these suggestions in a newspaper, at least what is supposed to be a newspaper,” said Mattingly, who admitted that he reads this newspaper and must have been administered a dose of truth serum by Dr. Icenhower who had been at the commissioner’s meeting prior to the budget session.

We have done a better job  than most counties in the state of Maryland and we have done it in the up cycle and I am not going to try to balance the budget by using more of the fund balance.  You can bet the state is going to pass down other responsibilities to the counties.  I have a lot of concern about using the fund balance.

Even if you eliminate those three directors you will likely pick up other positions and the Sheriff hasn’t indicated he wants to have the emergency communications added to him. (Mattingly never mentioned that his son is on track to be director in the future)

Raley: I would like to think that any proposal that comes to the table would be,

The issue of funding non-governmental agencies have required a lot of thought and I think it would be good to come up with a new way on how we look at that, we could probably do a better job on that.  I am not in favor of combining the 911 with the Sheriff.

Maybe it is late in the game to bring these suggestions forward.

Jarboe, I brought forward a plan early in the process to do this and you wouldn’t go along with that, this is Plan B.

Houston light rail

Jarboe’s Desire for Streetcar Goes to Capitol Hill


A State of Maryland owned MARC train. NBC 4 photo
A State of Maryland owned MARC train. NBC 4 photo

From St. Mary’s Today newspaper March 25, 2009

Citizens praise use of rail right of way for trails, cite compatible use with light rail

LEONARDTOWN (March 25, 2009) —  Last week, St. Mary’s Commissioner Larry Jarboe (R. Golden Beach), long an advocate of green technology, commuter rail and using alternative energy to wean America off of fossil fuels, pitched a common sense idea that actually got the support of a majority of the of the Board of Commissioners.

Jarboe proposed that the county turn to the federal and state governments to provide stimulus money for St. Mary’s County to build a streetcar line from Charlotte Hall to Pax River.

Jarboe’s desire for a streetcar was backed up by his advocacy of using the county owned railroad right of way, which was given to St. Mary’s County by the federal government in 1973. Jarboe wants to give it back due to the poor stewardship of the old Navy railroad by the county over the years.  The various Boards of Commissioners have doled out over a hundred easements to cross over the line while about 5 percent of the right of way has been eaten up by the State Highway Administration and SMECO.

Fortunately, all of the right of way which was given to SHA and SMECO can come back, be altered or otherwise aligned to configure a continuous right of way which will get traffic off the highway and onto clean electrically propelled light rail or street cars.

While Commissioner Tommy Mattingly (D. Leonardtown) shills for the developers by approving everything they ask for and opposes all transportation improvements sought by Sen. Roy Dyson (D. St. Mary’s, Calvert, Charles) or his fellow Commissioner Jarboe, Mattingly joined Commissioner Jackie Russell (D. St. George’s Island) in failing to sign the letter from the Board to Congressman Steny Hoyer (D. Md. 5th). 

Commissioners Dan Raley (D. Great Mills) and Kenny Dement (R. Piney Point) joined Jarboe in signing the letter to Hoyer asking for stimulus money to build a street car line.

Hoyer, who also supports bringing commuter rail to Southern Maryland on the existing CSX tracks which lead from the MARC main line between Baltimore and Washington south into Charles County, has taken several steps over the years to advance the day when commuters can count on trains as well as buses to connect with the rest of the state and the metro area.

In 1996 Hoyer landed $2 million for a study of commuter rail in the Rt. 210 Indian Head Highway  corridor and in 2003 sent his senior assistant, John Bohanan, to meetings with CSX officials and also with legislators and former Comptroller William Donald Schaefer.

In 2006, Hoyer joined Gov. Martin O’Malley and Southern Maryland legislators for a photo session in Waldorf at the CSX tracks to focus on a joint commitment to turn to commuter rail to unclog area traffic arteries, which often are tied up all at the same time.

In 1998 Sen. Dyson sponsored and passed legislation requiring the Maryland Department of Transportation to conduct a feasibility study on preserving the railroad right of way leading to Pax River for future light rail use.  Dyson also passed over the veto of Governor Robert Ehrlich, a bill authorizing a study of all transportation alternatives for Southern Maryland.

Republicans such as Del. Tony O’Donnell (Lusby) opposed the Dyson transportation study claiming that the state already possessed all the knowledge of what should be done but their position was really all about petty politics.

The Maryland DOT feasibility study was conducted in 1999 and recommended the preservation of the right of way and emphatically urged that the St. Mary’s Commissioners not allow any further easements across the rail bed.

After several recent easements to developers such as at Wildewood, Dyson became alarmed at the continued purposeful degradation of the railroad right of way and submitted a bill which would prevent the St. Mary’s Board from granting further easements.

Jarboe was the only Board member signing a letter supporting Dyson’s bill.

Senator Dyson told ST. MARY’S TODAY that he appreciated Jarboe’s support and his idea for establishing a street car or light rail line from Charlotte Hall to Pax River is compatible with the overall goal of using rail for commuter use in Southern Maryland.

“We have a heavily traveled interstate highway with Rt. 301 and it is also a regional highway and the corridor is also a local traffic connector,” said Dyson. “With it running parallel to the CSX tracks from Morgantown to Bowie, it’s a natural to use those existing tracks for MARC trains and move people from cars to rail.  Establishing a Charlotte Hall to Pax River commuter line is part of the solution and right now we have some officials who are only part of the problem.”

At Tuesday night’s public forum there was enthusiastic support for the multi-use of the right of way from residents of St. Mary’s County who absolutely love the new hiking and biking opportunities on the railroad right of way.

Jim Swift; told the Board, thank you for your support on the Three Notch Trail, with about 10 people here tonight to speak in favor of your action to expand the trail, for putting phase six of the trail into a higher priority than before, from New Market to Rt. 5. It was the missing link in the trail system so we can have an eleven mile stretch. The DOT transportation is going to prioritizes the missing links, after we are finished with that eleven miles we will have a better recreation facility, a high quality item, it will enhance security but I know there is concern, but once the trail is developed we will have landscaping, good sight lines and the sheriff can patrol it., the other aspect I see is that light rail is in the works and rails and trails can coexist., In Montgomery County at the Purple Line and the Metro Branch both feature compatible rails and trails.

Jarboe then told the audience, “The majority of the board did today sign off on a letter to Congressman Hoyer to bring us in light rail today.”

Swift said that the trolley and the trail are certainly compatible.

Jarboe replied, “it will help funnel state and federal dollars to our county”.

Jarboe said later that using stimulus money for planning for commuter rail not only would serve to move people back and forth to Pax River but would take about half of the population of the county who live along the Rt. 235 / Rt. 5 corridor and put them in easy distance of the commercial shopping area of the county from Wildewood to Lexington Park.

“Business would get a real boost from easy access to light rail or trolley stops,” said Jarboe. “We will have compatible use of the railroad right of way by hikers, bikers, the electric lines for SMECO above ground, the underground lines of natural gas and clean and efficient trolleys moving people back and forth without the building air pollution problem by even more vehicles on the highway.  I hope that Congressman Hoyer acts to bring smart transportation to the county, smart growth policies without smart transportation is just dumb.”

 Comments from public:


Julie van Ordon:  I want to reiterate on some thing’s, I live in Mechanicsville and I was so excited when I found out a few years ago that St. Mary’s County was going to put in a trail and today was a great day to be on the trail, I go up to the Northern Senior Center and park and go on the trail, I have roller bladed on there and have seen three generations of a family there enjoying the trail, have picked up trash and happy to do it, we pledge our support and will plant wildflowers on the embankment….we will pledge free mediation services to the county and any property owners who have any conflicts over land for the trail and to let you know that the Community Mediation Center is having a fun run on April 4th on the trail. It will be the first event on the trail. We were able to rent some restrooms from the senior center so runners and walkers can use the restroom.   It’s a win win all the way around.

It’s the rural communities neighborhood sidewalk.


Mike McCauley: Garner Road, Mech.    I want to thank you for supporting Three Notch Road, in the class that I teach at CSM, I use the trail as an example of the benefit of using something for the common good, with the legitimate objectives of both can be met if …I am a frequent user of the trail. Last Sunday, my wife and rode the length of the trail and counted 40 people out there on the trail.

There is something about the relaxation and communication and I pass people out there that I know, that is the wonderful thing about exchanging greetings and unexpected encounters between people. I have seen people in walkers, on skates, wheelchairs and I saw a man in his sixties walking along with great vigor.


Steve Whetstone.   Hollywood.  150 members of Pax Bicycling Club and put on the race here each year, we believe very strongly in bicycling as an alternative method of transportation and exercise.  We need to pave the missing link.   Right now we ride on base, those roads are safe and now we are looking forward to the trail.

Light rail moves people around the world, this train is in Seville, Spain.

Rail and Ferry Options

From Commissioner Larry Jarboe’s column in St. Mary’s Today newspaper March 14, 2004

Light rail moves people around the world, this train is in Seville, Spain.
Light rail moves people around the world, this train is in Seville, Spain.

This week, the St. Mary’s County Commissioners reviewed a site plan for a Maryland Transit Authority park and ride lot.  This parking lot for six hundred commuter cars will be located beside the County owned  convenience center at the corner of route 5 and Route 6 in New Market.

A year ago, the MTA had selected a site along Golden Beach Road which would have had to be purchased from private ownership thus depleting the treasury and taking more land off the tax rolls.

The Golden Beach Patuxent Knolls Civic Association contacted the County Commissioners with their concerns about traffic on Golden Beach Road.  They also recommended the convenience center site as a sensible and cost effective alternative.

Affordably improving public infrastructure is not always an easy process.  The rapid growth of commuter bus transit will only be compounded as gasoline prices escalate.  Though the construction of the new park and ride facility will provide for an immediate need during the work week and additional parking for the Fifth District Park on weekends, there are future transportation needs that will need to be addressed.

The next park and ride lot should be located adjacent to the old railroad right of way.  The interim hiker, biker, buggy trail in Charlotte Hall is literally paving the way for future light rail.  Although this option may be twenty years away, remember it has taken over a decade to widen Route 235; light rail and commuter rail on the CSX tracks to Morgantown are still options that must not be forgotten.

The possible inclusion of a Potomac River ferry boat into our transportation system further expands our travel options and strengthens our position in the BRAC process to keep our Patuxent River Navy Base secure.  Of all the environmental, historic, tourist, and travel based benefits, the completion of a Washington D.C. to Norfolk corridor will place our base convenient to these two naval control centers.

As we develop our transportation plan, it is incumbent that the County Commissioners designate public landings at both public waterfront property and private marinas for the marine transport of passengers, vehicles, and freight.

We are a County surrounded by four hundred miles of waterfront.  We should make sensible and good use of this important resource.

Commissioners Chris Brugman and Larry Jarboe both penned opinion columns in St. Mary's Today newspaper for two years prior to winning their seats on the commissioner board.

Larry Jarboe led fight to save historic St. Mary’s Courthouse

Save the Courthouse
Save the Courthouse – in his first term as County Commissioner Larry Jarboe hid his most identifiable asset under a rug and shielded the historic courthouse from the destructive big-spending policies of liberal Republicans and the Taxocrats who wanted to build a $23 million Judicial Palace.

St. Mary’s County Commissioner Brugman on saving the courthouse and examining the differences between Larry Jarboe and Shelby Guazzo during the GOP primary in 2002:

First let me state that I find it both disturbing and humorous that Shelby Guazzo has the gall to claim that she is a “conservative.”  The fact is that even though she is the only Republican on the current board of commissioners, she is arguably the most liberal of the entire bunch.

FACT:  Shelby Guazzo, despite her lies and ludicrous claims, voted in favor of the largest tax hikes in the history of St. Mary’s County.  It’s a deliberate lie to state that because she voted against the budget this year that she voted against “the liberal inspired property tax increase” as her literature claims.  Miss Guazzo, what about the previous three years?  It’s a lie to state that you voted against the tax increases when in fact you voted to approve the budgets that contained them.  Guazzo also supported increasing the local income tax and impact fee, then had the audacity to state, “I don’t know why young people would want to go off and buy a new house” anyway.  Doesn’t sound conservative to me?

FACT:  Mrs. Guazzo voted against building new soccer and baseball fields for the youth of this county, and then turned around and spent more than $5 million on a horse park in her backyard (Chaptico) for her elitist “Fox Hunting Club”.  Let me ask you this, if you were required to list your top 100 priorities as a taxpayer, would the thought of a horse park even enter your mind?  Of course it wouldn’t.

FACT:  Shelby Guazzo has a proven track record as both a county commissioner and a planning commissioner of levying the harshest and most draconian land use regulations in St. Mary’s County history, regulations that strip property owners of land rights without compensation.  So not only is she taking your property rights away, she has the nerve to charge you more (in the form of property taxes) to live there.

FACT:  Shelby Guazzo has a miserable track record when it comes to ethics and public trust.  Guazzo and the rest of her cohorts were found guilty by a court of law for violating the St. Mary’s County’s Ethics Ordinance when they appointed politically connected friends to a land use committee.  Guazzo was also instrumental in shutting down the long and unique tradition of having open public forums the first Tuesday of every month.  These forums were the only way the peasants in her Queendom could share their concerns and opinions directly with the locally elected officials.  I guess after she was elected she didn’t care much about what we had to say.

FACT:  Guazzo, as well as the rest of the ethically challenged board of commissioners, repeatedly violated the Open Meetings Act by holding much of the county’s business in a back room, hidden from public scrutiny.  What kind of secret deals were made and for whom did they benefit?

FACT:  Guazzo was a member of a board of commissioners that literally blew a $13.8 million surplus in her first two years in office, and then voted for a record property tax hike.  She now claims that the current board has a $14 million surplus.  The difference?  She, along with the current board, needed to raise taxes in order to get their surplus whereas the prior board delivered a $13.8 million surplus after four consecutive years of tax cuts and responsible spending.

FACT:  Guazzo voted to spend millions of your tax dollars on land acquisitions for Good ol’ Boy democrat land developers.  After spending the surplus into extinction, and after voting for record tax hikes, this past budget year the current commissioners proclaimed a “budget crises.”  It wasn’t a budget crisis, nor was it a revenue crisis; it was a spending crisis that Miss Guazzo played a major role.  (At least we’re getting a new horse park).

I could go on and on about Guazzo’s miserable record over the past four years, but due to space limitations, let me instead tell you why I am voting for Larry Jarboe.

Commissioners Chris Brugman and Larry Jarboe both penned opinion columns in St. Mary's Today newspaper for two years prior to winning their seats on the commissioner board.
Commissioners Chris Brugman and Larry Jarboe both penned opinion columns in St. Mary’s Today newspaper for two years prior to winning their seats on the commissioner board.

Larry Jarboe is the only true conservative in his race and his public record proves it.  Larry voted to cut taxes four years in a row, while fully funding the Board of Education budget one year, and at record increases the other three.  Larry Jarboe led the efforts to save the historic St. Mary’s County Courthouse in Leonardtown.  This, combined with the incredible efforts of Mayor Chip Norris and the Leonardtown Town Council, was the spark that ignited the wonderful economic resurgence that has made Leonardtown a great small town again.

Larry Jarboe voted with the last board to expand Great Mills and Chopticon High Schools, Piney Point Elementary, and several other schools to meet the demand NAVAIR brought to the county.  Larry Jarboe voted to build new athletic fields for our youth instead of horse stables for the rich and elite few.  Larry voted to bring the new Lexington Park Post Office to Lexington Park and establish the low interest revolving loan program to help economic development in Lexington Park.

Larry Jarboe voted against more executive sessions (closed to the public, back door meetings) than any other county commissioner in history.  Larry never needed a court of law to convict him of violating the Ethics Ordinance because in my opinion, Larry is probably the most ethical county commissioner in the history of our wonderful county.

Larry Jarboe voted with the prior board to hire more minorities and women to department head levels in government than any other board in history.  The first year in office, Guazzo voted to get rid of those fine administrators and hire politically connected democrats, all white men, who have used their positions of power to benefit their pals.  To add insult to injury, the current board (Guazzo included) recently voted to extend these contracts 1-2 years beyond their terms.  This arrogance and abuse of power will cost the taxpayers even more money when the new board hires people that will be loyal to them.  These votes were political payoffs to the sum of hundreds of thousands of dollars.  This corruption and arrogance should not be tolerated.

Larry Jarboe voted to bring modern technology and efficiencies to county government by creating the county’s first Information Technologies Department.  Prior to this effort, the folks in planning and zoning were literally using typewriters to process your building permits.  Larry also voted to bring a modern emergency communication system and 911 center to our county for our courageous police officers and emergency service providers.  Strangely, the current board still hasn’t seen this effort to completion.  I guess political payoffs to their friends are more important than our emergency service providers.

Larry is the epitome of integrity and ethics, something Guazzo is severely lacking, as proven by her record, her campaign lies and embarrassing smear campaign against Larry, which brings to mind another question.  Why is it that Shelby Guazzo is running the most negative, vindictive, vicious, and venomous campaigns of all the candidates?  One would think that after four years in office, Guazzo would campaign on her accomplishments rather than attacking her opponent with lies and distortions.  The only reason I can think of is that she doesn’t have any accomplishments to campaign on so now she is attacking Larry.  How pathetic!

Guazzo has also made a point about Larry changing parties from a Democrat to a Republican.  To be honest with you, I could care less.  Our county is full of conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans (Guazzo for example), and vice versa.  With the critical decisions that face the future of this county, intelligent voters will vote for the person who they think will do the best job, not their political affiliation.  Last time I checked, the Democratic Party hasn’t built any new schools, and as far as I know, neither has the Republican Party.

Guazzo needs to grow up and face the fact that party politics are divisive and contribute nothing to the important decisions that face our county.  It’s the person and the issues they bring to the table, not their political party Shelby, got it?  And what will Shelby do if, God forbid, she happens to win on Tuesday?  How will she then be able to ask Democrats for their vote in the general elections when she considers it a mistake to be one?  I guess her arrogance, gall, and Country Club Republican attitude will get her past that hurdle, but only if we are dumb enough to vote for her in the first place.

Make no mistake about it.  If you want a commissioner that is truly conservative, with unwavering ethics, who will put the people ahead of his own political gains, who is the only person in his race with a proven track record of tax cuts and responsible spending, a person who will not use your money to buy political favors with developers, there is only one choice.  Join me and vote for Larry Jarboe and restore integrity and conservative values to Leonardtown.

However, Larry cannot do it alone.  Send Larry some help by voting for Joe Gass and Rocky Rowland as well.  With their help and conservative leadership, we will finally restore trust and common sense to Leonardtown.

Chris Brugman


(Chris Brugman served with Larry Jarboe on the St. Mary’s Board of Commissioners from 1994 to 1998.)