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Brochin says he wants to end pay-to-play in county

Sen. Jim Brochin

State Sen. Jim Brochin, who is widely expected to run for Baltimore County Executive, today announced that he will introduce legislation that he says will address “pay-to-play” in the county council.

The legislation would “prohibit campaign contributions to any member of the Baltimore County Council or the County Executive of Baltimore County during pendency of land zoning applications. … The bill proposes to prohibit land development applicants, and agents of applicants, from making financial contributions payments to members of the Baltimore County Council or the County Executive of Baltimore County during the pendency of the application beginning in 2019, affecting business preceding 3 years of an application . It also prohibits members from voting or participating in the application proceedings under certain circumstances. The proposed bill will also require the applicant, under certain circumstances, to file a specified affidavit under oath after filing any application, and before the application is considered by the County Council of Baltimore County.”

Councilman David Marks, who represents much of Towson, said in an email to the Flyer, “​I look forward to Senator Brochin introducing legislation that restricts members of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, on which he serves, from accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from lawyers who have business before this committee.”

Brochin’s news release said he “has become frustrated over the years with what he sees as a ‘pay-to- play’ system for certain development projects, where Baltimore County Council members and/or the County Executive receive contributions numbering well into tens of thousands of dollars for land development projects within the County.”

In a statement about the bill, a spokesperson for the Green Towson Alliance, which opposes a proposed Royal Farms at York Road and Bosley Avenue and is working to make other upcoming developments more walkable and environmentally friendly, said: “The Green Towson Alliance has struggled to achieve our mission to achieve a greener, healthier, more attractive community in the face of developer influence over elected officials.”

Brochin’s office said he will hold a press conference Monday to discuss the legislation.

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1 Comment on "Brochin says he wants to end pay-to-play in county"

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Sam C

It’s easy to see that this is anti-Kamenetz posturing. KK isn’t the best or worst person for Towson, but he at least offers ideas for improving acres of prime real estate that are currently blight zones. What have other elected officials offered? (crickets)

Want to improve Towson? How about we find an elected official with a vision and a spine? Many of Kamenetz’s ideas are flawed, but there are ZERO alternatives offered by Towson’s “leadership.” Leaders make tough decisions (they may upset a vocal few for the benefit of the majority) for long-term growth. Towson officials take advantage of an apathetic electorate and fall in line with whatever group yells loudest, at the expense of Towson’s future. I get it, maybe these anti-progress voters with a 1950s Towson vision that they never experienced hold some clout with neighborhood social clubs, but their visions of Towson involves a blighted, abandoned mess. Goals for “no traffic or outsiders” are failing goals. Abandoned buildings and vacant streets provide little traffic but also a social and economic disaster.

Buckling to obstructionists and xenophonic, anti-change sentiments is not leadership. The local economy has been improving for years, investment interests are growing, yet Towson is crumbling and opportunities are non-existent unless you’re in the chain-link fence business.