From the office of Del. Kathy Szeliga:
Toll Increase Update:
Thousands of people attended the public meetings held by the MDTA (MD Transportation Authority) this spring and summer. At the Havre de Grace meeting that I was able to attend personally, at least 1,000 packed the auditorium. From a show of hands, there was only one person in the crowd in favor of the new toll rates!
I spoke at the public meeting and also submitted a letter to the MDTA. Recently, the MDTA sent a written response to my letter. Although the letter says that they do not believe their actions have created an “undue impact on any one area of the state,” those of us who live and commute in the northeast part of Maryland simply can’t agree. Isn’t it interesting that the state found ways to fund the $2.5 billion Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Prince Georges County without tolling and our tolls are being increased because of the construction of the ICC which spans the wealthiest counties in our state surrounding DC. All the while, the steepest toll increases are in the rural areas of Maryland.
We will have to wait and see what they do. The MDTA is an independent agency that only reports to the General Assembly, we have no power over them. The governor, however, does appoint the members of the MDTA Board. I hope you contacted the governor if you are passionate about this issue. The official comment period ended on August 1st. They received over 4,000 comments on the proposed toll increases.
There will be a Special Session of the Maryland Legislature sometime in October – probably around October 17th. Congressional redistricting will be the topic of the session. It should be a short session, only a few days, unless the Leadership decides to raise taxes during the special session.
If you are interested in Maryland’s redistricting process, I have listed meetings below with dates and times for citizen input.
Stay cool! I’ll be in touch next month.
Delegate Kathy Szeliga
Upcoming Redistricting Events
8/4 – Thursday
Redistricting Public Input from Baltimore County
When: Thu, August 4, 7pm – 9pm
Where: Holiday Inn Timonium, 9615 Deereco Road, Timonium, Md 21093
“The Baltimore County Republican Party values your input as we develop our recommendations for Legislative and Congressional redistricting in Baltimore County. Our hearing will be held on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at: The Holiday Inn Timonium 9615 Deereco Road Timonium, MD 21093 Testimony will begin at 7:00pm.”
See http://www.bcfairlines.com for more information & guidellines
8/27 – Saturday-
The Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee will hold 12 public hearings across the State that will help inform the committee as it drafts a recommended plan for the State’s Legislative and Congressional redistricting. Our local meetings are:
· Saturday, August 27, 11 a.m., Harford Community College (Amoss Center), 200 Thomas Run Road, Bel Air, Harford County
· Saturday, August 27, 2 p.m., Towson University (Stephens Hall Theater), 8000 York Road, Towson, Baltimore County