Blogging Live: About an Hour Into Public Hearing

Blogging LIve from the County Office Building

The commissioners have been listening to citizen comments concerning changing the implementation date of the residential sprinkler ordinance from Jan 1st to July 1, 2011.  At this point, the commissioners appear to be nearing the half-way point in the public comments section as President Mullin works his way through the room, asking people to step forward and offer remarks. 

Eighteen people have addressed the elected officials at the one hour mark.   The arguments against center around whether government should mandate protective measures and questions about sprinklers effectiveness.  Others have noted that this is not the time to implement the requirement as the added cost will make it hard for families already struggling to build a home.

One builder remarked, “I will be lucky to build 50 homes in the county this year.  I’m here to protect them.  They’re not here.  They’re not aware of what’s going on.  The economy is so bad these people won’t be able to afford this.  Government has spent a lot of time telling us what we’re going to do.  There’s a fine line as it concerns the rights of people.  You can’t go around thinking I can protect the world.  I sure can’t”

Former Commissioner Wayne Tome, speaking for the fire service, urged the commissioners to allow the law to go into effect as it stands.  “As newly elected commissioners, you have been put in a difficult position by Mr. Hodge” he remarked as he outlined how sprinklers save lives and property.  “You asked the fire service to stand with you when you were out campaigning.  Now we ask you to stand with us. . . .  Don’t put on a face the next time there’s a fire death and go to the scene with us.  As for me, I’m going back to Port Deposit to protect our community.”

Comments are continuing.

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