Sun Editorial Defends State Over Local Governments

In an editorial item today in the Baltimore Sun, the paper’s editorial board casts aside local government worries about accountability and usurpation of authority, using an “end justifies the means” approach. From the opinion piece (limited free views available):

Well, with less than a week left in the session, it’s that time of year again. Local leaders from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore see Annapolis trampling local decision-making rights from land planning to government ethics, and they don’t much like it.

At some level, it’s understandable that county executives, commissioners and council members want to make their choices unencumbered by state and federal mandates. And whenever possible, that’s the ideal. What’s good for Rockville isn’t necessarily what’s best for Princess Anne on any number of issues, small and large.

But some of the most controversial choices being made in the State House this year — decisions construed by some as usurpation — are more than justified. In most cases, they are issues where the interests of the state as a whole need to be factored into the mix and where local governments need to be held more accountable, not less.

A particularly interesting posit in the opinion piece is the Sun‘s use of “broader issues of public interest” as an all-inclusive rationale for any state takeover of local authority.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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