A Kent County News article (2018-02-02) reported on the recent Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) listening session in Kent County to hear feedback about the new State Development Plan, “A Better Maryland.” The article noted that the plan will be developed in three phases and be finalized in June of 2019. Currently MDP is in a listening and information gathering phase.
The article noted that Kent County residents were able to use their cell phones to respond to questions and send live feedback via text messages. Responses were displayed in real time.
“We want involvement in this process from beginning to end, by as many people as we can possibly get,” [MDP local assistance and training manager Joe] Griffiths said.
The first question, “In one word, what is your community’s greatest strength?” received the largest number of votes for agriculture, while heritage and community were also discussed. …
Another question asked of residents was, “What factor is most important for a high quality of life in your community?” The largest percentage of responses dealt with open space and the environment.
The article noted that the top two answers for the question about what the state development plan should address was agriculture and transportation. Residents also offered their thoughts about local heritage, jobs, diversity, education, and a third Chesapeake Bay bridge crossing.
The Kent County Commissioners also offered their thoughts on what the state should be focusing on as part of “A Better Maryland:”
“I think the general sentiment is, cliche, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’” [Commissioner William] Pickrum said. “Most of the residents here are very happy with the way the county is.” …
Commissioner Bill Short said he felt differently about the infrastructure and economic development of Kent County. He hoped that state leadership or state financial aide could help the county grow. …
Commissioner Ron Fithian said the marina industry in Kent County is a big business and some state environmental regulations on marinas can become obstacles for those businesses.