By Joshua Akinyemi
(Baltimore, MD) – State Senator Jim Brochin formally announced his candidacy for Baltimore County Executive onThursday October 19th at 5pm at Towson Manor Park (E Towsontown Blvd & Virginia Ave, 21286).
Senator Brochin has been in the Maryland Senate for 15 years and was instrumental in legislative passage of same-sex marriage. Jim also co-sponsored the Healthy Air Act, supported tighter restrictions on development along coastlines, and has been a stalwart advocate for protecting open space. Additionally, Jim helped secure funding for a new elementary school in Towson (West Towson Elementary), as well as the additions to Stoneleigh Elementary School and Hampton Elementary School, and helped secure air conditioning at Ridgely Middle School.
Over the last few years, Senator Brochin has spent more and more of his time stopping overdevelopment in his district. Jim helped stop an assisting living facility that would have destroyed 10-acres of trees alongside the Hampton neighborhood, helped prevent the destruction of open space in shawan Valley for a megachurch, assisted in finding a new site for a large church on Seminary Avenue in Brooklandville that would have taken up 21 wooded acres of land near Falls and Seminary, and joined the Towson community residents and environmentalists to fight a proposed 24-hour, 16-pump Royal Farms gas station at the corner of York Road and Bosley Avenue.
Jim has come to the conclusion that Baltimore County development is driven by a play-to-play system so much so that during the 2017 legislative session Jim introduced legislation that would have prohibited any County Council Members and the County Executive from receiving contributions from any developer if they have submitted any type of rezoning application or building permit, including variances, PUDs, or any change to a master plan, in that district. The bill failed in the Baltimore County Senate Delegation 6-2, and Jim plans on reintroducing the bill again during the upcoming 2018 legislative session.
Ultimately, Jim fells the best way to have community leaders and community associations on the same playing fields as developers is to lead Baltimore County so that he can ultimately protect neighborhoods.