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Talbot County Council Tag

NextStep190 concerns Talbot County residents

(From The Star Democrat March 3rd article "The process of change" by Connie Connolly) It’s both the product and the process of NextStep190 that concerns Talbot County residents. A process designed to involve Talbot County residents in revising Chapter 190 of the county code seems not to have caught the attention of some who now are concerned the revision product will hit them in their wallets, their lifestyles, their freedom — or all three. Whether in or out of the loop, a large group of residents is fired up. They have shared their gripes, questions and concerns with each other on social media since mid-February. “I don’t like this whole being told what to do,” one county resident said. Her views have struck a chord with 1,300 Talbot countians who have joined Talbot County Citizens Against NextStep 190, the Facebook page launched on Feb. 11. Complaints about how and when meetings were scheduled, and how they were promoted, is a recurring theme on the Facebook page. But communicating with the public is a key component of the process, according to County Planner Mary Kay Verdery. At the start of the Talbot County Planning Commission’s meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21, Verdery summarized how her office has gotten the word out about the NextStep190 process, “a project to update Talbot County’s Zoning, Subdivision, and Land Development Ordinance,” according to the website nextstep190.com. She told the commission that once the initial meetings to coordinate staff were completed, “just under 30 public participation and 20 public attendance (to observe work sessions) meetings” were held. Verdery said meetings were advertised on the NextStep190 website and in the newspaper, through email blasts and with postcard mailings. “We’ve taken multiple steps to make sure the public was aware of these meetings,” Verdery said. “We’ve had many meetings since we started.” One member of the Facebook group had his own

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