Dual Advisory Committees to consider Red Line community issues

As a result of legislation and an Executive Order, the MTA now has two new committees to oversee its study of the 10-mile Red Line.

One committee was created by bills passed during the 2006 legislative session but then vetoed by Governor Ehrlich. Legislators from the study corridor then convinced their colleagues to override the vetoes during the June Special Session. In addition to creating a 15-member Citizens Advisory Council, the bills require MTA to consider establishing a fund to compensate the owners of property damaged by the project; to consider commercial development opportunities around stations; and to consider methods give preferential treatment to corridor residents when hiring for construction jobs.

The second committee was created by an Executive Order signed by Governor Ehrlich the same day he vetoed the bills. Executive Order 01.01.2006.04 establishes the “Red Line Community Advisory Council.” The council will have 15 members selected by the Governor, and will provide advice to the MTA on “potential neighborhood impacts” and “economic development activities.”

While less specific than the version established in the bills, the executive order provides a similar framework for public input and oversight. The council will be co-chaired by Sandra E. Connor, Director of the Workforce Transportation and Referral Center at Sojourner-Douglass College and Reverend John A. Heath, Executive Director of the Maryland Department of Human Resources’ Community Services Administration. The MTA held the first meeting on July 20.

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