With some members reluctant to issue bonds for this purpose, the Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday agreed in principle on a plan to buy farmland preservation easements on the installment plan.
It's better than a pay-as-you-go plan under which easements wouldn't be purchased until the county had all the revenue in hand. But even in the absence of a bond issue, there are other things the county and its citizens can do to preserve farmland.
But let's answer this question first: Why should citizens care whether farmland is developed? Because, in the long run, preservation will cost the county taxpayers much less than development.
Even if a developer agrees to provide a school site - or even offers to build the school, as one developer did in Frederick County - all taxpayers still have to pay to hire the teachers and maintain the facility.