SUPPORTING IMPACT FEES From: William V. Lauterbach Jr.
Manchester Carroll County government has spent much time and money to find out the impact of new homes built in the county.
I served on the Impact Sub-committee with builders, developers, county staff and one mayor.
The first study was rejected by the building trade as not being valid and therefore their consulting firm was picked for the new study.
This firm presented a very comprehensive report that listed every detail about the impact fee and how it could be legally charged.
After some discussion, the committee accepted this report and forwarded it to the commissioners for implementation. So far, no realistic increase has been put into effect.
Any deviation from the full impact cost puts an unjust burden on those who must pay for this added cost brought on by the new homes.
This may cause retired persons living on fixed incomes to have to give up their homes that they worked so hard to pay for without subsidies.
No one worried if it was too much burden for them to pay settlement costs or if they could purchase a home the week after they were married.
Not everyone can afford to buy a house and when people make it easy for them to get over their heads in debt for the sake of one more sale, they are not doing anyone a favor.
It's sort of like buying a $10,000 auto with nothing down and four years to pay. Take a look at all the Housing and Urban Development homes that had to be repossessed.
How much of an additional burden is an $8,000 to $10,000 impact fee on a $140,000 home?
However, I do not think there should ever be an impact fee on commercial or industrial buildings because this is counterproductive. The original $150 fee was not applied to this class of building.
Another user fee that should be established is a transfer tax to cover the impact from the sale of used homes. Otherwise, when a couple wishes to retire to a smaller house and sells their large home to a younger family that needs a house that size to raise their school-age children, they pay nothing for the impact.
Yet the retirees pay an impact fee on the smaller house.
Let's stop this political fooling around and set the fee where it belongs, because the impact is only getting greater.William V. Lauterbach Jr. is a former County Commissioner.
AD DAMAGED CAMPAIGN From: William Murphy Millers My name is William Murphy and I live with my wife and family in the 3900 block of Schalk Road, #1 Millers, Md. 21107.
I was a candidate for the Carroll County School Board until my defeat in the Sept. 11 primary election. I am a Catholic, a member of St. John's Catholic Church in Westminster, a member of the Knights of Columbus and a pro-life activist for over six years.
I believe in the sanctity of human life, and also believe that there are cases -- for example, rape, incest and the life of a mother -- where exceptions must be made.
I am also an advocate of AIDS education for our children and also for adults.
With this in mind, I would like to walk the reader through a series of events leading to my defeat in the Sept. 11, 1990, primary election.
I received in August a brief questionnaire from Carroll County Right to Life Inc. I returned the survey and never heard from them again.
At no time during my campaign or in any private or public forums were questions asked concerning abortion legislation. The Carroll County School Board is non-partisan and does not by law get involved with abortion legislation.
In Sunday's The Carroll County Times a paid advertisement listed a slate of pro-life candidates, telling voters to vote for them in the primary.
Various Catholic and Protestant churches were also manned with pro-life activists who disseminated on church property this literature.
Since the election was imminent, there was no way to place an advertisement or letter to the editor.
One of the candidates receiving an endorsement was Larry Haines, whom I supported, and who has the same beliefs on pro-life legislation as I have. Two candidates for school board were endorsed by Voters for Life and were successful in the primary: Joseph Mish Jr. and Ann Ballard.
I believe that serious damage was done to my campaign by the actions of Carroll County Right to Life Inc. and Voters for Life.
I spoke to Bob Haas of Haas Engineering, who paid for the ad. I told him I have marched in Washington, D.C., for a number of years and have participated in a number of sit-ins at abortion clinics in Virginia.
His only question was whether I got arrested. I told him "No" and he said he has been arrested a number of times. Evidently, this gentleman believes you are not a pro-lifer unless you are arrested.
My point is that I am one of the pro-lifers and why was I singled out or blackballed in this election?
I believe that these pro-life groups have done themselves a serious disservice by attacking one of their own. This is in effect a personal attack on my good name, my reputation and my beliefs.
The word is integrity. By integrity, we mean honesty and the truth.
At a time in our nation's history when we look for the values and beliefs of Jesus Christ in our fellow brethren, your (C.C. Right to Life Inc.'s) actions are regrettable.
I believe that my beliefs, especially my support for AIDS education, were also factors involved in this endorsement.
In closing, to the electorate a word of caution: Don't believe all you read; question the candidate as to his beliefs. If you don't use prudence and wisdom in your choice -- don't be swayed by emotionalism -- it will not stand the test of time. Let truth be your guide and integrity your banner.