Editor's note: Rising costs, fewer state and federal dollars, and falling county revenues have pushed Carroll's deficit over $5 million, spurring immediate cutbacks, reduced work forces and, for the first time, talk of possible layoffs. The Budget Office has directed all county agencies to cut their budgets by 1 percent for fiscal 1991, whichends June 30, and by 2 percent for fiscal 1992. For the first time in more than a decade, Carroll will experience actual cuts in programs. We have been asking readers where cuts should be made, whether taxes should be increased, and related questions. Here are some of the replies we received:
From: Terry J. Browning
When are government bureaucrats going to come down from their golden hill to live at our standard way of living?
Working people are already taxed to the limit. We live from one paycheck to another. Then, he has the gall to pass a snack tax.
From: John Fernandez
We need to hold spending because of the built-in raises, and other expenses, that the government of the state and counties have.
From: William A. Welnosky
A tax hike is out of the question.
Granted, the county needs more money for its upkeep, but so does nearly everyone. As our federal government needs more money, just what do you think would happen if taxes wereraised?
Naturally, more pork-barrel spending by our money-grabbing Congress.
Keep the most essential "hard workers"; dump the "shovel leaners."
PROTEST THE RADIO TOWER
From: Charlotte Hann Garmer
All persons who object to the nighttime brilliant, flashing lights on the WGRX radio tower in Hampstead have another date to mark on their calendar.
A public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the auditorium at North Carroll Senior High School will be sponsored by the County Commissioners of Carroll County.
Many residents are hoping that the night lighting system will be changed to red lights. (The strobe lights -- brilliant, flashing lights -- would still be used at daytime.)
This is called a dual lighting system. The only other choice is to keep the lights as they are now.
Do you want this to happen?
Please be sure to attend this important meeting to let the commissioners be aware of how these "visually dominant, bright,flashing lights" on the tower affect your life.
Even if they are not actually visible at your home, you can come and support other neighbors who have no choice but to try and hide from looking at it.
I spoke to Charles W. Thompson Jr., county attorney (telephone -- 857-2030), by phone yesterday (April 9).
One important question I asked was: Can you tell me how this tower that holds these lights benefits the area that can see it?
He said that he could not give a comment to this because he is the adviser to the commissioners.
The county gets tax revenue from assessment charges to the property. Maybe the state gets a little tax money, too.
Hampstead Town Manager John Riley told me today (April 10) that the tax money the town gained from the WGRX property is a combined assessment cost and a corporationtax totaling $1,633.68.
This little bit of tax will never compensate for the displeasure that comes to many residents.
This is a freedom. Come to the meeting or call or write Mr. Thompson or the County Commissioners office (857-2043) and let them know your own opinion.
Thanks, Sean Gibbons, for your leadership and dedication to this visual environmental problem, which has been forced upon many residents in Carroll County!
LETTING CHILDREN LEARN
From: Patricia S. Wall
After reading the articles that appeared in your paper last month ("Parents fear Halloween is bad influence on students" and "School board votes, 3-2, to allow 'Gilgamesh' in class," The Carroll County Sun, March 24), I would like to express my concern about the issue of censorship and its application by the school board.
At the time the article appeared, some board members were expressing their dismay that the topic of Halloween was being discussed in classrooms across Carroll County.
On the same page of your paper, theepic poem "Gilgamesh" was being reviewed by board members, who were voting to determine whether "Gilgamesh" was an appropriate reading assignment in high school classrooms in the county.
I become fearfulwhen my right to determine what is or is not appropriate for my children is usurped by another. The purpose of an education is to teach children to become successful, productive members of society.
If aneducation is well-rounded, children will be exposed to many different ideas and opinions that will enhance their perception of our world and the part they play in making our world a place of which we all can be proud.
In addition to this school-based education, it is my job as a parent to provide a home life that is open and supportive. Ifmy children have concerns or questions, I hope they will come to me for the answers to those questions.
It is not the job of the teacher or the school board to instill a sense of values.