Editor's note: The Westminster Council is considering a consultant'srecommendation to increase office space with an addition to City Hall and a new building for the Police Department. We have been asking readers what form the proposed expansion should take, whether the cityshould lease existing space, purchase available space, build an addition, construct new buildings, and whether the city should pay cash or finance it through bonds. Here are some of the replies we received:
From: Robert F. Beyer
More space is not needed.
The city government, like all types of government, has gotten too big. It needs to be trimmed and made efficient.
Lower taxes are needed, not just spend, spend, spend. Give a refund back to taxpayers now.
*From: Steven R. Fleming
I suggest leasing space in the old SherwoodSquare building, and/or other downtown space to help keep downtown active, alive and used.
New space is not needed -- renovate and upgrade the present space as needed after leased space is obtained. Theyneed more room, but let's invest in our own downtown and not abandonit for new buildings.
*From: Michael S. Myers
Iattended the last City Council meeting on (June 10).
The meeting on expanding City Hall made me realize that there are some vacant buildings in the area. It would be more efficient if (the city) renovated an old building instead of building a separate one.
(The city) could make offices in Locust Lane Mall and move the few businesses to a better location. This building has two levels, is handicap-accessible and is close to the current City Hall.
(The city) also could move some offices into the old J.C. Penny's building. This building hasseveral levels and also has a lot of room.
I hope (the city) takes one of these ideas into consideration because I was really concerned about the city spending more money than needed.
Michael S. Myersis a 12-year-old Boy Scout with Troop 393 and addressed this letter to Mayor W. Benjamin Brown.
STORY WAS EXCELLENT
From: Jan S. Watts
This letter is to commend your staff writer, Anne Haddad, for her extremely personalized yet informative article about the opening of our new Psychiatric Unit at Carroll County General Hospital (Carroll County Sun, June 2, "Hospital psychiatric ward will have homelike setting").
Her interest and patience, combined with her journalistic flair, produced an article that spoke to the heart.
This article will dispel many myths about inpatient hospitalization of mentally ill clients and contributes greatly to better understanding and awareness of mental health issues. Your newspaper is enhanced by having a writer of her quality on your staff.
SCHOOLS IGNORE PARENTS
From: Rita Eder
It was with great amusement that I read your advertisement, "The Search for Excellence," promoting your upcoming series on how Carroll selects teachers.
The ad states, "To getthe best ones, you have to look long and hard." That certainly is true, but it surely is not the policy of Carroll.
My children's school is losing a teacher who was forced to resign. The teacher had the unanimous support of the parents. Eighty-one taxpaying parents signeda petition to stop this action.
However, everyone from the superintendent, Mr. Shilling, on down, including the Board of Education, refused to obey the will of the people.
This is symptomatic of what is wrong with the Carroll public school system. Good teachers are letgo, incompetents are kept and parents' concerns are ignored.
The principal of Eldersburg Elementary School has just resigned, apparently out of frustration with the system.
Unfortunately, we parents with school-age children cannot resign from the system. We are stuck with an educational system that forces ridiculous curriculums and teaching methods on our children and takes away the few excellent teachers we have.
It is no mystery to me why education is faltering. Ask any parent and they will recite a litany of complaints. But is anyoneout there listening?
AHA HAS STUDENT KITS
From: Stacey Spalt
American Heart Association
As many countians may know, the American Heart Association has heart-health education kits for day-cares, kindergarten classes and elementary schools.
What they may not know is that the AHA now has kits for middle schools and high schools.
These kits teach students about their hearts, smoking, nutrition, high blood pressure, and exercise through games, puzzles and prepared activities.
The kits, titled "Heart Decisions and Heart Challenges," make learning fun and make heart health education easier for teachers.
Currently, four middle schools and three high schools in Carroll County have these kits and several civic organizations have made contributions to pay for them.