Julia Gouge, Phone Your Office, If You Can Find The Time

THE WAY IT IS

And There'salso An Urgent Message Waiting For Elmer Lippy

August 18, 1991|By Jeff Griffith

Things I wonder about:

* Whatever happened to Julia Gouge?

The second-term county commissioner seems conspicuous by her absence nowadays.

One of her colleagues reports that she is very active in regional and state issues because she wants to ascend (?) to statewide office in the next election. During her first term, she stridently criticized colleagues she accused of spending insufficient time in the office.

Have her standards changed since she lost her status as a member of the majority voting bloc?

* Why are the citizens of Carroll County so afraid of charter government?

Charter government would confer home rule on the citizens of Carroll.

That would give the citizens of the unincorporated portions of the county the same powers and responsibilities as belong to the citizens of the county's eight incorporated towns. County voters would have the authority to elect an executive and a county council, just as town residents now elect a mayor and town council.

That system has been working just fine, thank you, in the towns for as long as anyone can remember. Yet most elected officials in the county oppose home rule.

Could the reason be that the current crop of office-holders would either losepower or find their offices abolished under home rule?

If citizens could adopt local laws without the approval of the state legislature, members of Carroll's legislative delegation would lose their stranglehold on local decision-making. Little wonder most members of the delegation fear home rule.

And the office of commissioner could be abolished under home rule. What politician would vote himself or herself out of office?

Are the citizens afraid of home rule? Or is it those who hold power who are afraid?

* What did the recent reorganization of county government really cost the taxpayers?

That's a question that the commissioners should have asked before ordering sweeping changes in the structure of county government.

Some staff members are saying privately that the reshuffle cost upward of $200,000.That's U.S. currency.

The commissioners have been variously reported as saying that they didn't ask the cost, or didn't know the cost,or that there would be no cost.

Take your pick, folks.

* Who'sin charge here?

Another way of asking this question is to quote alongtime local official who was recently heard to ask, "How did Donald Dell get to be the most powerful county commissioner I've ever seen?"

Or, one might ask, "When will the real Elmer Lippy stand up?"

Many of us who voted for Elmer are waiting for him to realize thathe is an equal partner in government with the other two commissioners.

Yet another way of asking this question is: "Whatever happened to Julia Gouge?"

* Why don't Carroll residents trust the governor?

William Donald Schaefer scares the bejezus out of the do-nothingsof the world because he insists on making things happen. The guardians of the status quo hate when that happens.

Take inventory. In his first term, Carroll got more than its fair share of public school construction money and a major injection of resources for the new community college. That project had been left for dead in the previous administration.

Schaefer personally helped keep Black and Decker in business in Hampstead by working directly with corporate officials.

He put his personal stamp of approval on recycling efforts at SouthCarroll High, providing state support for student efforts.

Since being re-elected, the governor has approved financing for a new Carroll Haven facility for severely disabled countians.

And he has taken personal responsibility for helping our Youth Service Bureau raise the money it needs to continue its critical work.

The governor's attention to the needs of Carroll and the reaction of county residentsto his efforts is a classic example of the adage that no good turn goes unpunished.

And that's the way it is.

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