From: Scott and Karen Stephenson
We are writing to you as citizens of Howard County who are interested in seeing a planned community like Waverly Woods receive approval.
We are a young professional couple currently living in a town home in Ellicott City with a 9-month-old baby. While we enjoy our community very much, we are hoping to buy a single-family home in the next two to five years and really want to stay in Howard County.
My husband is fairly new to the county but I grew up here, attended localpublic schools and even took classes toward my undergraduate degree at Howard Community College. I feel very fortunate that my parents were able to give me a stable, safe and enjoyable place to grow up in and we hope we can do the same for our children.
That is why we arequite excited about the proposed Waverly Woods project. A comprehensively planned community with a pool and playground would suit our needs ideally. Waverly Woods would allow us, and many other families hoping to stay in HowardCounty, to provide our children with the same environment we grew up in, as well as access to great county schools.
We support the Waverly Woods project and hope you will give it yourendorsement.
TRIBUTE TO A TEACHER
From: John R. Martin
This year, when many parents throughout the county are upset aboutschool personnel "working to rule," I want to call attention to one who still goes "above and beyond" in her efforts on behalf of our children.
I refer to Patricia Wang, the media specialist at Lisbon Elementary School. This past summer, while on vacation in China, Wang took the time to arrange for the exchange of letters between children at Lisbon Elementary and Tsing Hua University Elementary School in Beijing, China.
This involved considerable thought and effort, including as it does identifying students with like interests plus the continuing effort of seeing to the translation of the letters both coming and going. There are many other details of the actual exchange thatgo on behind the scene and so are easy to forget.
I'm sure that there are many other teachers who continue to give more of themselves than is strictly required by their contract. I feel that it is important to recognize and reinforce their activities.
CA OVERTAXING RESIDENTS
From: Charles W. Ahalt
The Columbia Associationhas been overcharging the Columbia taxpayers for the past 12 years and the truth is, it is illegal.
The CA tax or lien is based on Article II Sec. 2.02 of the covenants. These covenants were a part of the contract when each ofus purchased our property. These covenants give CA the authority to tax the property owner based on the state assessed value of the property.
In 1978, the officers of CA went to thestate legislature to have it pass legislation that would allow CA toset a different assessed valuation than that set by the state. Later, when the state went to the three-year cycle of assessment, phasing in any increased assessment by one-third each year of the three-year cycle, CA got an exception placed in the law allowing them to assess the full three-year assessment in the first year.
This means that you are paying 25 percent or more in CA taxes than you would under the covenants. Now, there is one thing wrong with this; CA knows it, and they are afraid you will find out. These state laws are a violationof the Constitution of the United States. Article I Sec. 10 provides; "No state shall pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts."
CA learned this early when they went into Howard County Circuit Court and the court found the law unconstitutional. CA then appealed the case to the Court of Appeals pretending they were a governmental agency rather than a private corporation, trying to evade the provisions of the constitution. The court would not buy their story and threw the case out.
The only thing CA has to stand on is a flimsy opinion by a former attorney general. He may have been right in China or Cuba, but under our Constitution he could not have been more wrong.
Article VII Sec. 7.03 of the covenants make provisions for us to take action against CA when we are being ripped off. CA does not need the extra money. The legitimate revenues from taxes will pay the debt service on the $85 million debt and CA tells us they are making moneyin their operating budget.
Now, it is time for us to act. Let's get organized.
WAVERLY ISN'T 'ICEBERG TIP'
From: Terrell A. Fisher
As a resident within the general vicinity of the proposed Waverly Woods project, I have closely followed the numerous articles, interviews and letters that have appeared almost daily since the unveiling of the planned development.