From: Elaine DiRaimo
We moved here five years ago from Pennsylvania and bought a nice home in Edgewood, "Willoughby Woods."
I have two children who are now in the Edgewood school system, one in high and one in middle school.
My daughter spent eight years in private school and my son sixyears.
My husband and I, as well as our children, are very pleased with the schools they are now attending. The teachers and the coaches show genuine concern and caring both on an academic as well as athletic level.
That is why I am so appalled with the negative press and reactions of certain people about Edgewood.
If the Harford County Sun is supposed to be serving all the communities of Harford County, why is it that mainly negative articles are written about Edgewood?
It is very rare to see pictures or articles on Edgewood sporting or academic events even though they have excellent records.
These children work very hard and do not get the recognition they deservein the newspapers or in the surrounding school districts.
Maybe if your newspaper would print some of these problems, people would stop looking at Edgewood like it was the "Bad Area of Harford County" and realize they have problems as well.
It is about time Edgewood schools and the community of Edgewood started getting the funds they deserve to improve the schools and community instead of being overlooked.
We pay our taxes just like everyone else and many of the men and women who live here risked their lives in Operation Desert Storm todefend our country's beliefs and also to defend the very people who look at them as second-class citizens.
From: Robert F. Kahoe Jr.
Harford County's People's Counsel
With reference to the column authored by Mark Guidera, "People's Counsel board could use some advice itself," Harford County Sun, Sept. 22, I wish to offer the following comments.
The People's Counsel Citizens Advisory Board which was the subject to that column consists of seven volunteer citizens, each of whom is selected by a County Council member. These citizens meet monthly, at which time they review an averageof 20 zoning applications. At that meeting they also hear comments about cases from any person interested enough to attend. In my eight years as people's counsel, I can recall no more than two or three occasions during which a quorum of at least four members was not present.Their input and concern over zoning applications and desire to hear comments of citizen attendees, both pro and con, is exemplary. As youwell know, or should know, board members serve without pay or other compensation.
They also, for the most part, serve without recognition. However, I believe that they would refuse to continue to serve if the only type of attention they receive is the irresponsible, factually inaccurate comments made in Guidera's column.
The function ofthe Harford County People's Counsel is clearly set forth in Council Bill 76-103. The function of the people's counsel is, among other things, "to represent the interests of the public in all matters and proceedings preliminary to, arising out of, or affecting the zoning classification or reclassification of land in Harford County." Furthermore, the people's counsel shall, "have the authority to appear before any governmental agency on behalf of the citizens of Harford County inall matters and proceedings related to planning, zoning and other land use and development matters and proceedings and he shall have standing as an aggrieved party."
As you can see, the powers given to the people's counsel are extensive. Because of the nature of the powers given him, the County Council also created a People's Counsel Citizens Advisory Board. The powers of the board are clearly set forth. "The Board may provide guidance to and make recommendations to the People's Counsel regarding matters referred to them by the People's Counsel, County Council, or as requested by any citizen or group of citizens of Harford County."
Accordingly, the function of the board is to act as guide to the people's counsel in the important decision of which zoning matters he should enter. The people's counsel, however, has the authority to enter whatever case he deems advisable in his sole judgment. The Advisory Board cannot prevent the entry or an appearance, nor can it prevent a decision by the people's counsel that a case should not be opposed by the people's counsel. The attempt of Guidera's column to place the responsibility for all people's counsel's decisions upon the People's Counsel Citizens Advisory Board is therefore totally inaccurate and indicative of a gross ignorance of the legislation which created both the people's counsel and the Advisory Board.