Editor: Regarding to your article, "Howard County executive asks builder impact fees," (Oct. 24): It's about time Charles I. Ecker, Howard County executive, did something right! On Oct. 22 Mr. Ecker said he planned to charge commercial and residential developers $6 million in impact fees to raise money for roads. After destroying public confidence when he did not grant pay raises to the teachers, this act might give him the vote of confidence he needs.
Charles Ecker has done nothing good for the county since he was elected. He punished thousands of innocent children when he would not grant the teachers pay raises. Now he plans to continue the development of Waverly Woods. Waverly Woods would take away some of the already small amount of undeveloped land the county has left. Although this would raise revenue for the county it would cause more overcrowding in already crowded schools. Even though Mr. Ecker is trying to do the right thing, he seems to be headed in the wrong direction.
Editor: I know that most of the politicians in Anne Arundel County think that it is a travesty to have our county split among four congressional districts. But as a citizen of the county I disagree.
Before redistricting we had one congressman. Now on issues affecting the entire county we can attract the personal interest of four congressmen. Fully half of the state's delegation now has a personal interest in what goes on in Anne Arundel County.
It seems to me that that increases rather than reduces the influence of county residents. Clearly, with our four congressmen we will be better represented in Congress than will the western counties whose vastly divergent interests will be championed by a sole representative.
I think we residents of Anne Arundel will fare better under the redistricting plan than most any other area in Maryland. It's our politicians, looking out for their careers like always, who do worse.
Anita M. Heygster.
Don't Raze History
Editor: Concerning Dennis O'Brien's article of Oct. 9, "Arts foundation weighs razing Pikes Theater," that theater is history. It is part of Pikesville's heritage. And, despite what Shari Coale of Columbia Design Collective says, it is old and definitely unique.
The Pikes Theater, built in 1937, embodies the distinct characteristics of the Art Deco period. Popular from the 1920s through the 1940s, the Art Deco style manifested America's obsession with the modern. Streamlined designs were applied to everything from toasters, furniture and automobiles to movie theaters. Almost every Main Street in America contained one example of the century's new style.
Driving through Pikesville, one can easily recognize the Pikes Theater as one such example. It provides a visual link to the community's past. Crucial to the fabric of Pikesville's downtown, the theater stands as a monument to its evolution.
It seems odd that the Pikes Theater may soon be razed in order to make room for a new art center. Perhaps the theater could better be called a diamond in the rough, for the local community has failed to realize the value of this historic structure. As Pikesville commences its downtown revitalization project, it should carefully examine the preservation efforts undertaken by communities across the country, resulting in the rebirth and prospering of small downtowns.
The Pikes Theater must play a role in linking the past with the future. Let it not be forgotten, but rather serve as the focus of Pikesville's redevelopment.
Kari Nel Lang.
Editor: In his letter of Oct. 23, Robert C. Embry was absolutely correct to assert that those who oppose higher taxes are being short-sighted.
What else is it but short-sighted to think that by no longer funding early childhood education, dropout prevention and school lunch programs, we will save on taxes, when we will end up paying a lot more for the illiteracy, poverty and crime that neglect is sure to spawn?
This is the same mentality which believes we will save by no longer providing Medicaid coverage for the poor, when what we save in taxes we will spend on higher insurance premiums. Hospitals have already made it clear they will pass on unreimbursed costs of treating the poor to you and me.
And just wait until you see your home-owner's insurance premium after your company finds out there are fewer fire companies operating in town. In effect, what goes into your right pocket in tax savings comes out of your left in higher private costs. To refuse to see this is indeed short-sighted.
Mr. Embry is also correct to note that harping about government waste -- as if its elimination could actually offset the harm done by current budget cuts -- is really a distraction from the real issues.
Yes, there is waste in government, just as there is in the private sector. Let's not forget that the multi-billion dollar taxpayer bailout for the S&L fiasco is a result of private sector waste.