Some Parts Of The System Definitely Are Broken

THE WAY IT IS

February 16, 1992|By Jeff Griffith

Sometimes I wonder:

When will the commissioners get sick and tired of the legislative delegation's arrogance and disrespect?

When will the commissioners finally admit that the current systemis broken?

Recently, Commissioners Julia W. Gouge and Elmer C. Lippy expressed thier frustration at the delegation's flat rejection ofthe county's proposed legislative package.

Each reportedly commented that the perception of many countians would te that the delegation's cavalier treatment of their requests presents another argument for home rule.

One member of the delegation remarked that the rejected items were "unpopular."

I wonder how he could possibly know whether any item were unpopular.

No meaningful public dialogue happened.

No one voted in public to accept or reject the commission's requests for enactment.

No opinion poll was taken.

So how could anyone know if the county commissioner's proposals are unpopular?

*When will the state Senate give up the charade and admit its scholarship program is a $6.4 million rip-off?

Just three years ago, the scholarships amounted to $3.2 million. By 1995, the cost is expected to reach $8 million.

Meanwhile, bills attempting to reform what is, for many state senators, nothing more than a patronage system have suffered continued rejection at the hands of those very senators.

No fewer than six bills aimed at reform are in the Annapolis hopper this session.

One would require lawmakers to establish a committee to select scholarship recipients; another would simply abolish the system and give the money to the general scholarship fund to be distributed on the basis of need.

Some senators, according to published reports, have given scholarships to family members. Many admit to using scholarships to reward loyal supporters.

Carroll's senators, ever mindful of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" political philosophy, apparently think the senatorial scholarship program is just fine,thank you.

Why is it that so many of the things that don't work around here ain't broken?

* When will the commissioners finally make a decision about recycling? The state mandate isn't about to go away, and the largest, most successful privately owned materials facility in the state is right here, offering a bargain-basement program.

So what's the problem?

Last week, representatives of Carroll's municipalities got

together with the commissioners and said, in effect, "Let's get on with the program, and while we're at it, let's reorganize the whole waste collection system."

The commissioners responded that a study would be nice.

Another study. Goodie.

Try this experiment. Stop a small child on the street and ask this question,"What should the county do about trash?"

The child most likely will tell you we should be recycling.

Then explain to the child that, under the current system, three or four different companies might be collecting waste in the same neighborhood, an inefficient and expensive process. Ask the child how to make the process less expensive.

The youngster might say, "The county should let different companiescollect waste in different areas, and let one company collect all the waste within a certain area. Then, the county could recycle waste from businesses, too."

Instead, we're facing another study.

Right now the commissioners seem intent on protecting the interests of one or two small trash haulers rather than on protecting the interests of the 40,000-plus homeowners of Carroll County.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it?

Home owners in Howard and Baltimore counties, which have county-authorized service routes, pay 50 percent to 75 percentof what Carroll residents pay for trash pickup.

Another study.

Sometimes I wonder.

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