Put Sweeney On The Bench

Readers write

February 16, 1992

From: Daniel M. Clements

Ellicott City

The Maryland Trial Lawyers Association has strongly endorsed the election of Judge Dennis Sweeney. Since his appointment, Judge Sweeney has shown a keen intellect, appropriate compassion and a fine judicial temperament. Lawyers and citizens of Howard County who have appeared before him have found him to be an extraordinary judge.

The Maryland Trial Lawyers Association, which consists of 1,500 members throughout the state, is pleased to join a growing list of Judge Dennis Sweeney's supporters.

As a member of the Board of the Maryland Trial Lawyers, I asked to write this letter because I have lived in Howard County for 14 years and have known Dennis Sweeney for 17 years. Dennis was a highly regarded federal public defender and a universally respected deputy attorney general of the state of Maryland. He has devoted his life to public service and to ensuring that the law is applied fairly to all.

He was appointed to the bench by the governor from a group of very qualified candidates in an arduous process which included input from both attorneys and the public. His opponents in this race were not even willing to submit their names to the governor for consideration and should not be seriously considered by the public on Election Day.

Dennis Sweeney has been an extraordinary addition to a fine Howard County bench and should be elected to a full 15-year term.

(Daniel M. Clements is the Secretary of the Maryland Trial Lawyers' Association.)

MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN

From: Richard R. Byard

Ellicott City

Taxes were the issue that led to America's War of Independence. Two hundred years later, not much has changed.

Since 1980, taxes have risen 30 percent faster than inflation. The increased size of government drains the percentage of money earned by us and lets it be spent by government employees other than the people who earn the money.

At least one-fourth of all we earn is taken from us and spent by the government for its own purposes, whether or not we agree with those purposes. The average American works from Jan. 1 to at least May 8 just to pay taxes.

Increased taxes cause inflation. Inflation pushes us into higher tax brackets and makes us pay more taxes, even though we have no increase in real income.

On Jan.1, 1991, congressmen increased their annual pay from $96,600 to $120,800. In 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1987, Congress voted tax increases. Every tax increase slowed economic growth because it takes money out of the productive society and diverts it to the government to waste as it chooses.

The federal government has eliminated most tax exemptions, thereby increasing our taxes even without legislation. The state of Maryland says it needs to spend your money sent in as taxes in order to build roads, so the state can get some more of the money you sent in to the federal government as taxes. Gasoline taxes, motor vehicle fees, sales taxes are all being expanded and increased, taking more money out of your pocket and giving it to someone else to waste.

In short: tax, tax, tax; spend, spend, spend. Waste all you get and tell the citizens you need more. What kind of way is that to run our country?

Some say that giving your money to the government in the form of taxes is like giving your teen-age child a case of beer and the keys to your car. I believe it's time to get the government out ofour pockets.

ADEQUATE FOR DEVELOPERS

From: Charles A. Aston

Ellicott City

The following issues are of great concern to me as well as many other residents of my community.

The county government promised many years ago that the Alpha Ridge Landfill (dump) would be closed when it reached original design capacity and a recreation areacreated on its site.

I cannot understand how the government can spend 100,000 scarce tax dollars on a survey of the sight designed to justify expanding the dump. Why has the government done an about-face?

If the recreation area is no longer affordable, so be it. We canlive without it. We cannot, however, live without clean well water. Pollution from the expanded dump will certainly make its way into theground water and poison it. How can you do this to us after the government assured us the dump would be closed?

The Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance is, in its present state, a joke on taxpayers and a boon to developers. Time and space preclude taking issue with each of its many deficiencies but a few are too glaring to pass over, and in fact, defy logic.

Why are only elementary schools considered inthe overcrowding formula? Are middle schools and high schools so elastic that they can accommodate any magnitude of student body increasewithout expansion?

Why will construction be allowed to proceed after four years even if school overcrowding hasn't been resolved?

What is to stop developers from simply deferring projects for four years, then proceeding with them and creating disastrous overcrowding?

How about the issue of roads? Why does the plan not include a mandate for comprehensive study of all roads in the area that will be affected by a proposed development instead of only the nearest intersection? That makes as much sense as a doctor limiting his complete examination of a patient to looking in one of his ears and sending him on his way if he sees no problem there.

If the APFO is enacted in its present form, I suggest that, in the spirit of truth in government, it be renamed the Developers' Protection and Prosperity Act.

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