More Truths About TrucksWe drive a motorcoach and my...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 06, 1993

More Truths About Trucks

We drive a motorcoach and my husband was a former truck driver so I can see both sides of your May 17 editorial, "The Truth About Trucks."

Yes, I've witnessed truck abuses: tailgating, speeding, intimidation. As for faulty maintenance, I suspect that "gypsy" trucker/owners who are not company-accountable may be the culprits.

Truck maintenance (18 tires, brakes, insurance, etc.) is extremely expensive and cuts into the driver/owner's profits. When my husband noted some malfunction, he reported it to the company shop.

Nevertheless, auto drivers should be aware of a few facts: Trucks, loaded or empty, can't stop on a dime when a car passes and immediately moves over into the truck's lane. Also, sudden stops can cause "fishtailing" by tractor-trailers even on dry surfaces, endangering traffic in all lanes. If one must pass a long truck in the curb lane, do it very quickly. There are blind spots at which the trucker can't see an approaching car. . . .

On upgrades, many trucks are restricted to the curb lane and it is helpful to the trucker who must move right if the car driver in the lane slows and blinks his lights signaling permission to move over. . . .

Finally, those of you in your automatic transmission cars, remember that many trucks have 18 gears and separate brakes for the tractor and trailer. So, if you are "rubbernecking" or doing 50 in a 65 mph zone, the trucker is constantly shifting gears and

possibly overworking or locking-up his brakes.

Dolores B. Scott

Calvin L. Scott

Randallstown

Roads First

I am writing to you in response to the article that appeared in The Sun on May 18, entitled "Road Money Helps Beautify State."

Although I am in favor of state-run environmental and beautification projects, I believe that the transportation department's first responsibility is to the safety and upkeep of our state's roads.

Route 32, for example, has been under construction for months and creates a bottleneck between the Interstate 95 exit and the National Security Agency building. There are road hazards, potholes and construction sites that pose dangers to drivers and passengers and these need to be taken care of before any environmental or beautification projects begin.

Once all of these problems are adequately taken care of, other projects would be suitable, but not until the safety of all travelers can be ensured by the transportation department.

Matthew R. French

Ellicott City

The Elections In Long Reach Village

Although the election for Long Reach village representative to the Columbia Council was overturned due to a reported flaw in the vote counting, the flaw was determined to be with the rules concerning how the votes are tallied, not the actual casting of the votes.

I agree that Roy Lyons won the popular vote, as you said in your editorial on May 18. However, based on the election rules that prevailed, Mr. Lyons lost. Therefore, it is only fair that if this truly is a defective election, a new election with new rules be held. . . .

Recently this issue has been raised in several communities throughout the United States. The results of an April 5 election in Queen Anne's County were thrown out by the town commissioners. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the election because it deemed unconstitutional the rule which allowed only property owners the right to vote. The election was rescheduled on these grounds. The key is that a new election must be held to validate the results. This has happened in several Eastern Shore elections over the past several years.

The requirement that only property owners can vote, or that property owners can vote for their renters, is a basically unfair rule that has been struck down by the courts since the Civil War. Voting by the residents is an inherent right. . . . The courts have again and again supported individual rights in corporations (Long Reach is a corporation), private clubs and associations by requiring their rules be governed by the basic tenets of American law. This means that clubs and associations that exclude participation by virtue of race, color or creed are not exempted from paying taxes or given any other type of special relief. . . .

James J. Oremland

Columbia

Recent elections in Long Reach, Columbia, have focused on the concept of who should vote. Contrary to public belief, Long Reach Community Association is not a government which follows the "one person, one vote" rule, but, rather, is a non-stock corporation. Most corporations use stock ownership to define voting rights; Long Reach uses property.

This method of voting was set up by Columbia Park and Recreation Association Inc. (CA) and Howard Research and Development Corporation (HRD) in 1974 when these two organizations established the Village of Long Reach and the Long Reach Village Covenants.

A portion of Article III of the covenants says: "The association shall have as members only owners and tenants. All owners and tenants shall, upon becoming such, be deemed automatically to have become members and there shall be no other qualifications for membership. If any member owns or holds more than one 'unit' or lease, such member shall be entitled to one vote for each unit or lease."

In most corporations, voting at annual meetings . . . is by number of shares of stock. . . .

This form of voting has been followed since Long Reach first came into existence. It can not be easily changed since the only way the covenants can be changed before the year 2016 is by an affirmative vote of 90 percent of the owners of the lots (Article XIII of the covenants).

Residents of Long Reach had their election, following the rules established by CA and HRD. Some residents may not like the

rules, but the rules were followed.

Victor Bailey

Columbia

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