Residents have a lot to offer county government

January 09, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll residents can play an important role in county government if they know effective ways to be involved, says Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy.

Mr. Lippy is scheduled to speak on making government accessible to citizens at a meeting of the Carroll County Civic Association, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Christian Revival Center on Lawndale Road near Route 91 in Finksburg.

Mr. Lippy praised the civic association, which was formed in April to oppose Commissioner Donald I. Dell's idea to extend Interstate 795 through Carroll and build an incinerator at the Northern Landfill.

"The best government is participatory government -- get involved. And that's what they [association members] have done," he said. "I'm going to compliment them on that."

The association has about 25 members, said leader Mary Lewis of Elderberry Lane. Members meet monthly to hear speakers on a variety of environmental and zoning issues.

Civic association members see their group as an "ever-vigilant watchdog" organization, according to its literature. The group may sponsor debates for candidates in this year's local elections.

Mrs. Lewis said there was no reason the group invited Mr. Lippy to this week's meeting and not Mr. Dell or Commissioner Julia W. Gouge.

Mr. Lippy said he was told the association members are seeking ways to get involved in government.

He said he will suggest that they read the commissioners' weekly meeting schedule to check for topics of interest and attend public hearings whenever possible.

"Be prepared to have intelligent input -- do their homework, in other words," he said.

The commissioner said he will urge the residents to look at both sides of an issue "with an open mind" before taking a position.

Mr. Lippy credits the civic association with changing his mind about the county's need for an incinerator, which would burn garbage and generate electricity. Members sent him newspaper articles, which made valid arguments against incinerators, he said.

A citizens committee appointed by the commissioners is studying how the county should dispose of its trash when its landfills are full. The committee is studying incineration, composting and recycling, and is expected to make a report by June.

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