The Benefits of Life in CroftonOn Feb. 26, my husband and...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 10, 1994

The Benefits of Life in Crofton

On Feb. 26, my husband and I had the pleasure of attending the Country Western Dance sponsored by the Crofton Civic Association and planned by Sue Bents and Chief Debbie Bogush. A very special "thank you" goes to Sue and Debbie for a wonderful evening and for adding to the sense of community that residents of Crofton are so fortunate to have.

I am writing this to respond to several letters recently in this column. . . . The community of Crofton is being terribly misled regarding the services the tax district provides its citizens.

. . . In discussions I have had with many residents, it is overwhelmingly agreed that the personal police services provided by our own police department, the community spirit activities planned by Sue Bents, and the access to a counselor who helps with resolving personal concerns are what make Crofton such a special place to live. As far as the tax dollars spent by residents in the tax district, the rate has been 28 or 29 cents per $100 of assessed value since about 1982 -- this being a reduction from the previous rate. Tax dollars spent per family for the counselor and social/recreation director is about $15 per year.

Over the 21 years my family has lived in Crofton (the last 10 in the tax district), I have heard over and over from other residents that once you live in Crofton, it is hard to think of moving anywhere else. . . . This feeling of attachment to Crofton does not come from its proximity to Baltimore or Washington or Annapolis, or from its high standard of education in its schools or from the styles of its houses. It comes from the spirit of community and the interest our CCA has in the well-being of the residents.

This interest is demonstrated by the importance the CCA has placed on providing the community with a police department (about 25 years ago), a counselor (about 22 years ago), and a social and recreation director (about five years ago). The fact that every resident might not take advantage of each of these services does not diminish the importance of these services on the overall uniqueness of Crofton -- a very special place to live.

Sheila Schneider

Crofton

Electioneering

A relatively recent Maryland Attorney General opinion . . . should be brought to the attention of the state and Anne Arundel County Administrative Boards of Election Laws, Maryland State and Anne Arundel County chiefs of police and all county election judges.

The Maryland legislature enacted a law signed by the governor in 1896 that barred "electioneering" within 100 feet of the polls in the state of Maryland. In 1974, an exception was made for Anne Arundel County, the limitation being extended to 300 feet. In subsequent years, six other counties were included.

The above referenced opinion concludes that the 300-foot limitation violates the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and that only the 100-foot restriction should be enforced throughout the state.

The opinion further recommended that the 300-foot restrictions should be repealed by the legislature. This bill was defeated on the floor of the state Senate in the current session of the legislature, 25-19.

A news article in the Washington Post Jan. 27 credited an Anne Arundel County senator with saying that politicians and voters are happy with the 300-foot restriction. . . . What the senator meant was that incumbent office holders are happy with it because they are relieved of campaigning on Election Day.

Since this unconstitutional statute will not be remedied by a self-serving legislative body, it should be challenged in the courts.

Bill D. Burlison

Odenton

The writer is a candidate for Anne Arundel County Council in District 4.

School Apathy

I want to express my concern with a lack of interest in my school's Parents-Teachers Association. Belle Grove Elementary School is small with only 230 student enrolled. Our PTA has 99 members, of which only a handful are active -- attending meetings, planning programs and parties, chairing committees, volunteering in school and adding those little extras that make Belle Grove a nicer place to learn.

I would like to ask the parents to get involved. There is no monetary reward for your work but the feeling you get from those smiling faces can make even the coldest day a little bit warmer. . . . Our meetings are held monthly -- general meetings on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m., and executive board meetings at 6 p.m.

Our meetings in January and March were canceled because the only people in attendance were board members and the principal. We need to show our children that we can . . . leave our personal feelings aside so we can . . . benefit everyone at Belle Grove Elementary School.

Michele McGhee

Linthicum

Lose-Lose in Laurel

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