Whether in the city or counties, readers think snow effort...

SATURDAY MAIL BOX

January 20, 1996

Whether in the city or counties, readers think snow effort 0) was bad

I spent hours upon hours of backbreaking shoveling digging out from the Blizzard of '96 to make my sidewalks passable, as did most of my neighbors and tens of thousands of people throughout the metro area.

I had them cleared down to the concrete without a trace of ice or snow left on them. It was a good feeling of accomplishment. . . Neighbors could now walk past my house without any difficulty even though my lower back was in so much pain I could barely stand upright and I was on a steady diet of Motrin.

I had done all this work for nothing because a Harford Country snow removal crew with a front-loader totally erased all this hard work. While my children thought it was "awesome" for the front of our house to have a pile of snow about the size of the iceberg that had sunk the Titanic, I was less than amused.

Who gives the county the right to plow snow back on top of someone's sidewalk that had been completely cleared and, on top of that, dump tons of snow on the front lawn?

I have a sneaky suspicion that Eileen Rehrmann didn't wake up to this problem on her property.

` Edward G. Stronski

Abingdon

I heard our Baltimore County executive complain about the cost and difficulty of snow removal from county roads, "especially in North Baltimore County where the open fields cause drifting of the snow onto the roads."

This is the same man who, during the election campaign, criticized the previous county executive for his inability to provide for clean-up of the snow and ice in Baltimore County.

The problem of snow and ice removal in the rural area is the direct result of sprawl development in the North County which created many miles of roads where there were no roads before. The county's "cluster developments" are just another form of sprawl.

These roads were created by developers and left for Baltimore County to maintain. Every year, new roads are created, which further exacerbates the cost of road maintenance and snow removal to county taxpayer. Prior to the present sprawl, the roads in the rural area were not difficult to keep open, despite drifting; farmers took care of their own lands and roads.

Sprawl development in rural areas has been encouraged by the present county executive -- even when he was a councilman -- on the erroneous claim that housing development increased the country's tax base. Actually, the cost of providing and maintaining the infrastructure for housing development has resulted in an increase of property taxes.

Further loss of farmland -- the "open fields" the county executive talks about -- to sprawl will increase taxes until they eventually reach the same level as in Baltimore City. If our present county executive does not stop this process, the tragic result will stand as a monument to his achievements.

` Richard W. McQuaid

Parkton

The writer is president of the North County Coalition.

Perhaps Mayor Kurt Schmoke should consider replacing George Balog as director of public works because the man is clearly delusional in his statements that 90 percent of city streets had been cleared . . . and that people congratulated him for the good work his department did.

The people in my neighborhood cursed and jeered every time a '' plow truck passed by with its blade up in the air. I'm sure many others witnessed this same scene.

Then again, Mr. Balog may simply be reflecting what seems to be the operating code of the Schmoke administration and its members: "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with b.s."

Don Mayeski

Baltimore

Was your side street plowed, driven over or otherwise touched by the Department of Public Works crews that you no doubt observed flying by in their effort to log miles and hours and to improve their "clearance rate"? Kind of reminiscent of Vietnam body counts, isn't it?

No doubt the guys were out there. No doubt about tons of salt or the miles driven. But could you make it down St. Paul Street? Or Calvert Street?

Was there a primary artery that actually had the equivalent of two lanes moving in one direction anywhere in the city?

# James B. Pettit Jr.

Baltimore

It has been said that in a democracy the people get exactly the kind of government they deserve. This has been aptly demonstrated in Baltimore City since our blizzard.

A people who pervasively and willfully violate snow emergency route parking laws, who inconsiderately park in travel lanes on major streets instead of digging themselves out a parking spot behind the "plow lines," who steal the labor of their neighbors who have dug out legal parking spaces and who ignore ordinances requiring the clearing of snow from sidewalks, can hardly be shocked to find that they are governed by an outfit unable or unwilling to enforce its snow-parking laws on the major thoroughfares or to plow the streets where the city's few remaining taxpayers reside.

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