Sheriff cuts to aid budget, not fight unionThere is no way...


April 07, 1996

Sheriff cuts to aid budget, not fight union

There is no way to play down the current facts that Carroll County government is in dire straits. Recently, I have had to make certain personnel moves within the Carroll County sheriff's office to meet budget restrictions. These moves were made after long and careful deliberations.

Knowing the inevitable, I felt that there was no need to prolong the agony of making cuts in my budget. Therefore, I cut two positions now instead of waiting until July 1. These cuts, along with other moves in the sheriff's office, allowed me to save approximately $250,000 for Carroll County taxpayers.

Although it was never reported in the newspapers, I advised the Carroll County commissioners at the public hearing regarding the sheriff's office on March 14 of these cuts. The sheriff's office was the only agency funded by the taxpayers that gave anything back to the county government.

I advised all three commissioners that I realized that they had some really dark days ahead during this budget cycle, but I would rather cut my office to the limit while still maintaining my obligations than see the citizens hit with another tax increase.

Our current budgetary situation does not allow a lot of options for the commissioners. They must make some very difficult decisions and I can honestly say that I do not envy them. But in a crisis situation, we must make due with what we have rather than raise taxes. I am vehemently opposed to any tax increase. I advised the commissioners of my feelings rather than have them raise taxes.

These decisions had nothing to do with unions, as many in the media have implied. My first duty and obligation is to the citizens of Carroll County.

I have always advocated less government while still effectively providing the mandated services that the sheriff's office now provides. I have been able to accomplish this by setting clear-cut goals, demanding accountability and thereby achieving positive results.

John H. Brown


The writer is Carroll County sheriff.

Yates opposes northern bypass

I was sorry to see the article on March 13, entitled "North Route Selected for 140 Bypass," indicating that the county applauded this choice by the state.

As an elected official, I do not applaud the selection of that route and I have said so before, during and subsequent to my election in 1994. I hope that you will publish this and set the record straight.

Richard T. Yates


The writer is president of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners.

Legislators didn't read Haines' bill?

It is absolutely mind-boggling. Imagine, three of our five legislators haven't bothered to read the fine print on Sen. Larry Haines' proposed bill to create thousands of new lots in the county regardless of whether our schools, roads or water supplies can handle them. As reported, Sen. Timothy Ferguson and delegates Donald Elliott and Nancy Stocksdale apparently didn't know that Mr. Haines' bill would allow subdivisions of up to three lots anywhere in the county to bypass the Adequate Public Facilities tests. Or that the planning commission would be stripped of its ability to deny a subdivision at the preliminary plan stage even if facilities were certified as inadequate. But that hadn't stopped them from voting in favor of the bill.

And Mr. Ferguson now admits that he didn't have enough time to read the proposed bill before voting for it and apparently relies on lobbyists to tell him what to do. Heck, he doesn't have enough "time to write a note to his wife," he says. Excuse me, but this piece of legislation isn't exactly "War and Peace." It is one page long. How dare our legislators play "follow the leader" without reading a bill of obvious importance.

Considering the amount of public outcry and debate over it, I would have thought that our senators and delegates would have taken the time to examine the adverse impacts of this legislation instead of just obeying voting protocol and heeding the advice of lobbyists. Now I'm really curious -- Has Mr. Haines even read this bill?

Wayne Schuster


Library system worth tax increase

In my opinion, Carroll County's library system is worth every dollar we have invested in it over the years. The excellence of our libraries is a direct result of our long-standing willingness to fund their growth.

A busy, well-stocked, well-staffed free public library is an essential part of a healthy community. In Westminster, my hometown, the library contributes tremendously to Main Street's vitality. It's our "anchor store."

Weakening the library by means of budget cuts attacks the present and future well-being of all Carroll countians. In terms of economic and community development, failing to fund the library adequately is unwise and improvident. I support an increase in our property tax rate in order to fund the library system.

Tim Bryson


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