Planning group in action an eye-openerI was disgusted...

LETTERS

July 14, 1996

Planning group in action an eye-opener

I was disgusted after reading your article dated June 19, regarding the Carroll County planning commission members changing their vote on a number of major subdivisions after the public left. So, as a concerned citizen, I attended the next meeting on June 28 to see for myself what transpires at them.

One of the items on the agenda was to adopt guidelines for determining inadequate facilities for schools. I questioned how many of the commissioners had actually visited overcrowded schools.

To my knowledge, only Grant Dannelly has. How can one make informed decisions on items that will effect so many people without going into the trenches to investigate what it is being voted on?

It is also disturbing that even though guidelines are in place, none of the commission members are obligated or required to take them into consideration when voting on subdivision plans.

I left that meeting with the impression that there is much going on out of the public eye.

From what I saw and from what I hear and read, it appears that this commission, except for Joe Mettle and Mr. Dannelly, lacks common sense and integrity and respect for the public it serves. There are those for whom "the public" means wealthy special interest groups, not you and me.

Maybe they forgot, or maybe they just don't care, that everything they vote on will effect all county residents in the long run. Mainly, in the pocketbook. Retail and residential growth are not going to bring in the revenues the county needs; only industry and business can do that.

Perhaps legal action against those on the commission who have a conflict of interest is the only way to eliminate those elements who are confused about where their loyalties should lie when holding public office.

Economic development, preservation of farmland and slow residential growth were the main priorities the participants of an April planning meeting identified. It pains me to see that the suggestions and priorities that we put forth have been brushed aside in the decision-making process of this commission.

It is my earnest hope that those of us who will be serving on the master-plan work teams will be able to make a difference and add some much-needed common sense to this process, so that wealthy developers and other special interest groups won't always get their way at the expense of the average taxpayer.

I encourage other citizens who care about this county to attend a planning commission meeting and see for yourself how the future of Carroll County is being decided.

Patricia Holbert

Westminster

Permit stats cry out for slower growth

Thanks should go to the hard work and earnest interests for the Freedom District by the members of Solutions for a Better South Carroll.

Their July newsletter once again makes it painfully obvious that the political hierarchy of this county is utterly clueless to the growth and development issues that plague the Freedom District and other areas, notably Hampstead. Or, our leaders have no true interest in the welfare of the communities that support the county.

Certainly, the Carroll County Planning Commission is run by the most gutless group of members one could envision in this current growth crisis.

The Solutions newsletter quotes these figures: From January through June 1996, 741 building permits were issued countywide, 248 of them in Freedom. 1995's totals were 1,434 and 441 for the county and Freedom respectively. Is the planning commission going to shut down for the latter half of the year, or is it gearing up for a banner season?

If these gentlemen conveniently forget, the county paid $25,000 to an outside consultant in late 1995, who recommended significant restrictions in further developments for at least 18 months.

I suggest that the Board of Commissioners regroup quickly. If the citizens of this county push hard, a moratorium on development may be passed after all.

I, for one, will push for a moratorium on this current political system. Charter government must be a reality for Carroll County by the year 2000, so the needs of the many can finally outweigh the needs of the few.

Joel H. Hassman

Eldersburg

Slaves to the god of consumerism

Michael Nauton, who feels humans are "migratory animals, ever seeking to move on" (Opinion*Commentary, The Sun, July 2), is conveniently unaware of Indian nations across this country and the world who have occupied the same areas for millenniums.

Existing in balance with neighbors and in harmony with the earth, their leisurely subsistence living contrasts with our slavery to the god of consumerism. While we work ever harder to get things promising the Good Life, we succeed only in making a small elite richer and our lives and surroundings poorer.

Technology and the industrialized world's demands on natural resources have replaced ancient plagues with more deadly modern versions: drug resistant TB and malaria, AIDS, Ebola, organisms always one step ahead of the latest antibiotics.

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