Annapolis' future lies with vote tomorrow
Tomorrow at 7: 30 p.m., Annapolis City Council will cast a vote to determine the economic future of Inner West Street. While city leaders have all voiced support for this project, this vote is the crucial test.
In 1984, city leaders voiced support for Inner West Street in the comprehensive plan. "Inner West Street is the first of three major mixed-use clusters recommended to receive special support and investment." It recommended that public efforts be "concentrated during the period of 1985-1990 to support compatible private investment and development on Inner West Street through development and adoption of a detailed plan of the area."
Ten years later, the plan is finally in place. Residents, business groups and city leaders all agree that this area is a priority. No one wants to see the inner city of Annapolis become like Baltimore or Washington. To prevent this from happening we need to keep our eye on the goal and not let another 10 years slip by.
Annapolis has already taken an important first step by moving funding forward for the construction of a traffic circle at Spa/Taylor and West Street. Tomorrow is the opportunity for step two. The City Council must take a positive vote for funding the total project. This project will provide the infrastructure (the upgrade of water and sewer capacities and the undergrounding of the utility wires) upon which economic development can then grow.
Join us by urging the council to act on the revitalization of Inner West Street.
The writer is president of the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Hammond's role in Neall contract?
I read your editorial in the Oct. 3 edition of The Sun in Anne Arundel, titled "Dumb and dumber." You've left out more than you printed. Reading between the lines about Anne Arundel County Executive John G. Gary's hiring of his predecessor and political mentor Robert R. Neall and the county's subsequent payment of $7,600 to Mr. Neall for a three-page report (that's more than $2,500 a page), I smell more than one story.
While Messrs. Gary and Neall are the most notable players in this deal, it should be noted that John Hammond, the county's chief financial officer and Mr. Gary's right-hand man where taxpayer money is involved, is not mentioned at all.
What gives? Mr. Hammond is a close confidant of Mr. Gary, and, as his money man, had to be involved in this "informal arrangement." Smells more like cronyism than responsible government. Remember when Mr. Neall appointed John Hammond to his job when he was the county executive? Speaking of his role in county financial matters, Mr. Hammond has been quoted as saying, "We do a lot of things where the County Council doesn't know all the details." What other hidden back-room improprieties exist?
The citizens of Anne Arundel County are paying way too much for this kind of "good" government. I'm tired reading about all of the fringe pseudo-accounting practices that seem to be in the headlines more often than not. It's time for the truth to come out.
Governor wants us to pay for our tax cut?
Gov. Parris N. Glendening is no slouch when it comes to picking up on new ideas. Seeing the adroit shell game that President Clinton pulled on Bob Dole in the first presidential debate, he used his own version commenting on Maryland House Speaker Casper Taylor's proposed 10 percent cut in Maryland's state income tax (The Sun, Oct. 9).
Assuming an unfamiliar pose as Guardian of Fiscal Responsibility, he said, "How's he [Taylor] going to pay for it?"
Hold on, governor. Not so fast. Are you saying Maryland taxpayers can't have a tax cut unless the Speaker can tell you how we are going to pay for it?
First of all, we are paying for everything, including your salary.
Second, to avoid accusations of hypocrisy, it is important to avoid applying standards to others which you don't honor yourself. Did you ask yourself how you were going to pay for every program you authorized last year? How about the ever-expanding Art Modell giveaway? How about ignoring the General Assembly on collective bargaining for state employees? How about welfare for legal immigrants, all of whom have sponsors who guaranteed they would never be on welfare?
Third, it requires Olympian attitudinal gymnastics to invert one's point of view to the place where everything the present tax system produces is owned by the governor and may not be taken away without compensation.
You are handing out our money as if you had plenty to spare. It's up to you to downsize your administration to suit the tax money we decide to give you.
Frederick H. Hallett
Councilman's 'mixer' a valuable resource