County should eschew sprawl developmentAs recently...

LETTERS

November 10, 1996

County should eschew sprawl development

As recently reported in The Sun, Anne Arundel County is considering the adoption of traditional town development as a policy in the county general plan. This is fitting for a county that is home to Annapolis, one of America's finest traditional towns, and for a county that possesses hundreds of miles of Chesapeake Bay shoreline. Traditional town development is a better way to grow -- for the bay and as a place to live. It reapplies today the design principles found in historic communities such as Annapolis. It lessens traffic and the need for wide roads and parking lots by its intermingling of land uses and its pedestrian-friendly design. Sprawl development, a product of local planning and zoning standards, is an anomaly in the entire several thousand-year history of human settlement. It has become commonplace only since the 1950s.

We can no longer afford sprawl development. With proper planning, traditional town development can be a better way to grow. It is more sensitive to the needs of the day and the future, including that of a restored Chesapeake Bay.

George J. Maurer

Annapolis

The writer is Maryland Office Land Use Planner with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

On '70s, what was Considine thinking?

Concerning J.D. Considine's article on rating the decades of rock music, I believe that the birth of an artist's work, its impression and influence on his peers and its present and future impact on his culture is the true judge of its worth. The Seventies? To quote Jay Leno, Mr. Considine, "What were you thinking?"

M. J. Dalesio

Annapolis

Work counts, not clout, Gary replies to Sullam

ON OCT. 27, your paper ran a column by Brian Sullam entitled, "Gary always finds a way to take care of his friends." I would like this opportunity to correct the record on several issues and explain the history behind others.

The underlying theme of Mr. Sullam's column is that several of my appointees are without professional merit and are merely political tokens. I take serious issue with this accusation.

Let me begin with Phillip Scheibe, county attorney. Twenty years ago, Mr. Scheibe was accused of "wrongdoing" while in office. While I do not dispute this fact, I find it appalling that your writer fails to mention that the state's attorney's office investigated these accusations and found them to be without merit. Mr. Scheibe has now served the citizens of this county for two years. He drafted the pension legislation currently before the County Council and has successfully defended the county against several lawsuits. Your writer goes on to imply Walter Sexton (now deceased), Norman Turley and Thomas Maxwell were hired because they were friends of mine. In fact, I have many friends who are not employed by Anne Arundel County. These three individuals were hired to perform specific duties. They brought years of necessary experience and training to these positions.

Mr. Sexton had 40 years of management/business experience, including real property management and computer applications. He was hired to inventory and account for $50 million of county assets which had not been tracked or accounted for in nearly 10 years.

Mr. Turley, retired from Westinghouse, assists with the property management task, manages 650-plus appointments to boards and commissions, and manages community projects and special needs.

Without doubt, Mr. Maxwell is one of our best investments as educational liaison between the school system, library board and community college. These men accepted these positions to serve the citizens of their county and they have done so admirably.

When it comes to my appointment of Aubrey Linton as "public safety liaison," your facts are wrong. This position was not terminated by former County Executive Robert Neall. The position he terminated was that of "public safety director." While recognize the difference may appear to be one of semantics, the positions carried very real difference in function, authority and duties. Mr. Linton was hired as an assistant to the county executive. The charter provides that I may have two such positions. His was one of them. Since the police and fire unions have been a problem for every county executive, I wanted someone on staff that had actually been a firefighter and a paramedic. I wanted someone who had worked "in the trenches" and understood union issues. Mr. Linton brought 20 years of experience to the position and was a valuable asset to taxpayers during union negotiations.

To follow your line of thinking, my appointees should be people I don't even know. That is neither realistic nor practical. We are managing a $750 million operation for the people of this county. I am truly sorry for Mr. Linton's personal problems; they have caused him the loss of his position. His job performance, however, was commendable and I do not regret hiring him.

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