Farmers can't force growth on countyThis letter is to...

LETTERS

September 14, 1997

Farmers can't force growth on county

This letter is to comment on John Hull Jr.'s letter of Aug. 31.

Landowners besides farmers and developers also have rights. If the "taking" issue is going to be raised by those in favor of development, isn't it equally fair to say that if someone moves into the county to enjoy its rural atmosphere and the county allows nearby unwanted development to occur, then there has been a "taking" for which the county must pay?

The Fifth Amendment should apply only if the government takes possession of property, not changing conditions of landownership. A farmer, developer or homeowner who chooses to invest in land, like people who invest in stocks, bonds, antique cars or almost anything else, must bear the responsibility for changing conditions which affect the value of his investment, and not ask government to guarantee his investment for him.

It is true farmers are often land-rich and cash-poor the world over, and farmers may need help at times because of this situation. But it's a poor way to run a "viable" business when it has to sell off its principal assets rather than its day-to-day products, such as a grocery selling its shelving.

Instead, let's work together to keep Carroll farmers in business while keeping their land as farms. For example, can we set up co-op stores where farmers can sell their goods at somewhat higher prices, but then have the buyers receive a discount on their state or local taxes? Let's search for creative solutions which can keep farmers making a profit from crops rather than from houses.

One fact is becoming ever more clear: Each home built in the county is a liability to the county and taxpayers, not an asset. Each new home represents more need for schools, roads and other services. How long can we go on accumulating these liabilities?

And if there is a "snowball" rolling, as Mr. Hull wrote, to me it is the crowd of citizens who are in favor of strict controls on growth. Except for people who stand to gain directly from growth, I don't know anyone who is in favor of more of it.

People are tired of crowded schools, rotten traffic and seeing yet another piece of rural land lost to suburban sprawl. Meanwhile, business and industrial development is starting to be seen as an asset, provided it occurs in or close to areas already developed.

Everyone has seen the result of loosely controlled growth in the past. A controlled-growth county might not be perfect either, but most are ready to give it a try.

Martin F. Schmidt Jr.

Finksburg

Yates letter bolsters case for a change

I found the Sept. 7 letter to the editor by Carroll Commissioner Richard T. Yates to again reflect his deteriorating representation of this county. It was another example of political representation of the few and the elite, not a majority population of the many and concerned who want a charter amendment to go to the polls in and of itself.

To the many people I have spoken with these past several months involved in this issue regarding charter, pro and con, the consensus has been "Let's vote on this matter." Unfortunately, there are enough in the political hierarchy who will stop at nothing to sabotage a sincere effort to bring an important issue to the attention of the citizens of this county.

Mr. Yates' writings only reinforce the need for a new political structure.

oel H. Hassman

Eldersburg

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Republicans seem to agree, "Local government works best." Most Voters in Carroll County are Republicans. So Richard T. Yates, don't you trust Republicans? We see the state delegation doesn't trust Republicans as it strives to keep power in Annapolis.

Mr. Yates' actions and statements say volumes about his thoughts on voters at large. His track record on restricting voters' access to their own government is well known. Mr. Yates, fess up: We don't deserve "local government," because we're mostly Republicans and Republicans don't always vote. On the other hand, we "liberals" vote every chance we get.

Michael Willinger

Sykesville

Pub Date: 9/14/97

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