Yates should provide proof of salary claimsIt isn't often...

LETTERS

March 15, 1998

Yates should provide proof of salary claims

It isn't often I agree with Carroll County Commissioner Richard T. Yates ("Charter government would have hidden costs," letter, March 1), but readers should get a copy of the charter proposal and read it. They will like what they read.

First, meetings of the executive and the council would begin at 6 p.m., so citizens could attend without taking a day off from work. It was Mr. Yates who complained that evening meetings cost too much; never mind how much it costs each of us to take off from our jobs.

I challenge Mr. Yates to back up his assertion that county executives in neighboring counties have "executive assistants [who] make the same or more as our chief of staff." Please tell us which counties, Mr. Yates. Show us the data. It is a silly argument because the charter has set the salary level, and no one I have talked with is planning to increase those levels.

The counties that are paying their executives and councils the figures noted by Mr. Yates enjoy paid fire and police protection, trash collection and other services for the same tax dollar we pay in Carroll for none of those things.

Instead, we get the debacle of three part-time commissioners pointing their fingers at one another, saying, "It's his fault." How long will it be before York, Pa., stops accepting our trash?

Mr. Yates won election by the landslide he claims because there were many people in South Carroll who, like me, thought he would help manage growth. His appointments to many boards has shown us where his allegiance lies, and it isn't with his neighbors.

Gene Edwards

Eldersburg

Main St. merchants should be responsible

Sykesville has a historic district and a historic district commission. It is the commission's job to oversee improvements to historic buildings in town, according to Department of Interior guidelines. This is a national standard, not a town standard. Yet the town has allotted money in the next budget to come up with a set of guidelines that would be more conducive to the needs of the town.

From August to November, the mayor and council conducted several meetings with business owners on Main Street on a nagging issue: vinyl siding. Reports and evidence clearly

indicated that vinyl is not allowed in many historic districts across the country. In November, the mayor and council agreed unanimously that that would stay the case in Sykesville.

On Feb. 23, the town held a public meeting on Main Street revitalization, where efforts were made to reopen the debate, but the mayor and council held their ground.

At this meeting, one person said we were not following the will of the people, but we are.

The town does not consist only of the many businesses on Main Street. It also has more than 3,000 residents. It is our responsibility to serve all 3,000. To the many people I talk to, the mayor and council have been doing a fine job. The majority of the ones I talk to and hear from want a historic district. They want it to be real.

The real issue in Sykesville is not vinyl siding and the historic district commission, but responsibility.

It is not the town's fault that buildings on Main Street are in disrepair. It is not the town's responsibility to subsidize businesses with public money. Yet the town soon will offer incentives such as tax breaks, grants and loans. These businesses know the town is investing in Main Street with a great revitalization effort to draw people and traffic to their businesses.

It is time for the businesses concerned with vinyl to realize that vinyl will not be allowed, according to standards, across the board. Each application will be judged on its own merit and according to the guidelines, be they national or the new Sykesville guidelines.

Now is the time for the business owners who are crying that they are not being allowed to fix up their businesses to realize where the real responsibility lies -- with them.

Bill Hall

Sykesville

The writer is a Sykesville councilman.

Boy Scouts grateful for fund-raising notice

On behalf of Boy Scout Troop 395, I would like to thank The Sun for publicizing our spaghetti dinner Feb. 7 at Sandy Mount United Methodist Church in Finksburg. This dinner is traditionally our biggest fund-raising event of the year, and this year's was the most successful ever.

Through the generous support of organizations such as yours, our troop was able to raise enough funds to greatly offset the costs associated with sending Scouts to camp at Heritage Reservation in August. Thank you again for your support.

Jeff Wilhide

Finksburg

The writer is scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 395.

Pub Date: 3/15/98

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