Discontinuing historic planner position is rightI have...

Letters

May 31, 1998

Discontinuing historic planner position is right

I have received several requests to reinstate the historic planner position. It is my opinion that there is justification to discontinue the position.

During my first year in office, we adjusted our county budget nine times because of serious cuts in state funding. A plea was made to accept the grant for the historic planner position because a project was started that would require the planner for one more year. This request was granted even though funds for infrastructure were severely limited. The following year, and every year since, the request has been granted. Last year, I stated that would be the last time that I would agree to fund the position.

Some citizens are saying that because most of the cost was funded by a grant, we should reinstate the position. It appears to me that people do not understand that grant funds are tax dollars, just from a different source.

I regret that this has caused someone to be unemployed. My first priority is to spend tax dollars on basic government needs. It is not my intention to ignore our past.

We have the Carroll County Historic Commission, Carroll County Historical Society, Carroll County Farm Museum, Carroll County Steam Engine and Antique Tractor Society, Union Mills Homestead Commission and many individuals who are preserving our historical heritage in many ways.

We have projected a very serious shortfall ($35 million) over the next five years. It is financially irresponsible for the county to ignore this situation. The time is now to begin to correct the problem. Government must focus on those services that are necessary for our education, health and safety.

Donald I. Dell

Westminster

The writer is a Carroll County commissioner.

Time to rebuild crumbling government

The people have spoken. Their voices have been heard and counted. The time has come to put all of our differences aside and unite for the good of Carroll County.

We need to collectively pool our energy into rebuilding the crumbling foundation of our current government. The strength of our future relies on the strength of those we chose as leaders.

As the votes were tallied in the recent charter referendum, it became apparent that significant numbers of taxpayers in this county are disenchanted with the performance of our current leadership. It has become quite obvious that there are certain fundamentals in government that are missing.

First is the very evident lack of ability to make logical and rational decisions. We cannot hope as a people to overcome any of the problems we are now facing without having some form of problem-solving mechanism in place. Whatever the problem may be, crowding of our communities, schools, highways, rising crime or an unstable tax base, we cannot afford a government that relies on personal opinion and personal gain to be the sole mechanisms in deciding the future of our personal well-being.

For many years, our government has been stumbling along with "tunnel vision." The basis on which decisions need to be made needs to reflect a consideration for how that decision will affect our county, not only for the moment, but for five to 10 years from now.

Second, we need to have leaders who are willing to listen to their constituents. People want to be heard, not merely spoken to.

The idea of "servitude" has gotten lost in the shuffle of politics. The fact is, we pay the salaries of our political leaders and, as such, deserve something to show for our tax dollars. In all the speeches that I have heard, I very rarely hear anyone stop talking long enough to ask, "Is there something I can do for you?" I think that it's time that politicians look up from the page long enough to look into the eyes of the people they represent.

Finally, we need to have a government that we can trust. When people cannot trust their leaders, they become disillusioned with or suspicious of their motives. They need to know that there is honesty, integrity and accountability in every aspect of county government.

Betty L. Smith

Westminster

The writer is a candidate for Carroll County commissioner.

Don't dismiss link in animal, child abuse

I am a social worker who has worked with abused children and a devoted pet owner.

The response of the unnamed state official to the Baltimore City Police Department's grant proposal to recognize and treat animal abuse as an indicator of other abuses within a home both infuriated and saddened me.

The insensitivity and ignorance with which he spoke made it no surprise to me that he wished to remain anonymous. If he had done any kind of research before speaking, he would have known that some cities have already implemented programs to connect reports of animal abuse to child protective services because there is evidence that supports the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence.

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