Rampant sprawl will cost Carroll millions by 2020Over the...

LETTERS TO EDITOR

October 11, 1998

Rampant sprawl will cost Carroll millions by 2020

Over the next 20 years, sprawl threatens to consume an area of Maryland farm and forestland nearly the size of Rhode Island.

In Carroll County, we are projected to lose more than 40,000 acres of farmland during that period.

Inefficient growth patterns are a significant cost to taxpayers. If sprawl patterns continue, Maryland taxpayers would pay more than $10,000 per household by the year 2020 to subsidize sprawl. Carroll County's projected bill for inefficient development $486 million by 2020, with a $114 million increase in debt.

Support for development rights (also called property rights or "wise use") could cost Carroll taxpayers in many ways.

The costs for inefficient infrastructure, including roads, schools and sewer lines, threatens to undermine an already precarious tax base, especially when many new homes require more in services than the sum of the property taxes they generate.

The Sierra Club Catoctin Group supports responsible growth management, the preservation of 100,000-plus acres of agricultural land and accessible, responsive government.

The Catoctin Group endorses for Carroll County commissioner Carolyn Fairbank (I), Julia Walsh Gouge (R) and Roger Larry Mann (D).

Greg Becker

Westminster

I= The writer is chairman of the Sierra Club Catoctin Group.

Fairbank is a rare breed of leader

The French wine makers have an old saying that a vintaggrape crop only comes along about once every eight years. This is also true about people who are real leaders.

My first experience with a true leader was our company gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. If he had said "Saddle up, our objective is Hell," everyone would have been ready to go in five minutes.

I have lived in Carroll County most of my 73 years and can honestly say that Carolyn Fairbank, the Independent candidate for county commissioner, is the first person of this stature that I have met.

She has the knowledge, vision and ability to help lead Carroll into the 21st century. She has been a tireless activist for 20 years and never seems to run out of energy.

She never gets involved in a controversy without having all the facts and figures. If elected to the board, she would have no problem working with the two other finalists.

I would hope that before anyone votes, he does not rely on what the candidate says or writes in a flier or brochure, or relies on the fact that "they have lived in the county all of their lives," or has an old Carroll County name.

If they have held public office, check their voting record on growth, crime, schools, public facilities, etc. If they have served on boards or commissioners, check their record to see if it served the public or only special interest groups such as developers, large land owners, etc. Also go to the election board and find out who gave to their campaign fund.

Please vote, but make a wise decision on what will be good for Carroll County and not the aforementioned special interest groups.

Nimrod Davis

Eldersburg

Yates: I was not to blame for crowding

I can understand your reporters having some license to bend the truth, but when the bend takes a 180-degree turn, I think that the record must be disabused.

In the Oct. 4 edition of The Sun, reporter Timothy Wheeler wrote that "incumbent Commissioner Richard T. Yates lost a bid for re-election as citizens in the southern part of the county complain of crowded schools with inadequate lunchrooms." This indicates to me that I was to blame for this situation.

Then your reporter goes on to quote from a candidate who would quell any chance we have to get any meaningful economic development entity to locate here. If we don't attract more business, taxes are going to skyrocket on homeowners. Then, the good folks of South Carroll are going to ask, "Who's to blame?" Then candidates like the one your reporter quoted will ++ have to answer.

If Mr. Wheeler had bothered to examine the facts, he would have found that growth during my term went from 1,400 houses built in my first year in 1995 to 700 in my last year.

I wish the media would check its facts rather than going to the lunatic fringe. The local malcontents know that editors relish anything negative, be it truthful or not.

Richard T. Yates

Westminster

Shame on Republicans who fooled voters

zTC

I was disappointed by the actions of a group of Republican candidates who distributed a mock copy of the Republican ballot with only their names and Ellen R. Sauerbrey's highlighted.

It included Ms. Sauerbrey's authority line, which led voters to believe that she endorsed these candidates. I find it objectionable that these candidates banded together to promote themselves in this way. Such a tactic is confusing at best, misleading and unethical at worst.

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