Taxpayers shouldn't pay for BWI face liftRegarding Cheryl...

Letters

November 29, 1998

Taxpayers shouldn't pay for BWI face lift

Regarding Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan's Nov. 16 article, "Area around BWI may get a face lift," as a taxpayer in Anne Arundel County, I am outraged that Steven Cover, director of Planning and Code Enforcement for Anne Arundel County, and Neil Shpritz, director of the BWI Business Partnership's "vision committee," are meeting to determine when and how to lobby the County Council for money to plant trees, landscape and improve the appearance of the Baltimore-Washington International Airport business area.

I agree that, thanks to Mr. Cover's staff and Mr. Shpritz's group's members, that part of our county looks "pretty cruddy like some kind of industrial downscale area."

They got exactly what they let happen. Mr. Cover's staff let developers deforest thousands of acres of old-growth forest to build some of the ugliest buildings and signs. Then, the very businesses Mr. Shpritz represents signed long-term leases for these ugly properties and often selected and built the ugly signs themselves.

Now, we taxpayers are expected to pay for:

Planting trees to replace those our government let developers destroy.

Replacing ugly signs our government let businesses put up.

Adding landscaping that should have been demanded by businesses before they would sign the leases.

If businesses in the BWI corridor are not happy with the appearance of the properties they leased or built, let them renegotiate their leases or pay for the improvements they want themselves.

Now that we have elected a county executive who is not in bed with developers, maybe Mr. Cover (or his replacement) and his ** staff will start to serve the taxpayers for whom they work, rather than pandering to developers and businesses who signed leases for ugly property, deforested the land and then expected taxpayers to pay to fix the mess.

Most important, maybe our new executive can make Mr. Cover (or his replacement) and his staff do some intelligent planning for a change.

Anne Arundel County, including the area around BWI, was once, and in many places still is, a naturally beautiful area of forests and waterfront. If our county department of Planning and Code Enforcement had done its job in the first place, and if businesses had demanded the same standards of developers that they now demand of taxpayers, we would all be better off and no one would need to lobby the county to pay for improvements to the appearance of the area.

Anita Heygster

Pasadena

BWI area has some bright spots

Regarding "New look near BWI" (Anne Arundel edition, Nov. 16) and "TLC for BWI" (Nov. 18), recent Sun articles have highlighted plans by business and government groups to "spruce up" the area around BWI in a long-term effort to attract continuing commercial investment. Although not mentioned in those articles, there is already an attractive multi-use feature encircling the airport and facing many surrounding businesses and roads: The BWI hiker-biker trail.

This fantastic patch features dozens of benches and several bridges and winds past a horse farm. From its connection with Friendship Park, you can see the airplanes land. It also joins the B&A trail. Further, the course passes the Linthicum light rail stop, the BWI MARC/Amtrak station, and parallels light rail inside the airport grounds to the terminal. Perhaps this trail can also serve as a landscaping anchor for the planned BWI area "spruce up."

Jay Bouis

Linthicum

Outgoing executive expresses his thanks

I want to thank the citizens of Anne Arundel County for allowing me to serve you as county executive. While I have been blessed with many wonderful things in my life, few have been as rewarding.

Helping people solve complex and often frustrating problems is its own reward. While those who serve in government experience many highs and lows, helping others is always their greatest joy. I will always cherish my 12 years in the House of Delegates andfour years as county executive.

These 16 years resulted in many relationships and friendships. Many complex issues were addressed, some we resolved and some were left for future leaders. Each issue affected the lives of our citizens, and I took that responsibility seriously.

As I leave office, I want to thank you for entrusting me with your government. I am honored to have served as your executive. I did my very best to manage both the finances and services of your government. It is in good financial and structural condition.

I wish Janet Owens the very best as she embarks on her term in office. I encourage each citizen to get involved and support Ms. Owens.

John Gary

Annapolis

Annapolis council answered concerns

Please allow me to weigh in on your Nov. 13 editorial, "Annapolis' flat-earth council."

Your memory on the subject of a revenue authority for Annapolis may be a bit short.

When the city's charter was amended to allow creation of such a body, it was quite controversial with many leading citizens strongly opposed.

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