County officials should let the Baughers farm their land...

LETTERS

March 12, 2000

County officials should let the Baughers farm their land

What has happened to Howard County?

I know that the farming community that we moved into almost 50 years ago is gone.

I know that others also found this county beautiful, convenient and a great place to raise a family. All of a sudden, Howard County was the place to be. First came Columbia; then came all the other developers to this Utopia with the scenic landscape and the great schools.

People like me and people who had been here a lot longer didn't want to see change but knew it was enevitable. So everyone settled down to co-exist, to meet new people and make new friends. But now Utopia has become overcrowded.

The farms are becoming extinct. When did it become convenient for our elected and appointed officials to force out the original owners to make room for the new? This is what they are trying to do to James and Joan Baugher.

Russel Baugher Sr. started farming his land in 1922. It has continued to be farmed by Jim and Joan Baugher, their children and their grandchildren ever since.

This family provides not just fresh produce to their customers; they are considered friends to this whole community.

They have to love their farm. This is not a 9-to-5, white collar job. This is get up early in the morning and pick fresh fruit and vegetables, sell at the stand all day and after closing again go to the fields and orchard to start all over again for the next day.

You'd have to love your land and what you do to work this hard and this many hours

Sometimes it can be tedious but it's their life. They love it and should be allowed to continue to have their chosen life.

What right do officials who make the decisions about school property have to come in and just tell this family they have to turn their property over to them or they will condemn it Money does not even enter into this when the life of your whole family is involved.

These same officials knew what the growth in this area has been. They knew Worthington Elementary was overcrowded.

They knew that Ilchester Elementary was overcrowded even before the paint was dry. So they had to use portables at this new school right away.

Knowing this, the Country approved a large development for Dr. Bruce Taylor and Donald Reuwer is in the same district of our already overcrowded schools.

Why?

Now they tell the Baughers they have to give up their life to help these developers get richer. Leave the Baughers in peace. They are a vital part of this community. This land is not only important to their family but to this whole area. It would be a travesty to allow them to be pushed off their land, land they have worked all their lives just to line the pockets of the big-time developers.

Margaret E. Zaiser

Ellicott City

Should way of governing Columbia be changed?

May I suggest that the responsibility of the Columbia council should be to the people of Columbia.

Something is radically wrong when elected council members who perceive problems are labeled conspirators and become subjects for talks of censure.

Closed-door meetings and unaccounted-for voting should not be used to mask dissenting opinions that warrant public expression.

This does not sound like the Columbia my wife and I moved to 32 years ago.

All this begs the question of whether the current form of governing Columbia has outlived its usefulness.

Franklin J. Shekore

Columbia

Kennedy should be model for CA presidents

In the article "Columbia official under scrutiny" (Feb. 16), Erika Niedowski wrote that Padraic Kennedy was handpicked by the Rouse Company to be the Columbia Association's first president.

The facts are that all three Columbia Council representatives (Ruth Keeton, Ron Carlson and I) were an integral part of this community's interview and selection process.

Because Mr. Kennedy had the desired background, comprised of executive experience, community service,and an unshakable vision for what Columbia could be, the Columbia Council representatives unanimously recommended that Pat Kennedy be appointed as the Columbia Association's first president.

None of us ever regretted that choice. Mr. Kennedy kept the organization moving forward through the most austere times.

In doing so, he kept the discourse civil no matter how heated the issues became.

He proved to be an excellent president and Columbia leader for nearly 27 years.

Those of us who lived here and worked on the issues in the community respect and admire Pat Kennedy for what he gave us.

Robert M. Carto

Columbia

Applause for judge who requires essays

I am responding to the article ("Judge's sentences: Read' em and weep," March 7) about a Howard County judge assigning books and papers to defendants guilty of drunk driving.

I was dismayed but not surprised at the attitude of both the defendants and their attorneys.

The defendants don't like the punishment? Are they supposed to? Punishment isn't about what feels good. It's about changing your behavior.

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