Development plan scrapes bottom of the barrel The Sun's...


April 15, 2001

Development plan scrapes bottom of the barrel

The Sun's column by Mike Burns "High costs of luring industry to Carroll" (April 8 ) requires a response from one who has watched Carroll County's economic development efforts decline over the past decade.

Out of one side of the mouth of the county's director of economic development we hear credible statements calling for large parcels of land to be zoned purely for industrial use and for lots to be pre-graded and ready with public water, sewer, gas and telecommunications infrastructure.

Out of the other, we see the same director, Jack Lyburn, working hand-in-hand with an incompetent Economic Development Commission and board of commissioners, soliciting the rezoning of parcels as small as two acres in the Liberty watershed subdivision of Finksburg, an area which is not and never will be served by public water and sewer.

Is there a credibility issue here? The hypocrisy lying between the words and the actions is apparent to everyone but the perpetrators.

The county continues to scrape the bottom of the barrel for big-box retailers, truck terminals, and franchise restaurants, while failing to clean up its zoning code, spend money laying infrastructure into sites zoned for industry and pandering to a cement manufacturer.

County government not only doesn't care where it puts industry, it doesn't have a clue as to how to arrange it. The jobs they are creating are not coming from the pool of existing residents, but they are creating one heck of a demand for the labor pool outside of Carroll.

Because of the inept approach this county government has taken, the highest cost in luring industry to Carroll is our loss of quality of life. Once stolen by those who lack vision, it can never be returned.

A trip up Route 140 is all one needs to see the shortsightedness of our government. Failing to recognize tourism as perhaps our greatest potential industry, the county perpetuates the visual clutter that makes this entry into Carroll look like Anywhere, U.S.A.

Tourism is about finding places that are different, that are unique and better than the places people travel from. But apparently our government wants to make us a replica of Anywhere, U.S.A. -- and is none too particular about their credibility in the process.

What a legacy this reckless approach to economic development has wrought.

Neil M. Ridgely, Finksburg

Resettlement agencies find homes for refugees

I was pleased to see The Sun's article describing the support provided to Sudanese refugees by Church World Services (CWS) in Westminster ("Parish offers refuge, home," March 26). However, the article states that "in 2000, 119 refugees were assisted with resettlement in Maryland." This figure is inaccurate.

In 2000 alone, the International Rescue Committee (IRK) helped resettle 232 legally admitted refugees to the Baltimore area.

And, according to the Maryland Office for New Americans, the state agency which tracks refugee admissions, 862 refugees were resettled in Maryland in 2000 by CWS, the IRC and colleague refugee resettlement agencies.

Andrew Robarts, Baltimore

The writer is regional director for the International Rescue Committee -- Baltimore.

Bush deserves praise for bringing tax relief

I find it amazing how The Sun and the national press can only portray President Bush's tax cut as being reduced, slashed, trimmed from $1.6 trillion to 1.2 trillion ("Senate OKs reduced tax cut," April 7).

Thanks to Mr. Bush we will get tax relief. So what if the whole $1.6 trillion was not approved? The bottom line is we will get $1.2 trillion -- which is $1.2 trillion more than The Sun's hero, former President Clinton, ever gave us. The Sun's headline will never read: "Bush plan soon to give back what's yours in the first place," but it should.

Marc Benvenuto, Finksburg

Teach kids to respect those who are different

Angry, gun-wielding students are becoming prevalent in our school systems. This is no longer a problem of minority schools; it is occurring in private schools and rural public schools.

Parents have the responsibility to teach their children effective ways to deal with anger and monitor their children's activities. However, schools also have a responsibility to intervene when a child is ostracized and abused by other children during the school day.

In every instance of a student taking a gun to school and killing others, the profile of the attacker is the same: The child who was a loner disliked by his peers -- teased, taunted and isolated.

A teen-ager's primary developmental task is creating an identity and a sense of self-worth. And the school system, the community and the parents need to get involved.

Schools must show zero tolerance for bullying.

Every parent needs to teach his or her children how to deal with anger, but first teach them to respect their peers and to show compassion for those who are different.

Robin Somers, Eldersburg

Finding right employees is key to good schools

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