Intelligent planning essential for growth The idea that...


January 20, 2002

Intelligent planning essential for growth

The idea that Carroll County is, in fact, located in the State of Maryland is an essential concept that, we as citizens of the county, must imposed upon all of the elected officials of the county.

Uncontrolled growth will render the County the same fate of those counties that surround us.

I do not hold the position of no growth; I do not hold the position of slow growth. I do hold the position of intelligent growth.

In order for Carroll County citizens to protect those assets, we must recognize the fact that no politician ever won a war, built a city, provided for the needs of its citizens in an effective manner, without the consent of the people, the support of the people and the participation of the people.

Our current County Commission has repeatedly taken the position that their actions are above the law, that they do not fear redress for enforcing their will on the professional county employees who, in many circumstances, fear that taking the high road may lead to the road of unemployment.

The choice to provide Carroll County a new beginning starts with you. Each of you can make a difference. Each of you can contribute.

We start with planning a comprehensive Master Plan that embraces the fact that each of the incorporated municipalities have limited resources, as a result of size and financial constraints. In essence the Master Plan should contain sub-planning areas that relate to the existing incorporated municipalities.

The Master Plan should provide for the improvement of the county's quality of life. The Master Plan must recognize that to create opportunities for future businesses there must be adequate infrastructure in place and ready for use. The need for water, sewer and other utilities is absolutely necessary to effectively market sites to employers.

The County must work with the incorporated municipalities to insure that future growth through the implementation of the Master Plan allows for the County Planning Department to provide the necessary assistance in the implementation of the plan.

The Zoning Ordinance must be revised to complement and support the revised Master Plan. The Zoning Ordinance must be drafted in a manner that provides for changes, only when it remains compliant within the guide lines of the Master Plan, otherwise the Master Plan would need to be revised and approved to accommodate changes. This procedure provides the County's citizens with the comfort that land uses will be controlled by the Master Plan, not the Zoning Board.

Water and sewer plan revisions are in review at this time. I have had the opportunity to review the proposed changes and my only comment is that until an effective Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance are approved and embraced by the municipalities, as well as the citizens of the County, the Commissioners are putting the cart in front of the horse.

Gerald J. Ryan


Voters must take care electing commissioners

With the dawn of a new year, it appears brighter days are on the horizon for Carroll County citizens. This new year brings with it an election, and the all-important electoral process, which will provide open debate of issues affecting residents and businesses here.

We now have an opportunity to look beyond the past years of tortured County governance we have all endured. The challenge arises as to how the next Board of Commissioners will lead this County into the 21st Century. Major issues loom, such as actually planning for growth in a measured way, the provision of adequate school classroom sizes and assuring a sustainable quality of life for all residents. The 2002 election will have to focus on solutions to the fiscal challenges to sustain the quality of education for which Carroll County schools are known and that unique quality of life shared cherished by most Countians. Shortfalls in the State Treasury and the spending habits of the current Board of Commissioners will make the challenges even greater.

The challenge to Carroll voters will be to see through the smoke and mirror tactics of some candidates and identify those who are posing viable solutions and realistic programs. Voters must decide if the candidates are frankly addressing voters' concerns or dodging questions and trying to slip into office with slick campaign slogans and big signs? It has happened before. Do we recall the "Keep it Country" candidate"? Does anyone remember even one of candidate Robin Frazier's campaign positions?

I am hoping the citizens of Carroll County keep their eyes and ears wide open during the 2002 campaign and then make their own personal vote count for the individual who provides real solutions and opportunities for a more cohesive local government which invites them to rejoin active roles in their own governance.

Neil M. Ridgely


Register to vote in important election

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