Give Republicans a chance to govern Md. The Sun's...


March 31, 2002

Give Republicans a chance to govern Md.

The Sun's article "Senators vote generous pensions for ex-governors" (March 22) points out that Glendening has potential for the largest payout. And Kathleen Townsend no doubt hopes to get a share of it, too.

Why am I not surprised? Gov. Spendening is always looking out for his best interests. Nowhere in the business world where people work 40 years are retiree pensions linked to current salaries. Most are lucky to get cost-of-living raises. So, why should retired governors get such a huge increase for eight years of service? At a time when extreme budget cuts to education and services to the poor are taking place, it's obscene to raise these pensions. It's interesting to note that the attempt to scale back the proposed pensions improvements, led by Republican Sen. Andrew Harris, failed on a 14-30 vote that followed party lines.

The Maryland poor mistakenly believe that the Democrats are looking out for them. The Democrats are looking out for themselves, and the poor are just a means to an end. It's time for a change in leadership. Maryland, let's give the Republicans a chance and stop this self-indulgence.

Jackie Owens Harris

Severna Park

(The writer is no relation to Senator Harris)

Village at Bestgate a wise development

I want to compliment Sun writer Lynn Anderson on her article "Seeking end to zoning saga" (March 27), which gives a thorough history of the 54-acre parcel on Bestgate Road in Anne Arundel County.

I also want to thank you for the quick [clarification] regarding that part of the story which inaccurately said two condominium complexes threw their support behind The Village at Bestgate especially after they had received a cash donation. Our opponents have and will continue to circulate rumors in order to divert the public's attention to the real issue. We will continue to host open meetings for a full discussion on the Village and, yes, we will serve refreshments.

The real issue is: Do the residents of Bestgate Road want to have the 54 acres developed in its entirety as residential or do they want to preserve the rear 24 acres as open space and create a mixed use Village to service their local needs? In addition, we are providing a 5,000-square-foot community center which will belong to the residents to meet community needs. Also, over 600 permanent jobs will be created, and an additional $500,000 in tax revenues will be generated with a mixed-use design.

The Village at Bestgate is not a shopping center. It is modeled after our successful Village at Waugh Chapel in Gambrills, which is the county's first and only true mixed-use development. The Village at Bestgate will be a special place with outstanding architecture, beautiful landscaping, pedestrian-friendly walkways and a community center, which will serve the social needs of the more than 6,000 people who live on Bestgate Road. The community center provides a place for people in a Village setting which will lead to addressing neighborhood issues such as after-school child care, teen-age challenges and senior care. We are taking this concept and applying it to other potential developments throughout the United States. It's time that commercial developments do more than provide a place for people to shop.

We are anxiously waiting for the administration to introduce the Small Area Plan so we can have a public hearing to openly discuss The Village at Bestgate

John S. Pantelides

Baltimore, senior vice president of Erwin L. Greenberg Commercial Development

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