Roadway agency needs oversight The officials of the...

Letters to the editor

August 11, 2002

Roadway agency needs oversight

The officials of the Traffic Engineering Division of the Anne Arundel County government demand the right to make any change to roadways with complete impunity, regardless of the justification, and without regard to the consequences, even if their actions slow emergency vehicles and do damage to private property.

They also write their own rules for how and when these measures will be implemented, allowing them to play politics and execute their own agenda.

Sometimes this results in actions that are not in the best interests of residents, drivers, voters or all of these.

If you don't think that this is a government agency that has run amok, you need to visit the Web site at www.savecookshome .com.

It tells the story of an unfortunate homeowner who was the unwilling recipient of a speed hump 60 feet from his foundation.

The damage to the home from that speed hump, described in an official report by a registered engineer, still has not been acknowledged by the county government, at any level, including the county executive, Janet S. Owens.

The politics of the situation are that influential people want the hump to stay, and county officials don't really care if this poor man's home falls down. He's just one voter.

For the DPW and the county bureaucracy, singling out an individual resident for this kind of treatment is unconscionable, but Janet Owens has also failed, repeatedly, to provide the kind of leadership that would keep such a tragedy from happening.

This is good cause for people who plan to vote for Janet Owens, who is ultimately responsible for the actions of the Department of Public Works, to reconsider their vote before they go to the polls this fall.

John J. Everett

Annapolis

Caretakers doing great job with park

I think it is appalling what I read in your newspaper (July 31) on the front page about Thomas Point Park.

I live in a community close to the park, and I did contribute to the reserve, for Mr. Coomes works extremely hard at preserving and maintaining a beautiful park public park we are all very proud to utilize and take friends and relatives to.

We saw what was going on and collectively as a community and communities, got together to help.

I have never tried to get a monthly permit, and expect nothing in return for my donation nor would ever think of expecting something in return.

I assure you everyone else who contributed feels the same way.

Please come down sometime and see who has these permits. Every morning and night, it is primarily Asian fishermen with many lines in the water.

I recognize no one who lives in our community.

[Recreation and Parks Director] Dennis Callahan has been giving the Coomeses grief for several years and he doesn't stop.

I don't know the Coomeses personally, only as the caretakers of the park. The only thing the Coomeses are guilty of is working very hard and preserving an asset of our county and state.

David O'Dea

Annapolis

Watergate Community Association president

All Annapolis schools are not lacking

The story by Stephen Kiehl in the Aug. 8, 2002, Anne Arundel section missed an important point about Superintendent [Eric J.] Smith's new reading and writing program. Both the headline ("low-scoring elementaries") and the first sentence ("sub-par elementary schools") neglect to mention that three of the Annapolis elementary schools are among the best in the county.

The omission paints all the Annapolis elementary schools as performing poorly, which is not true.

Well into the story, Kiehl states that all nine Annapolis schools were included because students move between schools so much and that this represents a pilot program that might be expanded to other schools.

The true import of the new reading and writing program is that 11 poorly performing schools, and three of the county's best, are using the new curriculum this year, and it is likely to be expanded next year to a uniform curriculum across the county.

For the future, it will be interesting to see how the new superintendent deals with the two models for middle school curriculum adopted last year.

Peter Guth

Annapolis

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