Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

August 15, 2004

Fair decision made in filling delegate slot

I commend the Carroll County Republican Central Committee for the integrity, openness and accountability with which it executed its constitutional responsibilities in nominating Tanya Shewell as the person to fill the House of Delegates vacancy in District 5A.

As a candidate for the position, I experienced the selection process first hand and found it to be fair, professional and open. After submitting my resume in application for the position, I received a letter from the Central Committee explaining the process that would be used to evaluate the candidates and select the nominee.

Then the Central Committee asked me to respond to six written questions in 50 words or less by July 16. This was followed by a public interview on the evening of July 24 wherein the Central Committee asked me to respond to four oral questions in two minutes or less. I was then given two minutes to present my concluding comments.

After the last candidate was interviewed, the Central Committee met in private to discuss the candidates and to select a nominee. Later that same evening, the chairman of the Central Committee telephoned me at home to inform me of the Central Committee's decision.

I am proud that, at the end of the day, the Central Committee demonstrated solidarity by reaching a unanimous decision on the nomination of Tanya Shewell. Congratulations on a job well done!!

C. Scott Stone


Johnson deserves post as liaison for county

I was delighted to read Mary Gail Hare's Aug. 6 article "Officials create post for liaison" concerning the appointment of Frank Johnson as director of legislative services for Carroll County.

It was wonderful news to see that our commissioners have decided to make an important investment in Carroll County's fortunes in Annapolis by retaining a very skilled and articulate professional in Mr. Johnson. I applaud his appointment.

As a community leader, I have worked closely with Mr. Johnson in his capacity as a municipal liaison both to the Council of Governments and to the Freedom Area Citizens' Council. Having the opportunity to also participate on the Commissioners Growth Task Force (GTF), which Mr. Johnson chaired, I found him to be a critical catalyst for keeping the task force focused in delivering our final recommendations a full two months ahead of schedule.

It is my sincere belief that the development of the adequate facilities ordinances, together with the more stringent development guidelines enacted by the commissioners at the recommendation of the GTF, may perhaps be the single-most important piece of legislation in Carroll County history.

The very fact that Senator Haines believes that Mr. Johnson's position will be superfluous and that the county has been well served by our delegation under his leadership, demonstrates clearly how out of touch he is with his constituents.

It should be no surprise to anyone that Mr. Haines' legislative complacency extends well beyond Carroll County. When a senior senator announces his position on county funding issues before even being briefed, it clearly demonstrates the need for a more effective lobbying effort on the part of the county.

While Carroll County may not need a full-time lobbyist, they most certainly are in need of someone adept at legal communications, who can regularly brief the delegation on the county's issues and vice-versa.

Until such time as the county forms a charter government, which would allow it to pass its own revenue bills, the new director of legislative services could start meeting with the delegation before the late fall and also begin assisting in the drafting of new legislation important to the county.

Perhaps then, critical filing deadlines might start to be met, which, unfortunately, Mr. Haines has been unable to accomplish during his tenure in the Senate.

Lastly, Mr. Johnson may help focus county resources in the acquisition of available funding and grants under a wide array of state and federal agencies, which have often been neglected in the past, including those in the area of economic development, where Carroll County continues to remain stagnant.

In summary, the commissioners have clearly made a bold investment in Mr. Johnson, but one which will likely pay huge dividends far into the future.

Ross Dangel


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