Top issues for new county executive

Speakout!

Your Opinions

Thoughts on issues relating to Harford County

July 10, 2005

Last week's question: What should the first order of business be for the new county executive? What are the most important issues facing the new executive? Should the next leader of Harford take the county in a different direction?

County government needs some stability

In response to your question regarding opinions of what should be the first order of business, I would hope that they would not come in like gangbusters and start initiating a lot of change. I believe the county citizens are already rattled enough over Mr. Harkins' abandonment of his elected position for bluer skies.

The first order of business is to alleviate the public opinion of abandonment and offer some stability to us, regain our trust that our highest ranking official has the community's best interests at heart. Listen to the people! I am personally appalled by his decision to leave early and feel, short of a personal crisis, it shows little or no integrity or loyalty on the part of an elected and trusted official to bail out mid-term; it's a slap in the face to us all.

It's not enough that he will be moving on, but I understand that other county employees will be following him. The trickle-down effect of his (and their) departure will be hard enough to get beyond without someone coming in with an entirely new agenda.

Talk about losing faith in the system! I'm really disgusted, and hope that in future elections we select an individual who takes their role to lead the county seriously and sees their commitment through to the end. This entire episode is very unfortunate for the county.

Stacy Rawlings

Bel Air

We want your opinions

ISSUE: New County Executive David R. Craig got right down to business after his swearing in Thursday, announcing he will impose a county government hiring freeze and direct department heads to cut spending by 10 percent for at least the first 90 days of his term.

Craig made it clear he wants to introduce an era of fiscal belt-tightening. He said the spending cuts may remain in place until the end of the year. That would save about $6 million, using figures from the general government fund of the operating budget, savings Craig said he wants to translate into a property-tax decrease.

QUESTION: What do you think of the county executive's initial moves to rein in county government spending? Should money that is saved be used to pay for a tax cut?

YOUR VIEW: Tell us what you think. Send e-mail responses by Thursday to harford.speakout@baltsun.com. A selection of responses will be published July 17. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

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