Letters to the Editor


October 16, 2005

Unattractive development

It seems that some builders have taken to thumbing their noses at the governments and doing whatever they please and [saying ] so sue me but I'll be gone by then anyway and it's your problem now.

So, perhaps you could take a look at the hideous, 400-condo monster that is being built at the corner of West Street and Chinquapin Road in Annapolis. The worst -- and ugliest -- urban sprawl I have ever seen. And the many buildings built right on top of another, hardly any space between them; doubt that a tree will fit in there. Some of the condos face blank walls or the parking garage. All of it right up to the sidewalk. Supposed to be shops on the first floor opening to the street, but who would want to open a shop there? I don't know who would want to live there. Public housing never looked this bad. Go and see for yourself and tell me if I am mistaken.

My fishy bone tells me that this horrible pile is not what the city fathers had in mind when they approved the plans. Nobody would approve something that looks like this. ... I know that the City of Annapolis was greedy for development and tax revenues, but this?

Of course, the traffic on West Street, which was bad before, will become impassable when this thing opens.

Gerard L. Field Annapolis

Openness needed in school leadership

In its handling of the Human Resources Audit report, the Anne Arundel County School Board appears to have sent a terrible message to the next superintendent, which is that the way to get ahead in Anne Arundel County school politics is by sweeping problems under the rug.

It's now four months after that report came out, and the public still doesn't know who was responsible for the negligence it revealed. Even more amazingly, it doesn't even know the nature or cost of the negligence.

Perhaps the new gee-whiz computer software the school board plans to implement will solve the problems. But many other school districts without such software can manage to keep track of such routine expenses.

In ancient Persia, the kings used to kill messengers who brought bad tidings. Has the school board killed the messenger or solved the problem? More important, what message is it trying to send the next superintendent?

Over the last 20 years, the average tenure of an Anne Arundel County superintendent has been less than four years. That may be higher than the national average. But thoughtful observers have to ask what all this turmoil at the top is getting us.

Let's hope it's more than an expertly played blame game, where history endlessly repeats itself.

Jim Snider Severna Park

The writer is a former candidate for the Anne Arundel County school board.

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