October 30, 2005

THE ISSUE -- Havre de Grace has experienced significant growth in recent years, and several large-scale projects are coming soon. City Councilman Wayne Dougherty has expressed concerns that the city's services could be strained by the influx of development and suggested the city institute a six-month moratorium on new building. His idea comes as the county in general prepares for an unprecedented influx of jobs over the next two to six years as part of a nationwide military base consolidation plan.

Should the county as a whole consider Dougherty's moratorium idea before embarking on development projects to accommodate new military and high-tech jobs in addition to already-planned development?

Examine county infrastructure now

Speak Out The city of Havre de Grace is considering a moratorium on new construction because the previous mayor, David Craig, apparently gave little consideration or thought to the capacity of the city's sewer treatment system when he led the effort to annex additional land into the city limits.

Craig is quoted in The Sun as saying that he left the city in good shape and "if someone's dropped the ball since then, it would be unfortunate." It's hard to believe the situation deteriorated so quickly in less than four months since he left the mayor's job to become county executive.

That begs the question of just what shape is Harford County's water and sewer system? Perhaps a county moratorium also would be a good idea while an independent study is made of our infrastructure needs. We already know our schools are overcrowded and our roads are clogged. What else is a problem or a problem waiting to happen?

The appointed county executive needs to be very convincing that he has a better handle on Harford County's problems than he had in Havre de Grace.

John F. Haggerty

Bel Air

Ex-Mayor Craig a master at spin

Former Mayor David Craig led the charge for annexation in Havre de Grace that will add thousands of homes. He did this despite a sewer plant that is near capacity, schools that are crowded, and a fleet of 20 police cars in need of replacement. The new mayor and City Council are considering a building moratorium until they can do an assessment of the predicament Havre de Grace finds itself in.

Craig says none of this is true, that he left the city in good shape. He implies that "someone" may have dropped the ball in the three months since he abandoned the city to become Harford County executive. David Craig has added a whole new dimension to the term "spin." He even "one-ups" Karl Rove.

Ben Michalski

Havre de Grace

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