April 30, 2006

Savings could help CATS' challenges

With the passage of HB 668, Local Government Tort Claims Act - Inclusion of Specified Nonprofit Entities, Carroll Area Transit System (CATS) will save approximately $200,000 in vehicle insurance premiums in fiscal year 2007. This would not be possible without the support of the Carroll County commissioners and our local delegation.

This savings will permit CATS, a private nonprofit corporation, to better address the challenges brought on by the continuing increase in demand for transportation services for the citizens of Carroll County.

Special thanks go to Senator Larry Haines, Delegate Tanya Shewell, and Carroll County Director of Legislative Services Frank Johnson. Their hard work and dedication was instrumental in the passage of this bill.

I fully support the continuation of having a director of Legislative Services represent the citizens of Carroll County in Annapolis. Frank Johnson's hard work and commitment to quality representation over the past two years helped save the county nearly $1 million by working with the delegation to ensure that bills that would benefit Carroll County were supported, and bills that would negatively affect Carroll County were defeated.

The passage of HB 668 is an example of a truly successful collaborative effort of our local delegation and county government. Again, our appreciation goes out to these individuals for working with CATS to ensure the passage of this bill.

Neal C. Roop

President/CEO Carroll Area Transit System

Tax plan a result of sloppy spending

What a disappointment that our elected Westminster officials have blamed their 15 percent tax hike on seeking competitive salaries and pensions for the City Hall employees.

I'm sure that all citizens support fair employment practices for the folks that serve us so well, the REAL workers in the street like those who haul our trash and those who provide our safety and services.

What a Machiavellian technique pitting us protesting and concerned citizens against those workers on whom we depend.

Citizenry object only to the huge salaries of a few high level directors in our municipal government hierarchy who never get their hands dirty. Also, we object to the lavish $14,000 increase the new director of a newly created department just received. Are these sound or moral employment practices?

In reality the Anti Tax Rally held on Wednesday night was a simple wake-up call (hard to do in a nonelection year, to be sure) sent to the mayor and council that a 15 percent increase in our taxes is easily read by us to be the result of an inefficient and just plain sloppy handling of our hard-earned money.

Rebekah Orenstein


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