Your Opinions

September 03, 2006

Backing program of slow growth

Since 1992, it has been my honor to represent the citizens of Carroll County as an elected member of the Board of Education. During that time, student enrollment grew more than 30 percent (from 21,641 full-time equivalent in 1992 to 28,194 in 2005).

To accommodate the additional students, 12 new schools were constructed (Gateway School, six elementary, three middle, and two high schools) and six schools were modernized. The total construction costs of these schools exceeded $210 million.

A significant portion of the increased number of students is directly attributable to the unrestrained, pro-growth residential positions supported by prior Boards of County Commissioners and by current state legislators representing District 5.

In 2002, the voters of Carroll County elected slow-growth commissioners; however, pro-growth state legislators in District 5 obstructed them at nearly every turn.

Being an ardent supporter of slow-growth, I decided to run for the House of Delegates representing District 5A. I support efforts to ensure that residential growth does not exceed our capacity to absorb it.

Until sufficient capacity has been built for public schools, for highways and roads, for police and fire protection, and for water and sewer services, residential development throughout the county must remain curtailed.

Afterward, the pace of residential growth must be managed so that it does not overwhelm public facilities.

Additionally, I support efforts to ensure that growth pays for growth.

Existing residents should not be asked or required to pay for additional infrastructure improvements associated with residential growth.

I believe our state legislators should actively identify, consider and understand those issues facing Carroll County citizens. I believe our state legislators should represent the interests of Carroll County citizens in the debates regarding statewide legislation.

Most of all, I believe our state legislators should abide by the mantra that local government, the government closest to the people, governs best.

Now is the time for change! I want to be part of that change. I want to represent you in Annapolis, working with state and local officials, solving the problems we face today and tomorrow. I want to work for you and with you to build a strong and prosperous Carroll County.

To learn more, please visit my Web site at www.CScottStone.com. In closing, I ask for your vote in the Republican primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

C. Scott Stone Hampstead

The writer is a candidate for the House of Delegates from District 5A.

Keeping Carroll's focus on growth

As we approach the primary election on Sept. 12, let's not forget the big issues of four years ago: uncontrolled growth and the proposed water treatment plant on Piney Run Lake.

The election of our current commissioners and Del. Susan Krebs were clear statements by the voters that they desired responsible growth and no treatment plant on the lake.

Are these issues dead? No! Two of the challengers are professed uncontrolled-growth advocates and pushed for the treatment plant four years ago: Mike Zimmer and Larry Helminiak.

Both were supporters of former commissioner Robin Frazier, the No. 1 advocate for uncontrolled growth and the water treatment plant.

Uncontrolled growth contributes greatly to the heavy tax burden that is placed upon the residents of Carroll. Don't be fooled by those who say taxes are the issue. Uncontrolled growth has been and will continue to be the No. 1 issue for South Carroll and the entire county.

On Sept. 12, please vote for Commissioners Minnich, Jones, and Gouge, and Delegate Krebs, the candidates who support slow, responsible growth.

Kelly Hendrix Sykesville

Candidate's talk on taxes stunning

The South Carroll Business Association recently sponsored a candidates' forum where the candidates fielded questions from the audience.

I asked Mr. [Larry] Helminiak that since he is running on a platform of lower taxes, as a state delegate, exactly which state taxes would he lower and how?

He emphatically responded, "No, I never stated that I would lower taxes!"

I was shocked. I've seen the billboards and heard him declare that his three main issues are taxes, taxes and taxes. So I naturally thought that lower taxes were his main goal. Twice on his Web site, he clearly states that he will lower taxes. In addition, lower taxes are also the first issue listed on his handbill.

This contradiction leads one to question the validity of Mr. Helminiak's agenda. If he really plans to lower taxes, how will he accomplish this goal?

He apparently has no plan in place and believes by repeatedly voicing this unfounded sound bite, the good voters of South Carroll will follow him blindly, that we will be sucked into what sounds good and not look behind the rhetoric to see how it will get done.

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