October 29, 2006

Support for school board incumbents

As a former two-term member of the Carroll County Board of Education, and as a concerned citizen, I always pay particular attention to the slate of candidates for that office.

With three seats open, we will be electing a majority of the board this year. In spite of state and federal directives, the local board still retains primary authority over the education of our young people.

I will support the incumbents, as I believe our school system is doing well and is on the right track in the many areas it must cover.

Having worked with Mr. Bauer, I have first-hand knowledge of his dedication to the students and employees of our system.

Not knowing Ms. Gadberry personally, I rely on what I have learned by talking with those who have worked with her. She is reported to be approachable, willing to listen, and a strong advocate for all our children.

In a time when incumbency is being questioned, we will be well-served by returning these two to their seats on the school board.

Now we turn to the third, perhaps pivotal, place. My first and final thought was to choose David Roush. It was my first thought because when I did serve on the board I was well aware of the contributions made to our schools by Lehigh Cement Co. when he was the general manager there.

Employees were allowed to take time in their workday to mentor students during school hours. The company would be counted on to sponsor any event held by the schools in the northwest region. His leadership in these efforts was recognized with a service to education award by Elmer Wolfe Elementary School.

Since his retirement from Lehigh, his leadership ability, management skills and common sense have been recognized by many boards and committees and he has willingly given of his time and skills.

These qualities, combined with his experience of managing budgets and construction projects at Lehigh, will make him a valuable addition to the Board of Education.

We are fortunate to have people of this caliber willing to serve our children.

On Nov.7, please vote for Gary Bauer, Patricia Gadberry and Dave Roush for the Board of Education.

Carolyn Scott Westminster

Backing Minnich, Gouge and Beard

The upcoming election is a very important one in determining the course of Carroll County's future. Rather than retreating back to the "good old boy" network when "growth at all costs" was the order of the day and the future tax burden on existing residents was ignored, I'm choosing Dennis E. Beard and incumbents Julia Walsh Gouge and Dean L. Minnich as the three commissioners that will continue the managed growth agenda.

Under current Commissioners Gouge and Minnich there has been an approximate 25 percent reduction in building permits in each of the past few years; the adoption of a "council of governments" to improve the relationship with the towns on growth management issues; a much-deserved reputation of credibility and integrity regarding environmental protection at the state level; and implementation of new regulations to bolster the growth management process as well as manage future potential areas of buildable land. After attending a recent candidate forum, I'm also convinced that Dennis Beard will fit right in with a consensus-based growth management agenda put forth by Gouge and Minnich.

With the help of state funding, the county has reached the halfway point to its goal of 100,000 acres of farmland preservation, and the commissioners are working "in the open" to develop an updated master plan for the county. The current board has also worked hard and cooperatively with the school board and each of the county departments to create a sound and financially responsible capital improvement plan, which will help bring the level of facilities and services more up to par with our growing population.

The current commissioners' insistence on tying development approvals to the ability to provide adequate facilities, and their firm stand on building permit deferrals in areas of the county that are lagging in such facilities and services is testament to a board that has brought accountability and professionalism to their office.

A vote for Gouge, Minnich and Beard will keep Carroll County growth at a manageable pace; foster economic development to promote jobs growth in the county; and preserve the county's farmland and environmental resources. The current commissioners have proven that this agenda can be accomplished with due respect to landowner rights and in a financially responsible manner, and with the re-election of Susan Krebs as House delegate, Carroll's future will continue to be bright.

Wayne Schuster Eldersburg

A vote for Zimmer for commissioner

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