Shining a light on Carroll County's shenanigans [Letter]

May 23, 2014

I am pleased to see that The Sun recently acquired the Carroll County Times ("Baltimore Sun Media Group buys The Capital in Annapolis and the Carroll County Times," May 1).

The Times has done an outstanding job as a local newspaper for decades, and it's my hope that the purchase by The Sun will restore statewide coverage of Carroll County politics as it once provided when The Sun maintained a local bureau here.

Commentary and coverage of Carroll County to a statewide audience is important to those outside the county so that everyone in the region is aware that our current county commissioners and legislative delegation would as soon secede from the state as participate in coordinated efforts restore the Chesapeake Bay or even increase its recycling rates.

One has to wonder how many other residents in the Baltimore metropolitan area would tolerate political leaders who are so prone to creating slush funds. In Carroll, the county commissioners have set aside $500,000 to fight state programs and deter citizen lawsuits. They have also stashed $800,000 to fund the extracurricular activities of those in home or private schools, then forked over the funds to a non-profit for distribution to prevent any public accounting of the expenditures.

Where else but in Carroll County would elected officials deny climate change, shrug at sea-level rise and buy into a conspiracy theory that the United Nations is attempting to influence local planning policy?

What other county executive or board of commissioners would hold an anti-environment, anti-planning conference at taxpayers' expense — and at a location outside of the county — charge selected citizens to attend and then spend over $25,000 to hire the equivalent of the Nutty Professor and his comrades to speak as experts?

Where else in the state would two commissioners (Robin Frazier and Richard Rothschild) intentionally poison a community meeting held by two other commissioners by crashing the meeting — thereby creating a legal quorum — and then have the nerve to file a complaint with the Open Meetings Compliance Board to have the meeting ruled illegal?

Where else but Carroll would an elected official announce that she would rather go to jail than make prayers at government meetings more inclusive of other faiths beside her own?

It is important that the other members of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council and the citizens of this region know about such shenanigans.

Neil Ridgely, Finksburg

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