December 2, 2011
Two recent letters to the editor got my juices flowing again. In the first letter, J. Rodney Little, director of the Maryland Historic Trust, heaps praise on his primary benefactor and funding source, Gov. Martin O'Malley, for distributing my tax dollars to his organization so the trust can re-distribute my wealth to private developers (and no doubt pay his salary). Immediately below Mr. Little's drivel was a whine from George Frazier, in which he bemoans the City Council's rejection of a tax break for urban farmers.
November 10, 2011
A panel on growth and wastewater treatment recently recommended tripling the Bay Restoration Fee - known as the "flush tax" - between now and 2015. Good idea. It would raise more than $145 million a year for the Chesapeake Bay. And with a price tag of more than $10 billion on Maryland's Watershed Implementation Plan, we need it. But before we ask residents for another $5 a month, we need to be sure that the money we have now, and the additional money we will have in the future, will be well spent.
November 8, 2011
I am troubled by the assumption of PlanMaryland opponents that they have an inalienable and eternal right to our tax dollars to support their high maintenance and energy consumption lifestyle. The purpose of the PlanMaryland legislation, like smart growth before it, is to withhold state funding for bad choices about how and where to live made by local government. If they persist in turning cornfields into vinyl McMansions, they shouldn't do it on my tax dollars. It's bad enough that any corporate functionary should get a mortgage interest deduction for living in a house with a profligate carbon footprint and commute on roads newly built on some of the best farmland on the planet.
November 6, 2011
Kudos to elected officials and the Stoneleigh community for deciding to make the "180-day field trip" move to the Carver Center for the Arts and Technology. This plan begs the question — why are we spending taxpayer dollars to update and expand the already overcrowded, antiquated Stoneleigh Elementary School? If Carver solves the problem and can accommodate more students, shouldn't Baltimore County taxpayers keep Stoneleigh students at this new location … permanently? Who knows what the total cost is to taxpayers for not only the Stoneleigh addition, but also the relocation of students back to this facility?
October 31, 2011
Who among us believes that sprawl - that is, the destruction of farms, forests and other open spaces to accommodate far-flung development coupled with the neglect and abandonment of older neighborhoods and urban centers - is a cost-effect, environmental-friendly and ultimately sound strategy for future growth in Maryland? If you are raising your hand right now, you may well be sitting in the Pikesville Hilton where the Carroll County Board of Commissioners are today hosting a "summit" attacking Gov. Martin O'Malley's PlanMaryland initiative.
September 29, 2011
One of the U.S. Senate's most aggressive watchdogs said Thursday he has begun an inquiry into Baltimore's public housing agency, after receiving calls and emails concerning "a wide range of allegations, including possible conflicts of interest, fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayers' monies. " Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican member of the Judiciary Committee, requested reams of documents from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees housing authorities around the country and steers millions of dollars a year to Baltimore.
August 9, 2011
On Thursday, Aug 4. my wife and I joined about 200 other people for a hearing in the county's George Howard Building. The subject was a study and proposed land acquisition for a road spur from the west side of Route 108 in Clarksville to Auto Drive in Clarksville. The proposal is a very poor solution to a problem that may or may not exist. The impact of the proposal on businesses and property owners affected is intolerable. It is difficult to see how or why the Howard County planning people would waste their time and county funds on an unnecessary study to reach an unsatisfactory conclusion.
July 14, 2011
My friends and I recently sat around talking about where our tax dollars are being spent and where we want our tax dollars to go. We want them spent here, in America. On America's soil and on America's people. Here's a novel idea. Why not spend our tax dollars on things that would benefit Americans? We need teachers. They are great for building trust and confidence and teaching right from wrong in little minds. They are very influential in the way children treat each other and these children will grow up to treat other adults in a respectful way. Give our teachers a raise and give our students air conditioning so they can learn and be better citizens.
June 8, 2011
After reading Andrea Walker 's story about Marge Walker and Goodwill Industries, I felt that it should have appeared in a more prominent place in your newspaper ("Goodwill has grown; so have needs," May 29). Nonprofits like Goodwill perform outstanding service to the community. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars incarcerating men and women for various crimes, often with little thought of their need for housing and job-training upon release to help them transition back into society and reduce the possibility of recidivism.
May 12, 2011
And so it begins, the price to be paid for giving illegal aliens in-state tuition fees. It begins with the loss of funding for the Distinguished Scholars Fund. The best and the brightest of our law-abiding young adults are left to scramble for the $3,000 that they were awarded, and to add insult to injury, the notification came too late for them to choose other schools! How disgusting! Governor, did you use the same pen to erase their futures that you used to give my tax dollars to help lawbreakers?