What do citizens want from government, and should the amount of service they get depend on whether they're well-off or poor?
The question came to mind last week after Washington County recreation officials revealed that attendance at a county summer day camp program has dropped by 90 percent since the county began charging fees three years ago.
In 1994, 1,100 kids participated at 12 sites. Then the county added a $12 fee and attendance dropped to 833 youngsters and three sites were cut. Last year, when the fee jumped to $36, only 519 youths attended camps at eight sites.
This year the fee has gone up to $90 per child for the six-week program. So far, only 170 youngsters have signed up, and county officials are talking about cutting two more sites, in Funkstown and Hancock.