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Letters to the Editor

September 11, 1998

County deserves responsible solutions

To the editor:

The makeup of the board of Washington County Commissioners is due to change after the elections this fall. It is important that voters scrutinize the candidates and support those most likely to provide leadership capable of solving our most pressing issues.

Effective leadership motivates, empowers, and organizes people to achieve common objectives, provides moral and organizes people to achieve common objectives, provides moral guidance, and possesses the integrity and credibility that builds trust within the community, within the board of commissioners, and between our various governing bodies. I believe I possess these leadership abilities. I also believe I can back these skills with intelligence, critical thought, and tireless work.

I have spent a great deal of time researching solutions to our most pressing problems. I have attended Washington County Water and Sewer Advisory Committee meetings and spoken with rate payers to compose an equitable four-point plan to our water/sewer debt. This plan includes creating a separate management board for the pretreatment plant and using the proceeds from this potentially profitable plant to help pay down the debt, promoting economic growth in Hopewell Valley, restructuring bonds to mirror the life expectancy of the plants, and unifying the city and county sewer departments. The city is about to go into $24 million of debt by the year 2004, while this plan can save both the county and city millions of dollars a year. We must remember that the goal of our sewer departments is to safely treat waste at the least expensive rate possible.

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Through membership on civic boards such as the Greater Hagerstown Education Task Force and the Board of Education Strategic Planning Committee, I have developed a deeper understanding of the needs for our school system. Our economy will prosper or crumble based on how we prepare our students for the new millennium. We need to correct the perception that education is not important to our county's future.

As part of the funding authority for the board of education, I will urge the commission to forge a closer relationship with the board so we can work together to provide a consistent, improved school system. It is my commitment to our schools that has lead the Retired School Administrators and the Washington County Teachers Association to endorse my candidacy.

I have dedicated myself to researching the issues that effect our community. From formulating a feasible solution to the water and sewer crisis to working on a comprehensive plan to improve both primary and secondary education, my views have come from critical thought and in-depth analysis of these problems, not a knee-jerk reaction to the status quo. Indeed, I feel the time has come for bold, new leadership, capable of achieving our common objectives and rebuilding the integrity, credibility and trust our community needs to flourish in the new century. I ask that you support me in the primary election on Sept. 15, so that I can contribute to the responsible solutions and leadership that our county deserves.

Clint Wiley

Hagerstown

Mandates drive up health care costs

To the editor:

I am writing to you regarding the letter published in your paper written by John Donoghue about Donoghue and how Donoghue has single handedly saved the State of Maryland.

First of all, this article points out the major problem with health care in the State of Maryland. Delegates, John Donoghue, are jumping on the bandwagon against HMOs without truly knowing the consequences to the small business consumer. Though much of the legislation passed is good for the consumer, the problem is that these mandates cause an increase for all consumers in their health care costs - even those that don't want the benefit.

A perfect example is a small business that has four single males between the ages of 25-45. These men are not required to have a benefit program that give them one annual self-referral to an OBGYN and a plan that allows them to stay in the hospital for 96 hours following a caesarean section.

These mandates are causing groups like the above to drop insurance completely. If Donoghue and the rest of the delegates would take the time to step down from their pedestals and look and see how these mandates are driving prices through the roof, they might come to a different conclusion.

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