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Letters to the Editor

June 23, 1999

Let's hope Sager remains an ex-mayor

To the editor:

Well Steve Sager caught us! We used his "projected" profits for the City Light accounts for the last two years. We started with the City's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 1996 at page B-63. The total cash income of City Light in the year ending June 30, 1996, was $2,144,285 before operating transfers to other City departments.

However we were shocked to discover that the ex-mayor projected that City Light profits would fall 87 percent between then and his fortunate departure from office. Did the ice rink and the paper plant really eat that much money?

The ex-mayor's comments regarding the projected costs to renovate the Baldwin house should be taken with the same grain of salt as his projected 10 percent increases in City Light revenue referred to in his letter published by your paper on June 11. We have spent the last 50 years in the construction business, so we do have some expertise in the construction arena.

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I believe that this UM campus proposal was known to Sager long before it became common public knowledge. If Sager is so interested in the upgrading of the downtown area, why didn't he act to make sure the city got in on the act sooner? It is worth noting that the room in which the city's case was presented to the site committee has missing ceiling tile and had huge water stains on the rug; this condition could cause FSU to move out quicker than any new UM Campus here.

It could be that by making others play the fool he was just serving his own interests. The local pols have already been warned that the warfare going on among our politicians over the water and sewer problem, the stadium, and other actions detrimental to state funding are not in the area's best interests. I have seen statements that the people at UM want the matter settled, now. That sounds ominous to me.

Finally, Mr. Sager, it would not be inappropriate to speculate that you have lived in your "projected" world much too long and don't care what the real revenues and expenses are. I do not know you personally - you may be a nice guy - but I sure hope you stay the ex-mayor-for-life.

Tom Immer

Hagerstown

What part of neo-traditional don't we understand?

To the editor:

I'm confused. City Councilman Alfred Boyer ("Poor Planning?" June 13) wants to build a high-density townhouse development on a farm along Mt. Aetna Road for "protection of our green space." Exactly what green space is he protecting? Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't a farm basically green space?

And how does dumping hundreds of additional cars from this development on Edgewood and Robinwood (which are already backed up for blocks at rush hour) benefit the existing neighborhoods?

We bought a house on this peaceful road to avoid traffic nightmares, not to get stuck in one every time we go to work.

But wait! Boyer wants us to start "changing our thinking" and ride our bikes everywhere. Is that what you do Mr. Boyer? Perhaps you could hold a seminar on how you maneuver through town in the snow, rain and heat on your bicycle.

I also don't understand Boyer's European analogy. I lived in Europe for four years and traffic was horrendous, much worse than here. Also, Europeans live in their historic homes; they don't "accidentally" demolish them like the one at Fox Deceived. Exactly which European village is Mt. Aetna Road supposed to emulate?

Finally, prior to reading his article, I was sadly deluded into thinking that I knew my neighbors along Mt. Aetna Road. It now turns out that knowing who everyone is, attending potlucks, and chatting in the yard means nothing because we live a vast half-acre apart. According to Boyer, we need to be "close to neighbors" to "more easily get to know them." He may be right.

The last time I lived in a townhouse, I learned quite a lot about my neighbors. The bedroom wall we shared was awfully thin. Unfortunately, my memories don't quite match the idyllic picture Boyer paints for his proposed development.

Sorry, Mr. Boyer. The only "yearnings" I have are to preserve the peaceful neighborhood I live in. Perhaps you could build your "neo-traditional development" on your street.

Gail Barrett

Hagerstown

HCC would have been best site for UM campus

To the editor:

I completely agree with the comments made by Maury Werth in the NewsPlus section of the June 6 edition. While present and past politicians debate the downtown vs. the Allegheny Power sites, the common sense HCC location seems to have been dismissed. Is there a better place for the new campus than that of an already existing educational institution?

Many of the necessary classrooms and athletic facilities are already there, although some may have to be expanded eventually. Now that the county has purchased additional land at the HCC site, expansion is possible. I am sure that studies have been made showing that a new UM branch can be supported here.

But what if they build it and nobody came? Haven't we heard this story before? Wouldn't it make sense to start out with an already existing facility and watch it grow? By the way, the idea of locating the UM branch at Fort Ritchie made too much sense to be dismissed so routinely!

C. A. Belella

Hagerstown

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