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Letters to the Editor - 5/27

May 28, 2002

Review team didn't have enough time to study schools


To the editor:

Well, surprise, surprise. The 35-member Management Review Team put together by Interim Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Morgan is reported to have concluded that the Washington County Board of Education "is not wasting money."

When Spence Perry, a former federal employee, was appointed as chairman of the Management Review Team, he was quoted in The Morning Herald as saying, "I don't think there will be a lot of surprises."

In the same article "Team to Review School System," Dr. Morgan also concluded, "the school system is efficient."

Well, the Management Review Team has now presented their report to the school board and the report states:

"It should not be a surprise that the Management Review Team found no evidence of extensive waste, fraud or gross negligence."

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Unfortunately, while this may be an excellent public relations ploy by a very astute superintendent of schools, as William Wivell, a County Commissioner, accountant and team member noted, "we weren't looking for gross negligence."

Wivell rightfully concluded there was not adequate time to look at things in detail.

Spence Perry did acknowledge the team wasn't looking for waste but said, "if it had been there, it probably would have popped up these are experienced business people."

I wonder why experienced business people find it necessary to conduct comprehensive professional audits to prevent waste, fraud or gross negligence in the private sector.

The Washington County School Board has been deploying its OOPS strategy to avoid its duties and responsibilities by obscuring, opposing, pretending and stymieing a professional performance audit under 5-110 of the Annotated Code of Maryland-Education.

Commissions, panels and review teams with no authority, no expertise and no time, cannot determine whether waste, fraud or negligence exists within the complex operational structure of the Washington County Public School System.

Folks, the Washington County Public School System governance (superintendent/board) continues to engage in blue smoke and mirrors public-relations ploys to avoid their responsibility for taking the corrective actions required to administer an economic and efficient public school system.

Harold Phillips

Clear Spring

Commissioners should not approve 440-unit development


To the editor:

Re: May 6 Planning Commission recommendation to deny rezoning request for 990-unit residential project on 221 acres off Mount Aetna Road.

As a property owner living on Mt. Aetna Road, I strongly feel this request by a property owner and developer will overwhelm a very desirable area and will not serve the greater interest of the community.

The Herald-Mail states that the vote to deny was welcome because it allows the commissioners to negotiate with the developer for a lower density and large contribution to road improvements there.

With this now in the hands of the County Commissioners to negotiate, I kindly ask that they consider the overwhelming arguments against a development of this size in this area and deny the (PUD) zoning designation which the developer hopes they will approve despite the action taken by the commission.

Ben Clopper said he would prefer the developer build single-family homes on the property under existing zoning, where he would be allowed a maximum of 440 units.

I, with the overwhelming majority of property owners in this area, ask the County Commissioners to deny this request. Building 440 single-family units would still greatly impact this area, and to just scale back a few units at the developer's request to try to appease him at the expense of close-proximity property owners is not satisfactory and in the best interests of the Robinwood/Mt. Aetna area and Washington County as a whole.

Robert Kinney Jr.

Hagerstown

Paper gave us too much credit


To the editor:

This may be the first time you have received a letter saying that your newspaper has treated someone too well. I feel that we have been, in the recent Andrea Rowland news article, although this is in no sense a complaint. It is rather a disclaimer.

Our gift to the Clear Spring District Historical Association (CSDHA) is significant, but it cannot compare, in the long run, with what has been given by others in talent and labor and substance, month after month, year after year.

The CSDHA is one of the largest of such societies, and so many members have worked to make Plumb Grove what it is today. I'm proud to say that among the officers and key workers are several of my nieces and nephews. And great credit belongs to David Wiles for his exemplary leadership.

Allen Clopper

Hagerstown

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