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Letters to the editor 7/19

July 19, 2002

Bickering a part of government



To the editor:

After reading what Councilman Greg Yost said at the monthly town meeting this past Wednesday about his embarrassment over "the bickering among town officials and residents," I believe that deeper consideration needs to be given to the subject matter.

The mayor and council should always be mindful of the taxpayers in our town, when making decisions. This group is to work together and solve the problems in a manner that is beneficial to the town and its citizens. Running away and not being a part of action on an issue is not why Councilman Yost was elected by the citizens.

Humans do not all think alike, but passing judgment is part of handling the business at hand and, hopefully, for the good of all concerned. I am bedfast and read a lot and hear a lot and come up with my own feelings on subjects that interest me. Is there insecurity and apprehension with our officials, who were somehow chosen to represent us? We shall see.

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Ruthie Taylor

Hancock




Police losing the drug war



To the editor:

I am a homeowner in the City of Hagerstown. When I bought my home many years ago, our area of town was nice, just like many other areas of town. Now, I feel as though we have our great city council not to mention other "smart" people to thank for living in what they made a "hot spot" area. I realize that most people know me as the person who filmed the noise and whatever else that was going on at and around the Mulberry Street Tavern.

When all this began, I went to see our Hagerstown City chief of police to complain about what was going on in my neighborhood and the surrounding area. He told my and another neighbor that he would look into the matter and it would be taken care of, but it never was. So I began filming the activities taking place in my neighborhood. Tapes were viewed by the chief of police, the liquor board, and some were even given to Councilwoman Penny Nigh.

Starting with the chief of police, he sent my tapes back to me with one of his officers and told him to tell me that I was violating these peoples rights by having audio on and that I should record without it.

It was okay for them to keep our neighborhood up half the night, but I was violating their rights. What a joke! After no results from Chief Arthur Smith, I gave copies to Council woman Penny Nigh. She said that she would review them and give them to the Narcotics Task Force and get back to me. I never heard anymore from her about it until she showed up at the Liquor Board meeting regarding the Mulberry Street Tavern and the problems in our neighborhood.

Becoming even more frustrated, I made a call to the office of State's Attorney Ken Long who could not really help me with the situation. I must have finally stepped on the right toes because the Liquor Board decided to hold a meeting about the Mulberry Street Tavern and the things that were going on in this neighborhood.

After a couple of months of meetings and numerous calls, the Liquor Board issued its findings and ordered the tavern to close for 20 days, be on probation for one year and pay a $2,500 fine.

Of course, the tavern owner appealed the Liquor Board's decision and after waiting for over six months for a decision on the appeal, I read in the paper that a secretary didn't record some things said in the meetings and there would be no hearing, but that it had already been decided that all the tavern had to do was pay the fine.

After reading an article written by Councilwoman Nigh's husband about people cutting up our town, I say to you Mr. Nigh that our mayor, council and police department are too busy worrying about a 5 percent prostitution rate, compared to a 60 percent drug problem. The drug problem creates noisiness, fights and heaven knows what else, all hours of the night. I sure do not lose sleep over prostitution, like I have over the more serious problems facing this town.

The police refuse to arrest these people from other states per their chief because he says we will be stuck with them. No, just keep on letting them walk up Franklin, up Locust, down Washington and up Mulberry Street selling their drugs and making noise and having our neighborhood stuck with them. What's the difference, other than we would have peace if they were behind bars where they belong?

Gary D. Taylor

Hagerstown

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