Letters to the editor for 8/28

August 28, 2002

Rep. Bartlett takes credit for funding he tried to kill

To the editor:

In the past 30 days, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Sixth, has issued 11 press releases announcing grants to his district. Did Bartlett have anything to do with these grants? You be the judge.

One grant released Head Start funds for Washington County. Who could be against grants for Head Start? Well, actually, Roscoe Bartlett. He has voted against the bill containing funds for Head Start for the past three years. It is the highest form of political cynicism for Bartlett to take credit for a grant from a program he has repeatedly voted to kill.

The Herald-Mail gave Bartlett credit for one of these grant announcements about the Hagerstown Regional Airport. However, Roscoe Bartlett admitted during a Chamber of Commerce debate with me during 2000 that he had repeatedly voted against transportation appropriations. He was also the only member of the Maryland congressional delegation to vote against the Transportation Equity Act (TEA-21) that has funded our highways for the past four years.


Tim Rowland pointed out in a 2000 column that it was Bartlett's premature announcement of the location of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) at Hagerstown airport that botched the possibility of locating NTSB here.

If that's not enough, seven years after Bartlett voted to close Fort Ritchie, this member of the House Armed Services Committee has still not been able to get the base officially turned over to the local redevelopment authority.

Two years ago, in endorsing Bartlett for re-election, The Herald-Mail mentioned that Bartlett should set Fort Ritchie as a high priority. Now two more years have gone by.

Bartlett's record is of ham-handed ineffectiveness for his constituents. He has been an embarrassment to the district and the state for 10 years. Haven't we had enough?

Don DeArmon

Candidate for Congress


Inspections an unnecessary expense

To the editor:

I am very much opposed to the proposed licensing/registration program proposed by the City of Hagerstown on rental units. It seems like a lot of unnecessary expense to me. The intrusion of the inspectors is not something I look forward to either. In my case it is absolutely unnecessary.

I have rented from my landlord for more than 10 years and he has never raised my rent. I am overdue for an increase, to be sure, but not to benefit the City of Hagerstown. I would certainly have no objection if my rent went up to cover increased costs of utilities and trash or for my landlord to show a profit from the unit, or for improvements to the property.

City officials claim that if the properties are up to standard, the only cost to the landlord would be a $45 annual fee per unit, which would be $3.75 per month in increased rent. What about the increased property taxes that would be needed to cover the staffing for this program? If I were a landlord I wouldn't eat it - so the tenant pays in most cases.

And what are the standards going to be? Will my neat old-timey bathtub have to be replaced because it is over 10 years old even though it works perfectly well?

How is this inspection business going to work? Will landlords and tenants have to lose time from work for these inspections to take place?

I know that the city would like the stats on homeownership to improve, but there are some of us who have no desire to own a home. My children are grown and on their own and I don't want the hassles of homeownership. My apartment may not be the Hilton, but it is far from a dump! I am very comfortable here and things are fine the way they are. If this program turns into the hassle it sounds like it will, decent landlords will sell out. And then what?

Catherine R. Ennis


Putting up a united front

To the editor:

I'm writing this letter about things concerning our neighborhood that are being neglected and abused. We've had so many people speaking about what has or hasn't been done for the Jonathan Street area recently. That's fine and dandy. But there has to be a new way to motivate our people to believe that we must make a choice to decide what services and grants are available to us as people of color trying to become one voice.

Being a member of this community, I feel that we need to come together and sit down and discuss the issues or problems that are preventing us from becoming a united front. We must become one group wanting to make a difference in its quality of life before we can attend or ask for a meeting with any government agency like city or county offices.

Also we know that our troubles will not be solved or fixed overnight, but we can be successful if everyone's willing to follow the same leadership and not have any separate or hidden agendas or cliques that will keep us fighting each other for years to come.

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