Letters to the editor 9/4

September 04, 2002

What other secret deals have been struck?

To the editor:

Over the past several weeks there have been articles in the paper in reference to the Washington County Commissioners making a secret deal with former Economic Development Commission Director John Howard.

They are all saying no more secret deals will be made. But doesn't this make taxpayers and voters wonder how many other secret deals have been made that we don't know about?

We only know of this one because someone spilled the beans. I will respond to this at the polls and not vote for any of the incumbants.

It's time the taxpayers are heard.

G. Harbaugh


Jefferson Co. must be saved

To the editor:

Save Jefferson County by voting for Rusty Morgan and Greg Corliss (Gen. USMC-ret.) for the County Commission Nov. 7. They will complete a new reform majority on the currently woeful commission.


This is the most important vote here in decades. It decides whether you or developers (and the owners of the as-yet unbuilt 13,000 already-approved homes) pay the insurmountable bill for their need for countless services - sewer, water, school construction, emergency services, more governmental staffing. Morgan and Corliss are for full-cost impact fees or negotiated proffers that put these costs squarely on those who will profit the most from the cause of these costs. Will this explosion grow?

Just imagine a doubling of the county's existing housing stock. You get the same home here as in Frederick County but for $80,000 less, and a full house for what you would pay for a townhome in Loudoun County, Va..

First-time homebuyers with kids needing good schooling are coming in a tidal wave from Montgomery County where Dan Ryan heavily advertises about how wonderful Jefferson County is. Very recent and severe tightening of zoning in western Loudoun, and Washington counties, and the water-related building moratorium in Frederick County, are making our county the only place to go for affordable starter homes.

We will all soon be ordered to tie into municipal water and sewer for health reasons - yet another fee. Then we'll have to pay for new sewer plants when the present ones max out.

Your tax burden is not helped by new commercial relocations here, because the economic development authority has failed to stop a steady, calamitous shrinking of our tax base during the last 30 years.

Save this wonderful, wonderful place. Morgan and Corliss say stop the insanity: Place full-cost impact fees on the developers. Their opponents are in The Club and won't protect us.

Jim Surkamp

Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Hendershot a champ

To the editor:

I am writing in support of City Councilman N. Linn Hendershot's call for greater accessibility at the Hagerstown YMCA. I think we would all agree that the Y is a leader among community organizations in our county and, as such, it should be a leader in ensuring that every member of our community, with or without disabilities, should have equal access to its facility.

A curb may not be much of an obstacle to 95 percent of Washington County's citizens but to the other 5 percent it can be as unwelcoming and discouraging as a locked door. Part of Anita Lynne Home's job as a provider of services to people with disabilities is to find ways to open up the world to those individuals. It can be tremendously discouraging when our most concerted and creative efforts are stymied by simple lack of accessibility.

Luckily for the disabled citizens of this county who struggle daily to be active and contributing members in our abled world, they now have a valiant champion in Hendershot. To many his complaint may seem trivial, but to those adults and kids with disabilities it could mean the difference between participation and isolation.

Sharon C. Landis

Executive Director

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