Letters to the editor 11/19

November 19, 2002

It was the moratorium...

To the editor:

I wish I had invested in some tissue company stock before this last election, because Democrats at all levels will be wiping tears for at least the next two years. Need some evidence? Almost immediately after learning that he was rejected by the voters in Washington County, Paul Swartz whined that the voters never even looked at issues or records, or anything. Paul, I have one word for you: "moratorium." Let me also add, Mr. Swartz, that us voters are not as dumb as you Democrats think we are.

Then I open the paper on Nov. 16 and get enlightened by Councilman Linn Hendershot's column. Somehow Hendershot tries to convince us that voting a straight ticket is a bad thing to teach our children (unless, of course, it is a Democrat ticket). How outrageous! Somehow it is a bad thing for a Republican to vote for all Republicans.


Face it Mr. Hendershot, Democrats don't give Republicans anything to vote for. As he would have it, Hendershot feels that, although you don't agree with a candidate's platform, you should at least vote for him if he is nice guy that has character. Let me be the first to say that I have looked at what a straight Democrat ticket looks like and all I see is a bunch of tired liberal ideas that voters at all levels repeatedly reject.

It's time for Democrats to rethink their strategy or else risk extinction. I can only hope that happens. But in the meantime, let's enjoy this well-deserved election victory and move forward an agenda that works for everybody.

Dan Rinehart


...It was not the moratorium

To the editor:

I just finished reading Tim Rowland's latest column in the Sunday (11-18) paper. I think his analysis is seriously flawed. I do not believe that the voters of this county were voting for more development.

It is clear that development is not good for a community. I challenge Rowland or anyone reading this to show me a county where development has led to a higher quality of life or lower taxes. In fact, the opposite is true. Every county in this state that has experienced growth has also experienced increased crime, school overcrowding and increased taxes.

Clearly, the majority of voters in this county did not vote for this. I believe that the Republican majority of citizens in this county voted a straight ticket, end of story. The fact that these commissioners are Republicans does not mean that these commissioners are ready to write developers a blank check.

Personally, I hope that this set of commissioners prove to be "true conservatives." If they are, then they will revise the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) and eliminate the many ways that the existing taxpayers are forced to subsidize development.

We, the taxpayers, will no longer be forced to cover the costs of widening roads, building new roads, building new schools, extending sewers, managing and maintaining new storm water management ponds, hiring new police officers, social workers, planning staff, code enforcement officers, etc.

These and the many other "hidden development subsidies" will be paid by the developers rather than the existing taxpayers. There is nothing I would like more than to have these new commissioners be "true conservatives." I believe that ending the existing "development subsidy" will make renovation of the existing housing stock more likely. If we are going to subsidize anything, it would be renovation.

Renovation is labor intensive (providing more jobs per housing dollar than new construction) and would beautify our city and county. Hagerstown has a large number of beautiful (though presently run-down) buildings. I do not expect the new commissioners to subsidize renovation, but I hope they will at least eliminate the subsidies to new development.

Joe Lane


Hancock not pleased with Cas

To the editor:

I think the time has come for executive editor John League to instruct Herald-Mail newsman Scott Butki to revisit a news story from the past and right a wrong done. Remember how back on Jan. 15 Butki wrote these headlines: "Most (in Hancock) are pleased that Taylor may represent town"? This story was based on the testimony of a whopping five people he apparently spoke to in the Hancock communities.

I suggested at that time that he was going way beyond what he had evidence to prove because there was nothing scientific about his unprofessional survey. Well, now that the votes have been cast and counted it is very clear that most in Hancock were not pleased to have Casper Taylor represent them. By a count of nearly two to one Hancock voters rejected Casper Taylor and what he stands for. Even if he somehow wins re-election in upcoming recounts - no matter how many recounts the speaker demands and gets - the fact remains, most in Hancock are not pleased that Taylor may represent the town.

I look forward to that story, painful though it may be for Butki to admit that he had nothing on which to base that claim in the first place.

Edward L. James


Editor's note: John League is publisher of The Herald-Mail, not executive editor, reporters do not write headlines and Butki's story was an accurate reflection of an informal survey. The story was never represented as a scientific poll.

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