Letters to the editor 12/4

December 04, 2002

Leaders show no interest in city

To the editor:

I believe the leaders of this community are blowing smoke. In the past, I have listened to much rhetoric about the downtown revitalization efforts and how critical it is for the vitality of our community.

However, the latest announcement regarding a vote to move the hospital out of Hagerstown simply exasperates me. What in the world could be more destructive to the heart our city? I ask our leaders what effect will moving the anchor business on the east side of town have on revitalization?

Let's look at recent developments. The YMCA moves to Eastern Boulevard and wishes to be annexed. What benefit for the city? None! However, the YMCA receives city rates for water, sewer and electric utilities. What has happened to the goal of serving the underprivileged of our community? What benefit does the city receive from moving downtown visitors to the suburbs?


Then there is the University System of Maryland Center currently to be located in downtown thanks to Smart Growth. There seems to be a continued attempt to change this location for who knows why? Is there some motive to completely decimate the core of this community?

Now the hospital will close downtown. The city again loses. What happens to all the ancillary businesses that feed from hospital employment? Oh yes, there may be some administrative offices left and maybe the incinerator will remain. Wow, this should soften the impact of losing one of the largest employers in Hagerstown.

If the No. 2 employer in this county picks up and moves its operations, I for one struggle to believe our leadership has much sincere interest in this fair city. I'm sorry, but our leadership, both politically and in business, seem to be woefully out of kilter with one another.

Alfred W. Boyer


Some want to forget

To the editor:

Another celebration and the ceremonies honoring war veterans have passed. Not all veterans care to remember. They appreciate being remembered but some would rather not recall what they try to forget.

They don't want to remember that throughout the duration of the wars, they were trained and taught how to kill people. They don't want to be reminded that they must kill or be killed. They don't want to remember when they heard the words "the war is over, go on home." Well, when they did go home, they pondered "where do I go from here?"

Arthur P. Keifer


Good business

To the editor:

A couple of years ago I read a letter to the editor that detailed the integral dealings of Byrd Tire and Auto Service, located at 1720 Dual Highway. Well, today I got a pleasantly shocking dose of their honesty.

I had been barely able to get my pick up into gear. Obviously, I needed a new clutch. They put a new one in a couple of years ago. My day involves a lot of down-shifting so I figured I'd once again worn out my clutch. The stubborn gears were a sure sign. So, I dropped my truck off at Byrd Tire prepared to part with $400 and some change for a new clutch and oil change.

When I went to pick my truck up I was informed that the total was $78.98. The lady behind the counter responded to my dumbfounded expression. "Does that sound right?" She asked. "Sounds great," I replied. "But it sounds awful low." "It's right," Eddie, the service manager, informed me.

He said I didn't need a new clutch; something or other just needed to be flushed. "A lot of places would have given me a new clutch anyway," I said. Eddie's response? "I don't do business that way." Need I say more?

Ron McPherson


We need a park for dogs

To the editor:

Every morning I walk my dog through a park in Hagerstown and I get a lot of grief from the park employees. My dog is walked on a leash and his leavings are picked up. So why then is it that in Hagerstown there are no parks where people can freely walk their dogs?

In the park where I walk in every morning, the same employee who gives me grief about walking my dog overlooks the trash scattered all over the park.

I think Hagerstown needs to be more dog-friendly and at least have one park where people can freely walk their dogs. If we can't walk our dogs through the park, then do what Washington, D.C., does and give us an enclosed area where they can be free to play.

I would love to hear a response from a city official about this. After all, we dog owners are paying our taxes to be in the parks, too.

Tanya Crawley


Too much for salary study

To the editor:

I was very disturbed when I read the recent article in your paper where the Washington County commissioners voted 4-1 to spend over $60,000 to fund a study to determine whether county employees should receive raises in the 2004 year.

I certainly believe that the $60,000 could be better utilized in providing raises to the workers, rather than the study and not to the already well paid managers.

I am a native of this county but lived away for a few years and know the value of what Washington County has to offer. Living expenses do not require the same income as areas farther south of us into the cities and their suburbs. And we have a great deal to offer for a small city community. I was glad to see one of our returning commissioners was wise enough to vote no.

It shows me that the voters were wise in voting two out of office. One of those has now decided somewhat late, after the election, that every high school graduate should receive a free community college education.

I trust the three newly elected commissioners will evaluate some of the actions of the current board and learn what the voters of Washington County want from local government. We have much to offer, but we have some issues that will require attention over the next four years.

Congratulations to the three new commissioners and a thank you to the departing ones.

Robert L. Bowers


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