Letters to the editor - 12/19/02

December 19, 2002

Why not Schmitt?

To the editor:

I was greatly concerned for two reasons when I heard the result of the recent Shepherdstown Town Council vote to replace resigning Town Recorder Mike Rae.

1. I was concerned that Shepherdstown's former Town Recorder Jim Schmitt was not selected to replace Rae.

2. I was concerned that the vote itself may be in violation of the state code.

During the 1980s and 1990s when Schmitt served on the Shepherdstown Town Council, he proved to be a dedicated and hard-working public servant. He was, and is, a man of deep integrity, honesty and loyalty to his community.

Schmitt never acted as a Rockville-style bureaucrat when he served on council. He was always in tune with the need to act as a good neighbor to the citizens of the small community of Shepherdstown. His approach to government was "The least government is the best government."

In addition to these admirable qualities, Schmitt carries in his head much of the history and actual workings of Shepherdstown government during the past two decades. It is a shame that council chose not to put this valuable asset to work for the town.


My second concern about the legitimacy of the vote to replace Rae may well prove to be a valid one. A Sunday, Dec. 15 Associated Press story printed on page B3 of the Sunday Martinsburg Journal states that a lawyer in the state's attorney general's office says that elected officials cannot participate in votes to appoint their successors. The opinion was relevant to the deciding vote by the mayor of Williamson, W.Va. to appoint his successor when he resigns at the end of December. The two Williamson council members who cast dissenting votes against the mayor have initiated suit against their town in Circuit Court.

In matters such as this, when there is a question about conformity to the state code, the town might be better served by an opinion from the attorney general's office than that of a local attorney.

Mary Lehman

Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Thanks for the boxes

To the editor:

In 1995 I packed two gift-filled shoeboxes and mailed them to Samaritan's Purse in Boone, N.C. for Operation Christmas Child. In 1996 you joined with me and we delivered 335 shoeboxes to a Collection Center in Lancaster.

Since then this project has grown and we opened a collection center in Waynesboro in 2000.

Your response to this ministry has been amazing and this year we collected 24,419 shoeboxes to send to needy children in more than 100 countries.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Jeff Rock and his associates at Hess Armaclad Manufacturing Company for donating warehouse space and equipment that made our collection so much easier this year.

Also, to all of you who packed shoeboxes, you did above and beyond what we had expected. And for the many, many volunteers who received shoeboxes at their businesses and churches and brought them to us and for the volunteers at the collection center, thank you!

Please pray for those boxes as they go to over 100 countries this Christmas and remember you made the difference in the life of a hurting child.

Loretta Tharp

Collection Center Coordinator

Waynesboro, Pa.

What could Jesus a-Ford?

To the editor:

I cannot comment on the article concerning "What car Jesus would have driven," but I would like to bring some possible enlightenment to the events surrounding his birth.

First of all, the livelihoods of the three Wise Men were most likely firemen, because it states in the Bible that they came from "a far." Second, the Wise Men probably didn't arrive on camel back, but made their appearance in a Honda, because it is also stated in the Bible that they came in "one Accord."

Paul C. Leatherman


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