Letters to the editor - 6/10/03

June 10, 2003

Scale back on spending

To the editor:

We as taxpayers have already worked well into April to satisfy all of our tax obligations, and to put it simply we as a community, state and country have to change the way we conduct business with the hard-earned tax dollar.

I attended the Greencastle-Antrim School Board meeting on Thursday, May 15, 2003, for the first look made available to the public of the 2003-2004 proposed preliminary general fund budget accompanied by a brief slide presentation by Superintendent P. Duff Rearick. Here we go again! It was stated that this is a bare bones budget and the bottom line is a 5 mill increase in taxes.

After examining the proposed budget, I for one do not accept this conclusion. I will agree that the areas that need to be looked at will be very difficult, however as Rearick has pointed out on many occasions in his writings, the financial burden distributed among all income levels is fair and ease the impact on us all. I'm talking about the generous benefit package that we as taxpayers offer our employees. With the rising cost in health, dental and vision the private sector, elderly and young in many cases cannot afford any insurance and sometimes choose between drugs they need or food in order to pay the property tax.


We must take a look at cost-sharing for health care benefits. This is the practice in most cases in the private sector and in many government organizations. With the continuously rising cost of health insurance it is no longer a cost we can continue to absorb completely. I believe if phased in properly so as not to impact the employees all at once it would be fair to both the taxpayer and the employee and would also eliminate the practice of paying someone not to take the insurance. It would also assist those in the private sector who currently have no insurance to be better able to afford insurance in the future.

In the next couple of weeks the school board will be meeting to finalize this budget and many will make the accusation that we don't support our teachers if we make these hard choices. I say nonsense; we have great teachers and I think many would view this as helping the community because they know as well as we that something has to be done to bring these costs into line.

I would submit that now is the time with 45 out of the 50 states in a deficit situation to address the financial commitments that were made in the people's name that we can no longer afford.

David Brown

Greencastle, Pa.

Development will cause a mess

To the editor:

In response to the article about the development of approximately 1,000 housing units near Hagerstown Community College and the Robinwood Medical Center:

Do the Washington County Commissioners realize the amount of traffic that flows through there currently and how much more this would add by having a housing development built there? It would be horrendous!

In a few more years there will be hospital built there which will create another large amount of traffic. A housing development is not needed to add to that confusion.

And I am curious - what are we going to do with the children this brings to our schools? Aren't they overcrowded now? Isn't this what the School Board is troubled over right now? Yes!

As I see it, this would just cause so many more headaches in our educational system than there already are. And according to the board there is no money to build any new ones. Now that seems to be a problem, doesn't it?

And there is no money to hire new employees to staff the schools we have now to handle the overcrowding. That also is a problem.

Any way you look at it, that does not work. We need to let some of the farmland alone and let the wildlife live where they are comfortable instead of disturbing their habitat. It seems we are good at disturbing so much of their habitat these days. We are good at building up and tearing down! County Commissioners, say no to the development of the housing in this area and preserve this farmland.

Karla Thompson


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