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Letters to the editor

July 15, 2003

Billboard case shows county cares

To the editor:

During the televised meeting of the Hagerstown Mayor and City Council on July 8, Councilman Kristin Aleshire commented on an article in The Herald-Mail describing a discussion held by the Washington County Planning Commission at its regular monthly meeting on July 7, concerning a proposed Planned Urban Development (PUD) of more than 1,000 homes off of Robinwood Drive.

Councilman Aleshire voiced his displeasure over the fact that the Planning Commission did not discuss the issues of water and sewer during their discussion of this preliminary consultation proposal.

From his comments, the councilman appeared to infer that the County Planning Commission ignored the fact that these utilities would have to be supplied by the city and was taking the city for granted.


For the Councilman's information: A meeting was conducted on June 3, by the Washington County planning staff concerning the concept plan for this PUD. In attendance at that meeting was a representative of the Hagerstown Water and Sewer Department.

Additionally, while not in attendance, comments were received from the city's plan reviewer. The issues of water and sewer were discussed at this meeting. These issues, among others, were documented and provided to the Planning Commission.

There was no reason to re-hash the staff's comments concerning these two utilities at the commission meeting. The councilman, as well as residents of the county, will have an opportunity to comment on this proposed PUD at a public hearing.

It is unfortunate The Herald-Mail article did not discuss another item on the Planning Commission's agenda. The commission was asked to review and approve a site plan for an additional billboard on the Dual Highway. The commissioners had a lengthy discussion concerning the fact that the Dual Highway is the gateway to Hagerstown, and as such should be maintained as attractively as possible. With this in mind, the request for the billboard was tabled for 30 days to allow the commissioners to review the site and surrounding area.

While the Washington County Planning Commission's jurisdiction ends at the city line, its concerns for the well-being of the residents of Hagerstown do not.

George Anikis

Care is hardly first in Maryland

To the editor:

When Gov. Robert Erhlich was interviewed on WHAG-25 concerning "changes" at CareFirst Blue Cross-Blue Shield, his response was "There will be no changes for five years," and that "CareFirst would remain not-for-profit for that period of time."

Perhaps Gov. Erhlich should review Mr. Webster's definition of "change."

After hearing this from the governor and reading the same on the Opinion Page of The Daily Mail, I was more than mildly shocked when I received my CareFirst BC/BS statement, which subsequently showed an increase of more than 100 percent monthly and that my policy had been sold to another health care insurance company. Therefore, I cannot afford health care insurance!

Did we really elect a governor who does not understand the English word "change?"

In future Gov. Erhlich, please only use English words you can define! CareFirst? CareLess.

John T. Wolford

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