Letters to the editor - 7/18

July 18, 2003

What's wrong with free debate?

To the editor:

Recently I wrote to your paper to discuss the possibility of cost sharing for health, dental, drug prescription and vision care for the Greencastle-Antrim School District employees. This is one of the same areas that is being looked at by Gov. Ed Rendell and has been the topic of many meetings prior to my involvement, including a committee formed approximately one year ago to study this very thing.

Apparently over time, with the economy being good, the discussions never progressed to any result. The benefits remained and even improved with the last contract negotiation. Recently the organization that represents the employees, The Greencastle-Antrim Educational Association, was asked to re-open the contract.

The association was asked to reconsider the benefits package before the end of this contract because of the state of the economy and the deficit we are facing. After many years of giving by the taxpayer, the association said no. You have to wonder why being fair appears to be one-sided.


As a result of exercising my constitutional right to aggrieve my government, some of my long-standing customers have decided to exercise their right not to use services that we have provided to them for many years.

There is a principle here that is being violated that needs to be addressed.

We have to look at intent. My intention was to present our elected officials with an issue that affects all Greencastle-Antrim residents for the benefit of a few. Shouldn't we welcome all points of view, then let the elected officials work it out? Isn't that the way representative government works?

I have a few customers and their intention is to exercise their disapproval for my suggestions to government by not patronizing my business. It's not because they are dissatisfied with the product that they receive, but because we have different views of the way government spends our tax dollars.

What ever happened to the principles of a free society that allows for open and honest debate about which direction our government goes - the very things that are supposedly being taught in our schools?

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers who respect my right to dissent and debate and who continue to be friends and customers even though we may be on different sides of an issue.

David Brown

Greencastle, Pa.

Runway support

To the editor:

I'm writing this letter to the editor on behalf of the Chamber to commend the Board of Washington County Commissioners for its recent vote to accept federal funds that will pay for a significant portion of the runway and taxiway extensions at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

The chamber has backed this visionary project since its inception. The commissioners' vote sets in motion an important project that will strengthen a major asset in our economic development portfolio and ensure a better life for Washington County citizens.

Enhancing our airport attributes, as planned, will ensure many benefits, including these:

- New, high-wage employment from aircraft repair and maintenance businesses not currently here and enhanced employment opportunities from existing airport businesses

- A stronger case for maintaining passenger service to existing destinations and improved opportunities to secure new carriers flying to other destinations.

- A faster-track for the development of duty-free business development in and around the proposed HGR trade zone.

It wasn't long ago that we congratulated a different set of commissioners for launching this historic project. Today, we commend the vision and commitment of current local leaders. Ultimately, we look forward to seeing this signature project reach fruition and yield its enormous promise.

Fred K. Teeter Jr.


Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce

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