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Letters to the editor - Part 1

October 19, 2003

Government is dysfunctional


To the editor:

Something's wrong in Hagerstown and Washington County.

You know it plain as day when the school board has to charge to use the school facilities.

I feel that as residents and taxpayers of Washington County, we have already paid for the right to use these facilities through taxes.

You know it like an old familiar face when you see our County Commissioners wasting money, our tax dollars, to pay lawyers to settle disagreements with our city council. What a joke these dysfunctional groups of politicians are. In all sincerity I think our county/city deserves better government and we all should demand better and more closely scrutinize our next set of possible candidates before electing them to office.

You know it like the back of your hand when the County Commissioners proposed a rezoning campaign that will essentially rob the very people whom those commissioners represent.

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You know it like a slap in the face when the county pushes for grants to build a multimillion dollar runway for an airport that might see on a busy day 60 people, instead of trying to get funding to address solutions to problems that plague our area such as the low academic levels of our public school system.

You know it like a cheap pickup line when the City Council wants to spend $2 million to build a new two-level parking deck across from The Maryland Theatre when it can't fill the old four-level parking deck that is still in debt today for the construction of the old one.

You can see it like the hard lines on an old man's face when you have residents opposing potential avenues of high income revenue such as slot machines and casinos. Realistically, money generated from them could be allocated for county budgets, education improvements, city-county infrastructure improvements, crime prevention, youth groups, health care, public housing, homeless shelters, airports, parking decks and so much more. We would be foolish to oppose gambling when another state close by will snatch it up as soon as we do.

Leonard Stottlemyer
Washington County Detention Center




Room for improvement


To the editor:

This is in response to "Shabby treatment for workers" recently published in this section.

I am truly saddened that someone has this attitude toward "some of these work places in the surrounding area." First of all, most job descriptions also include the words, "other duties as assigned."

Employees are expected to do specific job duties, but it has been my experience as a former hourly employee that sometimes there is extra time, and I never felt put upon for being asked to actually do something constructive while I was on the time clock.

I always took the initiative to learn new responsibilities and better understand other parts of the business.

I agree that all income level workers should be treated with respect. It has been my experience that no matter what level of income a person takes home, the Golden Rule applies. When you give respect, you receive respect in most circumstances. Respect is earned by your work ethic and performance - it is not earned as part of your paycheck.

Have you heard of empowerment? That's what a good supervisor or manager does when he/she gives responsible duties to a subordinate. This should be looked upon as an opportunity to grow and possibly move into a higher paying position by proving you are capable of performing the position well. This should not be looked upon as doing the supervisor or manager's job - giving you that responsibility is probably part of their job description. Most managers and supervisors have an incredible amount of stress, extended work days and no limit on the hours they must work to get the job done. Most are salaried individuals who receive no overtime compensation, so I'm not sure how you define a "big fat paycheck."

It has been my experience that many hourly employees, earning a lesser hourly wage, make more in a year than a salaried supervisor when you look at the overtime pay. Also, it is important to remember that supervisors and managers are responsible for keeping the business running so that everyone else can continue to receive a paycheck. All of their job duties are not necessarily visible to everyone. And most supervisors/managers want their employees to succeed and grow. It is a reflection on their own job performance.

What I hear throughout this letter is a blaming of everyone else for what one person does not feel he has. Help yourself - it is your responsibility and you owe it to yourself if you are dissatisfied with your job and where you are in life.

Michele Miller
Smithsburg




Clinic needs volunteers


To the editor:

We may be able to use any of your readers who would like to help serve our veterans as volunteers at the VA Outpatient Clinic on Opal Court (off Eastern Boulevard). Volunteers do not need to be veterans themselves.

Volunteers must be able to hear adequately, as answering phones is their primary duty, along with taking messages for the clinic staff. Volunteers must be able to write or print legibly as they record these phone messages. Minor duties include shredding medical records and resupplying refreshments in the waiting room.

Volunteers work four-hour shifts, either 8 a.m. to noon or noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). They work either one four-hour shift a week, one shift bi-weekly or a shift as needed when vacancies arise.

Anyone interested can call the VA Clinic at 301-665-1462, advise they may be interested in volunteering and leave their names and phone numbers. Or they can call me at 301-739-0907. I will then schedule an interview and orientation with them at the clinic.

R. Wayne Taylor
Hagerstown

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