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Letters to the editor

November 18, 2003

Commission opens a real can of worms


To the editor:

On Oct. 14, at a regular meeting of our Washington County Board of County Commissioners, a lawyer representing Marsh Run Associates - a Perini entity - was present. He used the citizens participation segment of the board meeting to request that classification of his client's subdivision be changed to permit higher density development. The lawyer requested that the Perini property on Marsh Pike be included in the Urban Growth Area. He made this request during the meeting's time that is set aside to hear from citizens of Washington County on matters of importance to the community.

And, guess what? The four commissioners who were present actually considered the request, and voted on it. Only Commissioner Jim Kercheval had the sense to vote "no."

Our local planning department had already repeatedly said "no" to the very same request, made by the very same person(s). The planning department acted responsibly, and maintained its integrity; the commissioners did not.

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Can anyone explain to me how our commissioners are able to grant this sort of request, under these circumstances? How can the board blatantly ignore the planning department's evaluation of the situation? Is this "procedure" consistent with our legislative rules and regulations? Should all property owners seeking reclassification of their land, make plans to attend the regular board meetings, and interject their requests during the citizens participation segment?

I feel that a precedent or two has been set by a very poorly considered action of our commissioners: First, development of Perini's subdivision may progress more easily, as the result of clearing a hurdle that should have never been cleared; second, our commissioners have legitimized considering similar requests at their regular board meetings.

They've opened a real can of worms.

Christopher Bell
Hagerstown




Support is appreciated


To the editor:

Re: Message from Saudi Arabia:

As a patriotic American working in a dangerous corner of the world, I am gratified by the support of my fellow Americans back home in trying to make conditions better for me and our fellow Americans here in the Middle East.

Many servicemen and women have come here, and some have died, fighting to ensure a peaceful future for this region and the entire world. Their task, and that of our president, is far from an easy one. But I am gratified to observe the fervor and dedication they exhibit in carrying out their dangerous duties.

I realize that there will be times of difficulty in the struggle to make the Middle East a more peaceful place to live. But the long-term goal of a more peaceful world should be kept in mind during these difficult times. I encourage all my fellow Americans back home to continue to give their full support to our far-sighted president and to the servicemen and women fighting in the Middle East.

Please keep them and all of us Americans residing in this dangerous part of the world in your prayers; and let's hope that all of us can strive to bring about the long-term goal of a peaceful, democratic region that experiences the end of conflict and disharmony and the birth of peace, accord and brotherly love.

Kim Hester
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

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