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What Do You Think?

April 08, 2007

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

There were two poll questions last week. The first question was: Should the 220 Hagerstown water customers who received bills that were wrong by hundreds of dollars receive credit for the quarter to compensate for the shock they experienced when they opened their bills?

"'For the shock they experienced when they opened the bills?' Gimme a break. Customers should receive money from the shock of Allegheny Power's 15 percent water bill hikes coming this June and January. That's a one-third increase in our water bill for Christmas 2007."

"They are going to raise water and sewer rates again on county residents. What happened to the 56 million dollar sewer debt from a few years ago? Do we still owe on that as my sewer bill has not come down? Does anyone know where a 69-year-old retiree can find a job? I thought that we cleaned house in both the city and county, but I must have had a bad dream."

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"Does anyone else find the phrasing of the poll question a little ambiguous? Certainly the erroneously billed customers are not responsible for the errors, however, compensation for the discomfort caused by billing errors is asinine. It's all just water under the tap."

"'Shock Compensation'? You can't be serious. Pay only what you owe and don't expect some sort of compensation because of an error. A simple 'we're sorry, we'll adjust this' is enough."

"Once again, we're faced with the bureaucrats not knowing how to rectify a billing error. Apologize and give the customer a choice: Refund the overcharge or advance it as a credit on the next billing cycle. Shock compensation? Who came up with that line? Did a customer end up in the hospital from a coronary when they opened the bill?"

"This question is ridiculous - shock payment for what? Give a credit or adjust the bill next time and be done with it. These 'poll' questions need to be questioning important problems/concerns/issues not whether someone should receive compensation for opening a bill. I am shocked every time I go to the gas station. Where's my compensation??"

The second question was: How important is Suns baseball to tourism and economic development in Hagerstown?

"I can't wait to read all the criticism about the Suns. Simply because they are not Orioles, they stink. The Suns are one of the biggest tourism attractions there is in this town. They deserve a new park and new location. Now that they are Washington's minor league team, hopefully more people will come out and see the stars of the future."

"Everyone will complain about the Suns, but once we lose them, we will never get them back. Be careful what you wish for. The Suns are a very important part of the charm of this area."

"Each town enjoys its own little bit of unique heritage. (Municipal) Stadium and Suns baseball is part of that. For baseball fans, there is no better deal in town. A great place to bring the family, with the exception of Thursday. The Orioles didn't want to be here, so let's welcome the Nationals with open arms. Go Suns!!!"

"The Suns are a major attraction for Hagerstown and they have an enormous economic impact. It's a shame they don't receive more support. The Nationals affiliation, I think, makes it less likely that Mandalay will pull the plug and move to a larger, more dynamic community. Let's hope so. As others have said, once pro ball leaves, it won't be back."

"Do the Suns (Nationals) bring in hoards of tourists now ??, or does those Sun fans dollars improve Hagerstown's economy or tourism ... NO to both. So who gets to pay for the new stadium for the Suns?? Private investors or taxpayers?? Who paid for the Keys or the Senators stadiums??"

"I am 69 and started in the Knot Hole Gang as a kid when the team was the Owls. It is a shame, but the people of this town didn't support them then and they never will. It is just like The Maryland Theatre - it holds 1,400 people, but a well-known act draws about 6 or 7 hundred people and a lot of them are from out of town. I guess that is why you hear people call this Hagersbush."

"I'm a big sports fan, but have absolutely no interest in the Suns (sorry). Perhaps if they were Triple A, they would attract more folks like me, but I've never been impressed with the product although I haven't been to one of their games in years. I'd be interested in knowing how much revenue they do bring to the area."

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