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What do you think?

August 26, 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: What should the five people challenging a plan to build a new hospital in Robinwood do now that they have lost an appeal in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals?

"By law, they have every right to appeal the court decision. It should be left up to the five families unless the ... hospital would like to move to another location that will not disturb thousands of lives."

"They have made their point, at great expense to themselves. I also did not see a groundswell of support for their cause. If the true believers had turned out in a strong measure of support instead of acting like they were watching a tennis match, things may have been different."

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"These five people did not ask for my advice. I find it interesting that the newspaper poses this poll question. It appears that this is part of an ongoing effort to place 'peer pressure' on these five people to let a new hospital be built at Robinwood as soon as possible. It would be interesting to read the decision of the Court of Special Appeals to find out if it was based on a technicality or on a substantive issue."

"It's time to give it up. They have lost and further delay will hurt those who need the new hospital, plus the cost will go even higher, costing the already overburden taxpayers even more."

"These five appellants, with the help of some city officials and a few other individuals, managed to create an imaginary monster. Obviously, they believed in their cause, but it is time for them to admit their folly and walk away."

"Appeal in the state Court of Special Appeals. The five people went this far and have nothing to lose. Go for it, make a challenge."

"These folks have cost our county citizens more than we will ever be able to measure. They should have sold their homes in the area and capitalized on a booming housing market a couple years ago. I think they represented very few county residents, maybe only themselves. But they are costing us all. It was pretty clear this was a power play when the first leader of the group walked away and then wanted them to reimburse him for their share. I believe when they left him hanging, they spoke volumes to their lack of concern for anyone other than themselves. It is sad that our elected leaders did not publicly address these folks and ask them to please move past the issue or move on. The city of Hagerstown had already battled the hospital enough to send most business for a spin out of our community."

"First, the hospital made a half-hearted effort to look at other sites. Everyone knew it would be Robinwood from the start since the majority of doctors have operating privileges there. The hospital refused to look at what impact it would cause on the traffic and the surrounding homes and the decrease in their value."

"Downsville Pike would have been the best choice. Millions of dollars wouldn't have to be wasted on updating the traffic situation, as Downsville Pike already has a HUGE intersection. No ambulances would have been disturbing children as they learn. (Interstate) 70 is already congested at the Dual Highway exit ... I can't imagine what it will be like when people are trying to get to work and off work from the hospital. Did anyone ever think if an accident happens at the Dual Highway exit where the next exit is to get past it to get to work? Those extra minutes ... lots of minutes could cost you, your family or friends their life. But who am I? No one cared what the little people in Hagerstown and the surrounding area thought ... It was all about what the big wigs wanted. Also, I heard the new hospital was going to be at Robinwood YEARS ago. Yet every time someone on the outside mentioned it, they were called rumor mongers. They knew the truth all along."

"They need to petition the Court of Appeals. While the enforcement of zoning laws and promises made when they got that medical center may not mean a whole heck of a lot to some people now, it'll certainly matter when it's in your back yard! The worst they can say is 'no' and you don't know until you put together the writ and send it up."

"A new hospital will help a lot of people, and I think that anywhere such a large structure was to be built in Hagerstown would be met with concern from surrounding residents ... I truly doubt they could pick a spot that would make everyone happy. At least Robinwood is already surrounded by a medical campus ... I think if they put it somewhere else, it would turn the whole town into a mess of ambulance traffic and hospital parking"

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