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Herald-Mail forums

August 27, 2007

Last week's question: One of last week's posters suggested that the questions being asked are not the best possible ones. What question would you like to get your fellow posters to answer?

· What teacher made a positive impression on your life?

· The Discovery Station at Hagerstown, Inc. has never submitted a business plan to the County Commissioners or to the Gaming Commission. The County Commissioners gave an additional $20,000 on June 12, and the Gaming Commission gave an additional $20,800 after July 1, to Discovery Station. Should the County Commissioners and the Gaming Commission continue to fund Discovery Station even though Discovery Station has never submitted a business plan?

· On April 25, 2006, the County Commissioners approved a $1 million "placeholder" to be added to the proposed budget for FY 2007 "for a county enhancement of the state's homeowner's tax-credit program (property tax credit for low income homeowners)." What happened to the $1 million?

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· The county's total revenues are expected to exceed $300 million this year and yet the county only budgeted $400,000, the minimum required by law, to purchase agricultural land preservation easements. What percent of the county's total revenues should be budgeted for purchasing agricultural preservation easements?

· Since there are two polls available in the paper, I'd like to see one tackle national and international questions - such as the Darfur crisis, humanitarian relief issues in other parts of the world and national news events, such as the elections. The other, I'd like to see more local issues, such as the development going on right now on the front page poll. However, I do not count "American Idol," "Dancing with the Stars" or any other reality show to be a national news event!

· Students in Washington County Public Schools do not get physical education classes every day. Do you feel such students should be required to take physical education classes every day if they are not on an in-season school sports team?

· The part-time Washington County Commissioners meet on average less than one day a week and the county government appears to be run by the county administrator and the director of budget and finance, appointed government officials who report to the commissioners and who are married to each other. Do you think that the concentration of power in these two appointed government officials is healthy or unhealthy for the proper functioning of the county government?

· If your annual income was $100,000, would you still complain that teachers' wages are too high?

· Although WCPS is a lost cause because the County ommissioners fully fund the BOE's budget request and for many other reasons, let's not pass over the opportunity to ask the hard questions the newspaper, the county government and BOE members will not ask. I'll start with an easy one: "Do you think that the letters "WCPS" stand for "World-class public schools?"

· The Presidential Medal of Freedom has been awarded approximately 150 times since 1993. Will you applaud when President George W. Bush gives the Presidential Medal of Freedom to I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Alberto Gonzales?

· I am puzzled by the lack of response to this poll question. There are many people who have made intelligent comments on other poll questions and I wonder why so many people are so silent when they have the perfect opportunity to raise valid issues.

· Seriously, good thought-provoking questions. I agree; where are all the naysayers who usually complain about the questions? The one question that I might ask is: What will happen to the huge empty hospital building when they move to the new facility? I hope it does not turn into another power plant building right in the middle of downtown.

· Only thing I've heard have been rumors of tearing it down and turning it into a park, or making it a senior center.

· The construction of a new Washington County Hospital at Robinwood will cost a lot of money. Do you think that the final construction costs of the new Washington County Hospital will be closer to: $300 million, $400 million, $500 million, $600 million or $700 million?

· In the 2006 Annual Report to the Community, Washington County Hospital is described as "one of the lowest-cost providers of hospital care in Maryland." Do you believe that after the new hospital is built, Washington County Hospital will continue to be described as "one of the lowest cost providers of hospital care in Maryland?"

· I would be remiss if I didn't mention charter home rule. The vote on charter home rule is fast approaching. Do you think that the citizens of this county care enough about the county government to make charter home rule an improvement to the type of county government we currently have?

· In the past few years, developers have been rapidly covering Washington County farmland with new houses. Do you feel any obligation to help preserve good farmland now, so that future generations can have enough food?

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