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Letters to the Editor

January 08, 2008

Why get the lawyers involved?



To the editor:

From Webster's New World Dictionary, the definition of slander is "the utterance in the presence of another person of a false statement or statements, damaging to a third person's character or reputation."

Why should Bernadette Wagner be accused of "slanderous" comments in regard to a question she posed at a public Washington County Board of Education meeting?

There were no false statements made by Wagner. It seems to me that the question of whether a candidate for school board should also have a contract with the board of education is a valid inquiry.

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It also must have appeared valid to Jacqueline Fischer, as she resigned from her position as a proofreader to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. (Incidentally, it is a violation of board policy for a school board member to have a contractual agreement with the board of education.)

End of story. Or at least it should have been the end of the story. But Fischer felt the need to hire an attorney to threaten Wagner. There were two letters sent to Wagner by the candidate's attorney.

According to the article in The Herald-Mail, the second letter promised "litigation" that will "ensue shortly". Is this really necessary? In a letter Fischer sent to The Herald-Mail that was printed in the paper on Jan. 5, she stated that she would have resigned her position if elected to the board. She decided to do that sooner. That should have been it.

Why bring an attorney into this picture? Is this an attempt to drum up press coverage in the month before a primary election?

The entire incident has led me to the conclusion that I would not want someone on the board of education who would initiate such an action against a member of the current board or against anyone else, for that matter.

I will definitely not cast my vote for such an individual.

Lucy Folino
Hagerstown




We should control our own destiny: Approve home rule



To the editor:

Change and growth are coming to Washington County at a faster rate than we have ever experienced in our history.

Charter home rule is the only form of government in Maryland that has the inherent ability to change. This structure will bring local government closer to the citizens of Washington County.

Without charter government, the people do not have the ability to directly change the powers or processes of our county government. I would much rather depend on our local citizens than the Maryland General Assembly.

A delegate from Howard County recently proposed a bill that would take control of local tip jar gaming and give it to the state lottery agency.

This is an example of how much the rest of the state is concerned with Washington County. Fifteen of Maryland's 23 counties have some form of home rule, which is significant. Support charter home rule.

John Williamson
Hagerstown

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