Very little is done right or on time in Washington Co.

August 19, 2008|By TIM ROWLAND

I only have one question about the school system's new track at North High: When, or if, it's finally all done, who's going to get their names on the plaque?

Really, who is going to want to be associated with THAT train wreck? Board members fought to see who would be included on the dedication plaques of our new schools opening this fall - I can imagine they'll be fighting to keep their names off this one.

Remember way back when, when the stadium at North was going to be a glorious private undertaking? And then it was to be a glorious private/public partnership. And now it's the public trying to get its money back from the private.

Look, maybe it's like sausage and legislation. We should just be glad it got built, no matter how painful it was to watch the process.


I still firmly believe that a stadium at North was a good idea, and I'm happy for the people who stepped forward to put the project in motion - but sheesh. Next time someone comes to the board offering to build something for free, the board's response should be "No, no, we'll pay, we'll pay."

I can't figure out what the problem with the track is. Or to be more accurate, I don't want to try to figure out what the problem with the track is because I don't want to risk the emotional capital. What, does it only have three turns? Does it somehow wind up crossing the Maugansville intersection sinkhole?

Speaking of which, I'm not suggesting that a purely public-sector approach would have gotten the job done any better. We don't need another Maugansville intersection/Broadfording bridge/courthouse ally situation here. Although it would have been curious to hear the county excuse makers explain how they hit asbestos in the middle of a cow pasture.

No matter what the project, we always seem to need more change orders than a set of newborn triplets. The good news is that in the event of nuclear war, the fallout will be delayed hitting Hagerstown for about six weeks.

And I can't help but notice that the Funkstown bridge closes today, after even the closure was delayed. That can't be good. I guess someone forgot to call Verizon. Utility lines were a holdup with Maugansville, as I recall. I have to side with government on that one. After a thunderstorm, most people ask "How much rain did we get?" At my house we ask, "How long is our phone service going to be out this time?"

They say Funkstown will take five months.

Just curious, how many people are taking the "under" on that side bet?

"Yes, they say it will reopen Jan. 15, but I have a hunch they'll wrap it up right around Christmas."

For the record, I'm taking March 6. An acquaintance has it on April Fools' Day. When I told one friend I was down for March, his response was "What year?"

The fact that it's pushing into the winter season is not promising. A heavy frost on Thanksgiving could put it back into June. That or they will run headlong into the Great Limestone Rock Shortage of '09. It's always something.

Along with their names, the plaque ought to always include the number of days the project was late.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or via e-mail at

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