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What Do You Think?

August 24, 2008

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.

Last week there were three poll questions. The first question was: Do you think the Funkstown bridge, to be closed for repair work on Aug. 19, will reopen within six months?

"Nothing is ever done on time. All depends on weather and money and workers and unforeseen delays. If the weather we are currently seeing continues, we may see an early fall and severe winter with lots of snow."

"If the plan is to finish the work in February, of course it won't open on time. There will be temperature-sensitive concrete work and paving work that simply cannot be done that time of the year. Promises like this shouldn't be made. Nobody will believe the next promise."

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"Why do they always do things backward in the county? This should have been started in the late spring and a temporary bridge constructed. Shame on this bunch of County Commissioners - one bad decision after another."

"Government projects never finish on time, and the bureaucrats have such unyielding powers over private projects that they are nearly impossible to finish on time as well."

"The absence of a temporary bridge is going to have a very severe impact on the businesses located in Paul Crampton's development. This shows a total disregard by the County Commissioners for the constituency they are supposed to be serving. I'll guess, with one excuse after another, the bridge will take a year to complete and several businesses will close."

"Wah, wah, wah, here are the tissues."

"Don't suppose it would be logical to build a new bridge that wouldn't needs millions in restoration every other year? Hmmm."

"Well, as normal, good planning for the county. Let's wait 'til good weather is almost over and start a project like this. It should have started in March."

The second question was: Do you fear that the cost of heating your home this winter will be a financial breaking point for you?

"Yes, and I worry about my in-laws at 85 and 87. Last year, they got all of $700. We all chipped in and made it through, but with the cost of all goods, it will eventually come down to food or heat. How do you decide your fate?"

"I think people need to make sensible choices in how they will spend their income. The elderly on fixed incomes should receive help from the government to offset the high price of fuel oil. Those of us working need to take a hard look at our purchases."

"Yes, I think it is totally ridiculous that in a country like the United States, we aren't doing more to avoid dependence on foreign oil. Of course, we have enough resources right here at our disposal if the environmentalists would exercise common sense and quit yelling about us drilling for our own coal and oil. Let those who are against us taking care of ourselves pay for the rest of us since they don't want us to drill for what we already have here."

"It is impossible to plan for heating this winter and probably all the winters in the foreseeable future. We have been advised to plan on heating bills doubling, which is terrible, but they could quadruple at the whim of the suppliers. We will spend most of the cold weather holed up in one room, which will be well-heated, and the rest of the house will be at 50 degrees. We always talk about those on fixed incomes, but aren't most of us on fixed incomes? ... Did the nonfixed-income workers get raises to take care of their increased gasoline costs? Well, I think we can expect the same for the heating crisis of '09. ... Wood stoves and individual room-controlled electric at least gives the homeowner some control."

The third question was: Should the City of Hagerstown save money by moving its municipal elections to coincide with gubernatorial or presidential elections?

"I think everyone could find it easier to focus on local issues and candidates if the election stayed separate from the state and federal stuff. With all the spin doctors plying their trade, it's confusing enough understanding what's going on ..."

"I agree with the first comments, keep it separate. The national circus turns off a lot of voters and they stay home because they are not inspired by the presidential or gubernatorial candidates. Municipal election nominees would just be lost in the commotion. Municipal elections are more important."

"I think the municipal elections should be moved. We will save money and have more people voting."

"Why save money? The government will send you more if you use it faster."

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