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Letters to the Editor

September 08, 2009

Hold officials accountable for use of our money



To the editor:

 

I was amazed when I read the minutes of the Aug. 4 meeting of the Washington County Commissioners.

At every meeting, there is a segment set aside for citizen participation, and at this meeting, Walter Williams of the Conococheague Little League appeared and made a request for funding for a trip to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Bristol, Conn. The commissioners "thanked the gentlemen for working with the youth and wished the team the best of luck but declined to provide any county funds." This is a direct quote from the published minutes of the meeting.

This was the correct thing for the commissioners to do and had they left it at that, all would be right with the world. However, this was not the end of the story. At a meeting of the commissioners on Aug. 25, the commissioners were approached once again with the same request and instead of simply restating their correct initial answer, they decided to revisit the issue and throw $5,000 to the Little League.

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Now, I do like the Little League. I played countless hours of ball as a youth and I have six children, many of whom played in the Little League. I have coached and umpired in the Little League. I love baseball. Baseball, however, is not the issue here. The issue is proper use of tax dollars. Many people in our community have lost jobs, had pay reductions, been forced to take furlough days off, lost their homes to foreclosure, etc. How do we, as a government, look at a citizen who is in financial trouble in the face and tell them we cannot help them save their families when we seem to have no problem finding money for baseball?

Our elected officials have rationalized this expense in their own minds by convincing themselves that this expense is an advertising investment that will bring untold value to our community and that they will use hotel tax funds to pay for it. The truth is that whatever pocket they take the money out of, it is all the people's money, and if they did not spend it in this manner, it would be available for a real need of the people. This expense is simply unjustifiable.

I ask for everyone to pay close attention to events in our community and to hold our elected officials accountable for the use of our money. Always remember that the government works for the people, not the other way around. Remember this, especially when you cast your next ballots for the county commissioners.

 

Rodney Pearson Sr.
Keedysville




Sept. 11 is a day to cherish our freedom



To the editor:

I was working a few miles outside of Washington, D.C., on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. The office building I worked in was only a couple of blocks from the Bethesda Naval Hospital, where many of the wounded were brought after one of the four planes taken by terrorists was crashed into the Pentagon.

For days after this horrific attack, helicopters and jets buzzed the area, lighting up the sky at night. America, the great defender of the world, had a huge hole blown in its soul. It was a deed of hate done by a group that somehow believed it was justified in killing the innocent, and it has changed our country forever.

Monuments and memorials are part of the history of Washington, D.C., and all over this great nation. They tell a story in stone and are grand reminders of what our country has lived through. Each is a silent tribute that states, "Our voices are gone, but what we believed in must never die." Whatever memorials we build to the lost, the injured and the families of both, we have to remember to never become so vulnerable again.

Let our freedom be a living memorial to all of those who died and hope for those who are left behind. I pray God gives us the courage and wisdom to remain free. I pray for leaders with a vision to keep our United States strong and safe. May God make a path for America to rise up from the ashes of Sept. 11 as we cherish each day of life here, savor every moment of our freedom and be determined that democracy will never be taken from our land.

God bless America.

Kate Prado
Hagerstown




Bike ride to be held in memory of Hendershot



To the editor:

MIHI will again honor the memory of N. Linn Hendershot, who died last year.

The second annual Tour de Park Linn Hendershot Memorial Kids Bike Ride will be held Saturday, Sept. 12, from 8 a.m. to noon at Fairgrounds Park. The ride will benefit Project Lifesaver and is open to all children ages 1 to 15 with disabilities. Registration is free and participants will be eligible for prizes by raising a minimum of $50.

Linn and MIHI started Project Lifesaver locally to find loved ones who wander off due to autism or related brain disorders.

William K. Beard Jr.
executive director
MIHI Inc.




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