Letters to the Editor - June 27

June 27, 2011

‘Does this mean no more night meetings?’

To the editor:

After nearly a decade of local public service, the past few months of relative obscurity have provided some much needed time to  reflect upon any future plans.

It’s interesting after such as abrupt halt of this singular priority to become suddenly aware of how family life has evolved to consume time commitments.

I think there must have been no person happier than my 3-year-old daughter when explaining to her the loss of my Washington County Commissioner seat as she began to grin broadly, asking, “Does that mean no more night meetings?"

First, a sincere thanks to family and friends that were constructive in this endeavor of one citizen among many working to simply improve the good community in which we live. I believe a worthy cause exists around every corner and the spirit of dedicating time and talent to whatever this may be is what most sustains us.

Equally, to the voters in each election, I hope I was able to serve you with the integrity and diligence we should expect from our elected representatives at all levels.

While I believe the “robocall” had little bearing on the election results, it was an unfortunate reminder of the lengths that certain individuals will extend in perverting the fair and transparent democratic process we seek to maintain.

Thanks to new members of both central committees the details did eventually come out in the wash with a bit of truth behind the rumors that abound. Like Sen. Chris Shank, I would encourage others directly involved to come forward of their own accord so that the community may witness their cowardice, deceit and inadequacy.

While the election results were certainly disappointing, I was not surprised, as I had predicted months before filing that Republicans would likely sweep the race. When you’re outvoted nearly 2 to 1, outspent 25 to 1, and overwhelmed by a national party-line wave, basic principle and merit are quickly lost in the process of real public debate.

What I had not predicted was the significant majority of Democrats and independents that simply failed to show up at the polls.         

I will likely not run for county office again. Not because of lack of desire, but rather because it is clear that the more rural populace prefers a conservative party affiliation regardless of a candidate’s work ethic and fiscal conviction.

And while I would certainly enjoy a run for state office, the notion of simply occupying a seat from a county that clearly holds no sway in Annapolis pales greatly in comparison to the irreplaceable time lost with my growing family.

I have also given the position of mayor serious consideration and while I would appreciate the opportunity to serve the city in this role, the reality is, at this time, it would be difficult to balance my private profession and provide this important position the dedicated attention I believe it deserves.

One point not lost in losing office is the responsibility I think every citizen has to engage in the decisions that affect us. I believe in the importance of public disclosure and plan in the near future to address a number of local issues lost to public view. While I am certainly enjoying this change, the reality is I also enjoy the process of public service too much to remain away from it permanently.

Kristin Aleshire

Kristin Aleshire is a former Washington County Commissioner and Hagerstown Council member.

The new meaning of ‘global’ is frightening

To the editor:

The adjective “global,” like many words in our language, doesn’t have the same connotation that it did when we seniors were in our formidable years.  

It meant having to do with the world (the earth) as in global travel or global weather patterns. Common usage did not refer  to the things that we now find ourselves concerned with. We now hear references made to global government and global currencies, and actually those references make a chill run up my spine.  Are we moving toward global, meaning “one world”? Is America being directed into just another state in a centrally controlled world government?

 After World War II, a global event, we were briefly the only superpower and the rest of the world relaxed and regrouped into relative peace. We were economically the king of the hill. Wartime had forced us into becoming the greatest manufacturing nation.  

America made everything that one could imagine at the time.  Then the smart guys in the room concluded that America should shift to a “service economy” (as in financial  service) and let others in the world with their much less expensive (slave) labor take care of our manufacturing needs.  

We shifted into being an importer of many of our goods that we had previously grown or made ourselves. This export of labor  even extended to white-collar workers. And along the way we became true oil junkies without developing our own sources for this valuable commodity.

The result has been our loss of influence in the world and respect for our currency as the basis for evaluation of all goods and services. The smart guys in the room have so directed our economy (by flooding the world with our ever declining dollar) toward a hyperinflation from which we cannot recover and set the stage for the coming world government and currency.

Has America been hoodwinked by a few global power brokers into a decline from which there is no return? I truly hope not.    Americans must be ever vigilant to see that the future does not include this kind of change.

Ned A. Garrett

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