Letters to the Editor - Nov. 21

November 20, 2011

Fire company recommended independent audit

To the editor:

We would like to clarify one point stated in a letter from the First Hagerstown Hose Co. to the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association.

It is true that we recommended that an immediate audit be conducted by an independent firm (not Albright, Crumbacker, Moul and Itell). The reason for this is because Albright, Crumbacker, Moul and Itell handles the accounting for the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, as well as for the First Hagerstown Hose Co.

It is standard business practice for an independent firm to conduct a complete audit when necessary.

We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this point.

Gerald W. Saum, treasurer
First Hagerstown Hose Co.

Let's see a plan for downtown Hagerstown

To the editor:

I have read the continuing stories about the plight of downtown Hagerstown. So much has been written about the support, or lack of support, provided by the mayor and city council. It has been reported that small businesses suffer economically and struggle to survive. For the past 10 years or more, the citizens of Washington County have been waiting for a succinct and discernable plan for the core of downtown.  It should not take this long. There are many viable and successful models to choose from around the state and country. Why must we be so obstinate?

Let me suggest a new tact for the government of this city and this county. First, the government can build the infrastructure that would create an attractive and inviting core to downtown.  Second, the economic development office should focus its energies on bringing large employers downtown. A prosperous county is dependent on a viable, dynamic and growing city.

Not much has happened by promoting the city with events.  The traditional government support of small business has done little to grow downtown. The county could support this effort by moving the Board of Education to a renovated office complex in the core of downtown. Not only would this bring Central Office employees daily into downtown, but it would also be the focus of bringing those who need to do business with the BOE into the city's center both day and night. What other large county or state agencies could be moved in? Instead of building and filling business parks on the fringes of the city, why not bring compatible large business employers into the city's core?

The city needs foot traffic downtown. Small business needs customers to survive. Our energies should be focused on bringing large businesses and government employees downtown. People are the heart and soul of a city. Let's see a plan.

Randy Changuris

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