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Letters to the Editor - March 20

March 20, 2012

Those opposed to stadium project should go to polls

To the editor:

The front page of The Herald-Mail certainly had some interesting news on a recent morning. Contrary to statements by the Suns part-owner, Mr. Dahbura, who said several months ago that there were plenty of other cities ready to snatch up his team if a new stadium wasn’t forthcoming in Hagerstown, it seems that the idea of relocating the team to Winchester with all of the accompanying expense and challenges has been firmly rejected with a unanimous no vote by Winchester’s city council. So where does that leave Hagerstown at this point?

It means that with enough political persuasion (and the charge is moving forward full-tilt with Mayor Bruchey), unless the issue has a chance of referendum by the citizens (many of whom are in opposition to the project not only now but also were 14 years ago when I served as a councilman), it could definitely become a reality.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the opportunity for those among us who oppose this white elephant for the second time around clearly lies in the primary election April 3. I hope that The Herald-Mail will explore every mayoral and council candidate’s position on the project with a simple yes or no answer with regards to a new stadium, not with a lot of caveats of yes with this added on or no unless such and such happens, etc., ad nauseum. Just yes or no.

Then it will be up to the voters to express themselves at the polls by voting for those who oppose the project or at least by not voting for those who support it.  Know your candidates’ positions before you go to the polling booths by writing their positions down on a piece of paper and taking your notes with you. This will be your only chance at making your position clear. If enough of you say no to those who propose burdening the city in such a manner, then it will not happen.  On the other hand, if enough of you grant political power to those aspiring to make a new stadium happen, then it will happen — and complaining about it will become a moot point.

Just keep in mind that the power of the vote will make or break this project in three short weeks.

J. Wallace McClure
Hagerstown


Schools restructuring should be re-evaluated

To the editor:

This is in response to a recent article concerning the restructuring of the Washington County Public Schools system (Feb. 27). Superintendent of Schools Clayton Wilcox stated that the restructuring has nothing to do with cutting the budget and is strictly to make the system more “effective and efficient.”

Well, Mr. Wilcox, the people of Washington County aren’t dumb. Of course it has to do with budget cutting. I am certainly all for doing things in the most effective and efficient way, however, you need to research things fully to find out at what cost you are making changes to try to become more effective and efficient.

There is a reason why WCPS has curriculum directors separated by elementary and secondary. The directors can allot more time to each school and can provide greater support to teachers.

This mass restructuring is also ridiculous for students, parents and staff. The students are greatly affected by these sudden mass changes. Parents will no longer know who to contact.

It is absurd that you are eliminating all these jobs and think that you can just put these people somewhere (teaching) in the county and push teachers out to retire early or leave the county. This restructuring needs to be seriously re-evaluated. It should be phased in as people retire.

There is no excuse for forcing people out or forcing people to take a drastic, life-changing pay cut that they do not deserve. These people and all of the administrators have earned their degrees and worked their way up over the years.

You just arrived here and you need to understand your staff as people as well as all the hard work that they do before you just go and cut, cut, cut. Come on, school board.

Kristen Bates
Hagerstown


A vote for Bartlett could preserve ballistic lab jobs

To the editor:

The Cumberland Times News on March 8, 2012, wrote of the vital need for the continuation of the Allegany Ballistic Laboratory in Mineral County, W.Va., across the river from Cumberland, Md. It is important to the local economy, because with 1,350 well-paying jobs it is one of the top employers in the Tri-State area.

Over 30 years ago, Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia was instrumental in securing federal funds for this facility. Now, we have an opportunity to continue that presence in the federal government with the re-election of Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. Due to his seniority, he is in line to become chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee and presently serves as chairman of the House subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces. This is the time to fill the void caused by the death of Sen. Byrd. Elect Roscoe Bartlett, who will be in a position to help sustain the ABL.

Govs. O’Malley and Tomblin have written to the Secretary of the Navy pointing out the unique data services provided by the facility. Sen. Edwards and Del. Beitzel have endorsed another candidate, regrettably.

Vote early.

DeCorsey E. Bolden, vice-chair
Garrett County Republican Central Committee

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