Letters to the Editor - March 27

March 27, 2012

Stadium is not only issue in city election

To the editor:

I would like to make a few observations related to the recent opposition letter by J. Wallace McClure (March 20).

First, I question why McClure continues to vehemently oppose the proposal for building a new stadium in Hagerstown. I can only guess he resents any public fund expenditure that benefits private enterprise in any fashion. The fact that baseball has been in Hagerstown for more than 80 years contributing to the community’s quality of life and our local economy seems to evade McClure’s reasoning. In my opinion, private/public partnerships are necessary if we are to enjoy vibrant communities.

Second, he implies that the team movement to Winchester was firmly rejected by the city council. This is not so. The Winchester City Council voted against donating 7.9 acres of park land to the Winchester Economic Development Authority, which would have built the new ballpark on the site. In no way does this mean Winchester is out of the picture. Even so, many municipalities will jump at a chance to welcome America’s favorite pastime into their communities if a viable facility agreement can be negotiated. Who knows? Maybe, once again, it will be a Maryland municipality. And, no doubt, state funds will be expended to assist the Suns with vacating Hagerstown.

Third, he implores The Herald-Mail to ask mayoral and council candidates to give their position on a new stadium with a simple yes or no answer, without caveats. This is intended to provide voters the opportunity to express themselves at the polls by voting for candidates who oppose the stadium and not voting for those who do support the stadium. As a past council member who served with McClure, I certainly wouldn’t give such a complex issue such a simple answer. If I were running for office, there are many questions and issues needing answered before making a decision on such a proposal.

Additionally, when considering representatives for public office, it seems prudent to consider those candidates who represent a majority of my values rather than candidates who differ on just one issue.

Alfred W. Boyer

Bartlett’s ‘consumption tax’ would hurt middle class

To the editor:

Congressman Bartlett said he is in favor of eliminating the income tax and replacing it with a consumption tax. This is just another scheme to increase taxes on middle- and lower-income Americans, in order to lower taxes on the wealthy.

We, the middle- and lower-income citizens, including the poor, buy (consume) the majority of cars, homes, appliances, clothing, furniture, electronics, shoes, food, gasoline, home heating fuel, electricity and everything else necessary to live. If a so-called consumption tax were passed, who do you think will be paying the majority of taxes in the U.S.? It will be us.

We already pay the majority of gasoline taxes and sales taxes in the U.S, because we buy the most gasoline and goods. We also pay the majority of property taxes that support our schools and local governments. We also pay the majority of motor vehicle and licensing fees, utility taxes and such.

Bartlett further states that by erasing taxes on businesses, they would expand and create jobs. We know from past experience that this isn’t true. Businesses took their tax breaks and took the jobs to China, Mexico and other countries. That’s where they created jobs.Why shouldn’t businesses pay taxes? After all, America allows them to exist and prosper, and provides them with all the infrastructure to exist. They should be glad to contribute to the support of America.

Charles Semler

Social workers deserve to be saluted

To the editor:

March is Social Work Appreciation Month and all county residents should pause to recognize these unsung heroes.   Social workers help us during the most difficult times of our lives.

They rescue vulnerable children and adults from situations of abuse and neglect. They shelter and support victims of domestic violence. They are key members of care teams at mental health centers, and every hospital and nursing home. School social workers help children become better students. They help people overcome the power of addictions, and help heal family relationships. 

In 2011, social workers at the Washington County Department of Social Services provided protection services to more than 5,000 adults and children. To do so, we rely on great partnerships with social workers from every public and private human service agency in the county. We salute these professionals who contribute so much to the health, safety and well-being of Washington County citizens.

David A. Engle, director
Washington County Department of Social Services

Expedited withdrawal from Afghanistan is needed

To the editor:

Thank you for publishing stories about the tragic killing of Afghan civilians. The soldier who allegedly committed these killings is another victim of a failed U.S. war policy that has devastated the lives of millions of people in Afghanistan and here in the United States.

More than 10 years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, I see little evidence that the current U.S. military strategy is helping to bring peace or stabilizing that country. I am heartened by reports that our country and our European allies are considering accelerating the withdrawal of military forces and focusing on the long-term development both inside Afghanistan and in the region.

I was delighted to learn that one-fifth of the House and nearly a quarter of the Senate have now written President Obama to urge an expedited withdrawal of U.S. military troops. I hope our representative and senators will join the chorus in favor of a withdrawal of the U.S. military.

Thomas Brudenell

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