Letters to the Editor - Jan. 28

January 28, 2013

Letters about fire company prompted a response

To the editor:

I am writing in response to two letters to the editor that appeared in the Jan. 22 Herald-Mail relating to the Fairplay Fire Co.

Many of the 78 applicants ready to join the fire company are trained, certified firefighters who were dismissed by current officers. Where have they been? Locked out of the building many of them helped build.

One of the letter writers indicates the company’s assets are owned. Those assets were acquired through the work of community members spanning several decades. The current officers were not contributors. Acknowledging current officers for those assets is a discredit to the memory of all who worked more than 50 years to provide them.

The 78 people willing to join the company under new officers are 100 percent committed to helping their neighbors in time of crisis. That’s what civic-minded people do. The banquet facility is an outgrowth of fundraisers. It is not the primary function of the company. Its function is not to provide a profitable business venue for the company’s members.

The letter writers indicated that nobody outside of a private volunteer organization should have the right to demand anything of the organization. Since the county provides funding to Fairplay Volunteer Fire Co., I would hope the elected officials do have authority to step in, oversee and take appropriate action to ensure all residents who work, live, worship and have children in day care or students sleeping in dormitories at Saint James School are protected. Assuming an all-volunteer organization is above the law is ludicrous.

The reason for missed calls is not due to a shortage of community volunteers. It’s because current officers have restricted membership to those who support their agenda. I question exactly how county funds are spent; but access to the “actual books” has been denied. Should female auxiliary members (who are not trained firefighters) be entitled to county retirement pension? And why were the bylaws changed enabling the company president to live outside District 12?

To support the current officers is an appalling affront to the memory of the community members who built it. I am concerned for the safety of the people in District 12. I trust the company will be restored under new officers in the spirit in which it was created.

Barbara Shipe   
District 12 resident

Workcamp seeks sites, thanks supporters

To the editor:

We are well on our way to the June 16 start of the Mason-Dixon Workcamp 2013, which will take place in Washington County and Waynesboro, Pa. During this time, we are looking to bring up to 400 youths from across the country to work repairing homes of those in need — particularly low-income, elderly and those with special needs. The work will be performed free of charge, but our biggest current challenge is finding the appropriate 80 home work sites. To apply for this community service project, go to 

On a final and very important note, this project would not be possible without the incredible support of many local businesses, individuals and organizations that have answered the call and stepped up to sustain our community. These are the people, businesses and local governments who truly care and are committed to strengthening our community. 

Our thanks to C. William Hetzer Inc.; Community Foundation of Washington County MD Inc.; Dustin Construction; the town governments of Smithsburg, Williamsport, Keedysville and Hagerstown; Washington County Public Schools; Karos Wealth Advisors of Raymond James; Douglas Construction Group LLC; Uniwest Construction Inc.; St. Peters Lutheran Church of Keedysville; M.S. Johnston Co.; BJ Builders; Cornerstone Family Dentistry; Washington County chapter of Thrivent; Fraternal Order of Eagles Inc.; Smithsburg Family Medical Center; and Total Lube Center of Smithsburg.

Leigh Zahm, workcamp coordinator
Mason-Dixon Workcamp 2013

We should be thankful for what workers provide

To the editor:

Another year has fulfilled her duties and is off on a vacation well earned. The new year is excitedly anxious, ready to get started on her journey of the unknown.

A year has room for a lot of stuff. Many occupations waiting for the green light that says go. Time marches on; it waits for no one. We must strive to make good use of it — one day at a time. Best not to cram tomorrow into today. Each day has its space for just so much.

We applaud those who wake up, grab a bite and drink a cup of coffee before heading out the door to meet tasks and responsibilities. Where would we be were it not for workers? We would have no food, clothing, homes, education, business, no praise and worship, sports, medical services and other entertainment. Let’s stop and think a moment. What if all work would suddenly cease? We would be at a dead end and crumble.

Work is the beginning of all things; it is the continuation of all things. Work is a good thing. Whether it be hard or easy, built or torn down, bring joy or pain — let us keep it a close friend and companion. Work is a giver of rewards.

Take my hand, new year, and I walk with you. You are a blessing.

Frances Moats

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