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Letters to the Editor - June 3

June 03, 2013

Washington County needs an executive

To the editor:

The government of the United States has an executive who we call president; the State of Maryland has an executive who we call governor; the City of Hagerstown has an executive who we call mayor; but Washington County has no executive. Why?

There was a reason that the Constitution of the United States created three branches of government. The founders of our nation recognized the need to have a legislature that would debate and pass laws as well as a court system to interpret those laws fairly and to make sure that the laws that were passed were congruent with the Constitution. The founders also recognized the need to have executive leadership and management of the day-to-day functions of government; therefore, they created the office of president.

Likewise, all of the United States saw fit to mold their governments in the same fashion as the federal government, as did most cities and the vast majority of counties in America. Three strong and separate branches of government are essential to efficient and effective government.  Unfortunately, Washington County chooses to only have two of the three branches of government.

We have five county commissioners who are the equivalent of our legislature, and we have a court system. What we lack is a county executive; therefore, we lack leadership. Our commissioners are all fine people and they do a fine job, however they are basically a committee and the president of the commissioners is not the equivalent of a true county executive.

Washington County does not have home rule. Most of the major decisions made within the county must be ratified and/or approved by state legislators, and we all know how friendly they are to the needs of Western Maryland. On more than one occasion, the voters of Washington County  had the chance to vote on home rule and rejected it. With home rule and strong executive leadership, Washington County could prosper. Without it, we will continue to fail to make the decisions needed to move forward economically and socially.

Rodney Pearson Sr.
Keedysville


Thanks to children who honor our war dead

To the editor:

Thousands come to Sharpsburg for the Memorial Day parade and ceremonies in the National Cemetery. However, behind the scenes there is a lot of work. For many years, the fifth-graders and their teachers at Sharpsburg Elementary School have walked to the National Cemetery. There, these children place “Old Glory” on the graves of more than 4,000 honored dead.

We are proud of them and salute their efforts to make Memorial Day special. The youngsters are making a memory and helping us to remember that freedom is never free. The cost? Young Americans who “gave their last full measure of devotion.”

John W. Schildt
Sharpsburg

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