Letter: Catonsville developer should be judged on total contributions to community

Who among us has done something of which we are not particularly proud?

Why does one misdeed overshadow the goodness of an individual?

I have known the Whalen family for over 30 years and have seen their goodness and the contributions they have made to the Catonsville community.

First and foremost, Mr. Whalen has provided thousands of jobs for Catonsville and Baltimore area workers — from construction folks and office workers to those who keep parking lots swept of snow.

The Whalen family, as long standing members of the St. Mark community, have made contributions to support families in need.

Stephen Whalen is not a man, who only supports needy families during the Christmas season; he contributes generously whenever a family is in need.

The community calls and he contributes. Students, who need financial support to attend an institution of higher learning or support for a school cause, can always rely on his generosity.

His contributions to support Rails to Trails; Fourth of July parade; Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce; Frederick Road Fridays; St. Mark Church; Lurman Woodland Theatre; Loyola Blakefield; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; St. Agnes Hospital and other charitable organizations all but go unnoticed by his critics.

They are more than likely the same people, who have enjoyed the benefits of programs Mr. Whalen has generously supported.

He is a man with a vision to keep the quaintness of Catonsville, while providing the economic structure to support a growing community.

While in the wrong, he has acknowledged his misdeed. How many others would hide behind the guise of every legal avenue to avoid admittance?

This, along with contributions that Mr. Whalen has made in support of his community, demonstrate his character and integrity.

It is distressing to think of the small minority of people willing to turn over every stone to locate one misdeed of Mr. Whalen's when his focus, vision, and hard work in past years have been for the betterment of the Catonsville area.

Julia O'Connell

Wesley Chapel, Fla.

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