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Letters: Singer, Carroll’s health department ‘in our corner’; Thanks to mayor, councilman for contributions to Westminster | READER COMMENTARY

Singer, Carroll’s health department ‘in our corner’

I’m writing to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for the folks at the Carroll County Health Department.

Like many others, my patience has often been strained as I waited for an opportunity to get my first COVID-19 jab. A month or so ago, I registered with the health department to express my interest in getting the vaccine, but I heard nothing back. Meanwhile, more and more people I know, some of them younger and in a lower priority group than I’m in (at age 72), were getting their first vaccinations. And I was getting nowhere.

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Then a friend forwarded me a web link to register for an appointment at the Westminster Senior Center. I immediately went on line and booked a slot. I was feeling pretty good … at least for a little while. The next morning, I got what looked like a form e-mail from the Health Department. It curtly notified me that my appointment had been canceled, that I was not eligible and was not authorized to book a vaccination through that particular portal.

Well, that was the proverbial straw on the camel’s back (even though, in retrospect, I may have brought this on myself by accidently checking a wrong box in the lengthy online registration form). After all, I’d been waiting without complaint quite a while for my turn, and I was determined not to get a shot until everyone who needed one more than I did could get one.

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So, immediately after receiving my summary e-mail rejection, I went ballistic. I called the Health Department and left a pretty scathing e-mail for Health Officer Ed Singer — something he most likely didn’t deserve. Singer could have ignored my call and written me off as the crackpot I occasionally am, or he could have responded with a tone of overwrought indignation to match my own.

But he didn’t. Instead he called me right away and politely and promptly set things right. He actually took a chunk of his own time on a Saturday morning to personally secure an appointment for me. To say I was impressed, and grateful, is an understatement. After all, Singer is not only one of the busiest people in the county; he’s also bearing a tremendous burden of responsibility.

His immediate and polite response left me feeling confident that he and his colleagues at the health department are in our corner and are doing their utmost to get us safely through this rather dark passage.

Bob Allen, Eldersburg

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Thanks to mayor, councilman for contributions to Westminster

This letter is a thank you to both Mayor Joe Dominic and Councilman Ben Yingling. Both gentlemen have served four years in their respective positions and neither are running for reelection. Both have put a significant amount of effort and time into trying to make Westminster a great city, and they both saw success.

Councilman Yingling was instrumental in the acquisition of the Stocksdale property, a key parcel to the continued improvement of the downtown area. He also played a leading role in the city’s quest for water reuse which will have significant positive environmental and fiscal benefits down the road.

Mayor Dominic proved to be a strong, thoughtful, and smart leader during his tenure. He identified needs for change within the structure of city government and had the courage to act when needed, even when the decisions were difficult. He worked tirelessly, often forgoing time with his family and his successful business, to tend to city needs. His actions will have positive effects for generations beyond his tenure. To try to name specific projects he influenced in a positive way would have me going way over the allowable word count. Suffice it to say, he accomplished much in his time in office.

Mayor Dominick, Councilman Yingling, and I did not always agree. In fact, we strongly disagreed at times; however, there was never any question that their intentions were for the betterment of Westminster. Because of that, we were always able to leave any disagreements behind and continue to focus on doing the best job we could for the people we represent.

For this and all the many positive things both men contributed to Westminster, I am grateful.

Tony Chiavacci, Westminster

The author is a member of the Westminster Common Council.

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