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Letters: Those with disabilities can’t sustain funding cut; Disagrees with Shoemaker’s position on Gov. Hogan

Those with disabilities can’t sustain funding cut

The following letter was also submitted to Gov. Larry Hogan.

Gov. Hogan, as the leader of a nonprofit organization that provides support and services to individuals with disabilities, I have tried to model your deliberate and thoughtful decisions within my organization as I navigate how to reopen services. I remember your visit to our facility a few years ago. You held a cabinet meeting in Carroll County and visited several businesses. We were fortunate to be one of your stops. I was so impressed with the time you took with each person that wanted to share a few words or wanted their picture taken with you. It was evident to me and others that you genuinely cared about the citizens in Maryland with disabilities. It was a highlight and a memory that many of us won’t forget.  When we read in the paper the next day that it was your favorite stop, it brought smiles and cheers.

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This pandemic has been hard for all of us, but I’m really proud of how the people we support and our direct support staff professionals have exceeded all our expectations in how they have kept people healthy and safe. Every citizen in Maryland should recognize direct support professionals for their heroic efforts.  At The Arc, we are proud of our 65 year history of providing supports and services to the citizens of Carroll County with developmental disabilities. This was supposed to be the year we celebrated our anniversary, but we will need to postpone our celebration.   

Governor, as services begin to re-open, we are also looking at new ways to provide supports and services to people with disabilities. Our tagline at The Arc is “Where Ability Matters Most” and I’m excited by the ways people have been using their abilities to look for new ways and opportunities to provide services. Not everything about this pandemic was bad, we found out that many people can utilize technology in different ways to receive services. 

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One of the grim realities we both face is our finances. Of course, yours is on a much larger scale and impacts many more people. One of those groups that I urge you to thoughtfully consider are people with disabilities. We simply cannot sustain any type of funding cut. With another minimum wage increase looming in January, and our services not fully restored, any type of cut will undoubtably have dramatic impact on Maryland’s most vulnerable citizens. We both face the prospect of declining revenues which means painful decisions on where and what to cut. Our disability community of 17,000 people who receive services, their families, and the staff members who provide that critical support strongly urge you and the other members of the Department of Public Works to not cut funding for services that impact people with disabilities. 

Thank you for your leadership and commitment to the citizens of Maryland,

Don Rowe

Westminster

The writers is the executive director, The Arc Carroll County.

Disagrees with Shoemaker’s position on Gov. Hogan

In a Saturday, June 13, Carroll Count Times opinion piece, Del. Shoemaker gave our governor an “F” for his handling of the coronavirus and ridiculed him for implementing citizen and business precautions against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is incomprehensible that a Carroll County elected official would take that uniformed, unintelligent and unscientific position. Is it for political posturing only? It is certainly not for the safety and protection of his constituents.

Today’s news has several items that show the problem with early reopening.

The first quote: “As reopening plans progress, some states are seeing increased coronavirus hospitalizations over the past week, according to a CNBC analysis of data from the Covid Tracking Project. Eight states experienced an increase of more than 5% in the average number of currently hospitalized patients compared to the average a week earlier.”  

A second quote: “In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown (D) temporarily paused the state’s reopening efforts Friday after it recorded the highest daily number of new infections since the pandemic began.”  

Why does Del. Shoemaker want wholesale reopening? Why is he badmouthing our governor for his handling of the coronavirus? Gov. Hogan has won national acclaim for the way he has implemented safeguards in Maryland to protect its citizens against COVID-19.  We should be thankful Larry Hogan is our governor rather than Haven Shoemaker.

Dale Piper

Westminster

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