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Carroll County Times Opinion

Taneytown annexation logic flawed; readers weigh in on primary election battles | READER COMMENTARY

Taneytown annexation logic flawed

Taneytown’s City Council is on the crux of annexing several acres of land currently owned by the Sewell family, a move that has become controversial within the community. In the latest issue of the Taneytown Record, Mayor Bradley Wantz asserts that “the costs for city services increases annually, and the only way to avoid tax increases is to spread the revenue over more residents.” What the mayor fails to comprehend is the following well-studied and documented outcome: the costs to the town over time from the population increase will outstrip the gains in tax revenue.

Contrary to the council’s assertions, the results of a study published on the Community and Environmental Defense Services website (ceds.org) clearly shows a direct relationship between tax rates and the size of a town. As a town grows, it is not just the cost of government that increases, but also the costs of the town’s maintaining its essential infrastructure and services for its growing community. The CEDS study grouped 155 of 157 municipalities by size to find: “the smallest towns have the lowest tax rates and the cost of government increases as municipal area expands.”

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Studies by the nonprofit, Strong Towns, have also repeatedly demonstrated that, as population increases, the additional income gained by the town is outstripped by escalating costs of maintaining infrastructure and services. Because of this revenue/cost imbalance, towns that grow like Taneytown proposes actually worsen their financial health and eventually face even more difficult choices to limit services and tolerate crumbling infrastructure. So, the unsustainable cycle repeats.

Taneytown’s council should reconsider their current strategy and vote “no” to the annexation of the Sewell property.

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Jim Thomas, Taneytown

How history will judge abortion ruling

Man’s inhumanity to man is not a particularly novel concept. When Cain bludgeoned his brother Abel with a club, that kind of stepped their parent’s sin in the garden up a notch.

So in the early days of Christianity under the Roman Empire, it wasn’t unusual for Christians and unwanted slaves to be herded into a coliseum and before cheering throngs of people, slaughtered and ravaged by lions and tigers. When the practice was abolished years later and was viewed in retrospect, I suspect that people had to be saddened in remembering that human beings actually did that to others. I also believe that, albeit for a brief moment, God looked down and smiled!

Fast forward to our own American history. There was a time as we all know when our own people enslaved other people to work their fields and even care for their children. Many in today’s society refer to that time as our nation’s “original” sin. We gnash our teeth and wonder how we could have actually been so evil as to do that to others. But again, when that practice finally came to an end, I believe that God looked down and smiled!

On June 24, the Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade. Now as anyone paying attention knows, this verdict will not end the practice of abortion. It merely refers the decision back to the states where, even according to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it likely belonged in the first place. And again, the slaughter of the unborn will not end anytime soon, but this is a start! In my heart I believe that sometime in the future we will look back at this part of our history in the same context as we view slavery. And it’s for this reason that our all-knowing God looked down last Friday and smiled!

Dave Price, Sykesville

Libraries are a strength in county

I would like to take a moment and reach out to you all about how wonderful the libraries here in Carroll are. All CCPL branches are friendly, engaging and knowledgeable. Even Carroll Community College library is outstanding, with all of its efforts to help both students and the public. As a community, we need to acknowledge those who are fighting for us little guys, and that’s where the library will always come in. They stand for academic freedom and safe places for all. I commend them for their hard work and their endless amounts of compassion. Thank you, librarians and library/circulation staff for all that you have done for me and the countless others who may sometimes need a little guidance.

Melanie Oppat, Westminster

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A reader’s endorsement for commissioner

I am writing in support of Kenny Kiler for Commissioner from District 2. I have known both Kenny and his wife, Rhonda for over 50 years. Kenny’s dedication to everything he does is extraordinary. He is always there for family and he treats friends like family. I have seen firsthand how he started Manchester Wrestling and turned it into a well respected institution in the wrestling community. We know many young men that Kenny has had a positive influence on through his leadership and friendship. His commitment as a school board member is a great example of how he will approach the job of county commissioner. His straightforward, common sense attitude will benefit the citizens of Carroll County. Please consider voting for Kenny for district 2 commissioner!

Greg Dell, Westminster

A veteran’s endorsement for state’s attorney

On this past July 4, I took time to reflect about the upcoming elections. Many, right here in Carroll County, take the right to vote for granted. The fact that we, as Americans, can cast a vote of our choosing for a candidate for elected office is something not to be taken lightly. As a veteran who deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Operation Joint Endeavor/Joint Guard in the Serbian-controlled Posavina Corridor of Northern Bosnia and helped oversee the country’s first ever democratic elections, I saw firsthand how fortunate we, as Americans, are.

Fortunate that we can choose a candidate that we believe will do what we elected them to do. I have been fortunate to get to know David Ellin and really appreciate his work with veterans. Not only is he legal counsel for the Carroll County Veterans Independence Project, but he has also gone out of his way to provide pro bono legal services for Veterans in need.

Soon after I spoke with David Ellin regarding Veterans Treatment Court, he announced his intentions to implement Veterans Treatment Court when elected to Carroll County states attorney. Having witnessed firsthand the benefits of having an advocate for our veterans who find themselves in minor trouble with our courts, I know without a doubt, a Veterans Treatment Court would have a significant impact on our veterans community. Our veterans deserve someone in the states attorney’s office who will advocate for them and address concerns such as PTSD, problematic substance abuse, poor mental health, depression and anxiety just to name a few. As states attorney, I believe David Ellin will be firm but fair and his willingness to implement a Veterans Treatment Court would be just what Carroll County needs.

Jason R. Sidock, Westminster

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No ‘SuperLawyer’ for state’s attorney

Recently, David Ellin, a medical malpractice attorney in Reisterstown in Baltimore County, who is also running for State’s Attorney in Carroll County, boasted that he is a SuperLawyer. Many of us remember the opening to Adventures of Superman — “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound … fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.”

Ellin is fast all right. It seems SuperLawyer’s law office scooped up over $281,060 in federally-guaranteed Paycheck Paycheck Protection Program money in 2020 and 2021 and then, faster than a speeding bullet, he was off to vacation in Patagonia and Antarctica.

Ellin is powerful too. Just ask him. He seems to think that he can run his law office with over 14 employees and also be state’s attorney who oversees 20 attorneys and 32 staff in an office which has a budget of over $4 million and that handles over 13,000 hearings a year. Why else would he oppose common-sense legislation adopted by every other jurisdiction in Maryland, save Baltimore City and Garrett County, that bars state attorneys from private practice? Guess SuperLawyer cannot keep a closet of costumes and capes on a paltry public salary of $161,333.

Ellin is able to leap the truth in single bounds with tall tales of his prosecutorial experience in Baltimore City. Truth is, he appeared in 385 cases there as an assistant state’s attorney over 20 years ago. 300 of those cases were disposed of by pleas bargains with drug dealers and other violent criminals. SuperLawyer brags that he has not practiced criminal law since then, because he does not want to represent criminals. If he loved to battle crime so much, why did he hang up his cape?

So much for truth, justice and the American way. Carroll County actually needs a top prosecutor who has long-standing ties to the community, a long record of applied criminal law expertise, a commitment to serving folks in Carroll and not his own outside interests, and a history of working with local law enforcement to give them the tools they need to keep us safe. The kryptonite question for SuperLawyer Ellin — why does he really want to be elected State’s Attorney?

F. Douglas Harrell, Hampstead

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Commissioner candidate make his case

My name is Kenny Kiler and I am running for County Commissioner in the new District 2, which includes Manchester, Hampstead and Finksburg. I bring proven experience and conservative leadership and ask you to consider me when voting for commissioner. I currently serve as president of the Board of Education and am finishing my four-year term. As a lifelong Carroll County resident, my experiences on the BOE as well as my community involvement have given me the tools to be a commissioner.

I fully support our brave men and women in law enforcement and emergency services and all the folks in county government who all help make Carroll great. I have managed budgets larger than Carroll’s, and as a fiscal conservative, I know how to protect Carroll’s taxpayers’ wallets and pocketbooks by holding the line on taxes and keeping a sharp eye on the county budget. I have served on the Recreation and Parks Board and other boards and committees in Carroll. I have worked in construction all of my life, including over 30 years with C J Miller. During that time, I dealt with county government on a daily basis while completing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of work. I also possess substantial experience in land use and management.

During my term on the BOE, I fought hard alongside my BOE colleagues for our students and their parents. We opened schools for face-to-face instruction and made hard decisions to keep the academic achievement and social growth of the students as our first priorities. Working with fellow board members and staff, I realized I could bring those same skills and tenaciousness to the Board of County Commissioners.

While working full time in construction, I also served as an officer in the Maryland Army National Guard. My wife Rhonda and I raised our three children here while volunteering alongside our neighbors. I founded the Manchester youth wrestling program and volunteered to serve on numerous boards and committees.

As your commissioner, I will roll up my sleeves and use all the tools in my toolbox to continue making Carroll a better place to work, live and raise a family. Please consider voting for me in District 2 on July 19 or at early voting which is going on now and ends July 14th.

Our County. Our Future!

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Kenny Kiler, Manchester

Kiler is a Republican candidate for the Carroll County Board of Commissioners for District 2

Concerns about historical society

Congratulations to the Pipe Creek Civil War Roundtable for this year’s Corbit’s Charge Commemoration in Westminster. Each year in June, this event reminds us of a Civil War battle that took place in the streets of Westminster where a number of soldiers (both Union and Confederate) made the ultimate sacrifice for our country when called to duty. A number of them still rest in local cemeteries, far from home. Not only does this event honor those soldiers but provides residents with a reminder of our county’s rich Civil War history with a free, family-friendly venue for learning more about the Civil War.

Conspicuously absent from this event, for the second year in a row was The Historical Society of Carroll County, despite the fact that this event took place practically right outside their front doors. No mention of it on their website, calendar of events, or Facebook page.

I feel fortunate to live an area so full of Civil War history. I continue to wonder why an organization whose mission it is to be the keeper and storyteller of county’s history has decided that it’s no longer relevant.

Many thanks to the members of the Pipe Creek Civil War Roundtable for their hard work and dedication to preserving and sharing such an important part of our local history.

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Carol Cain, Finksburg

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