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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Times Opinion

Focus on issues in local election [Letter]

Editor:

The upcoming Westminster City Council election should focus on meaningful issues, so I'd like to share some thoughts on two important topics: parks and our water supply. They are related and have a significant impact on our quality of life.

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The last large green space inside the city limits will soon become city property. The Wakefield Valley Golf Course has been out of business for years, and there is no prospect of it ever opening again. Rather than continuing to watch the property languish, the city entered into an agreement transferring about two-thirds of the property to Westminster in exchange for a water allocation to the current owner.

This is a fantastic deal for city taxpayers, but it comes with some challenges. Even though no money is changing hands, the new property will create additional operating expenses for the city for maintenance. We also need to figure out, along with neighbors and other stakeholders in the area, how to best utilize the new land for recreational use. There is also potential for public and private partnerships to repair and maintain the historic building located there.

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This is an asset that will improve the quality of life for generations, but it will take hard work, planning and open communication to fully realize its enormous potential.

Water is an important element of the agreement transferring the property to the city. In addition to the new park space, the city will also increase the capacity of its water system. Ever since the Maryland Department of the Environment changed how it calculates the capacity of water systems in the state over a decade ago, all municipalities in Maryland had to adapt to a new reality of water scarcity.

We now have a water allocation policy that appropriately treats our water resources as a precious limited commodity. Our water budget allows for a reasonable amount of growth each year using our hard-won new capacity but always keeps some in reserve for unforeseen problems as well as opportunities.

As the election draws near, the lamentable dirty tricks and whispering are emerging as they usually do when political opponents can't put forward real ideas or solutions. Let's continue bringing our community together and building a better future for our children and grandchildren, rather than allowing extremists to tear things apart. On May 12, vote for Robert Wack for Westminster City Council.

Robert Wack

Westminster

The writer is a councilman for the city of Westminster seeking re-election.


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