I read with interest the recent Times article about our local "English Only" ordinance, adopted by the previous Board of Commissioners. It seems there is no desire to revisit this 'issue', unlike our neighbors in Frederick County. Remember, there was no groundswell of need cited for this legislation originally, other than a former commissioner's lack of patience with being required to navigate a telephone directory.
Let's be clear, this is an attempt to make a national issue (immigration) into a local issue. This law says to me, "If you don't look like us, act like us, or speak like us, you are not welcome here." That is racism in my book, pure and simple, and that is wrong.
It strikes me that there are several local elected officials who are awfully adept at localizing national and statewide debates for their political gain, often to the detriment of our local citizens. The dreaded "rain tax" is another example. Obviously, to anyone willing to look beyond the sound bytes, it is nether a tax, nor is it levied on the rain. By the way, it hasn't been repealed, either statewide or here in Carroll County. In fact, now all of us in this county pay the 'stormwater remediation fee' in our property tax bills, rather than the fee being assessed on those who are creating the excessive run-off. I guess that's what we call 'equitable' here in Carroll County.
There seems to be confusion about rain and run-off, as though they're one and the same. Perhaps the best way to understand the distinction between rain and run-off was related by a friend from the Eastern Shore, "When was the last time you saw it rain chicken poop?" Make no mistake, excessive run-off is a local issue — it's not just about the Chesapeake Bay or scouring the Conowingo Dam. My family, like many in Carroll County, drinks well water every day, and we have two streams that border our property. We have a very intimate relationship with run-off; everyone does. Keeping our water resources clean and flowing should be one of our highest priorities locally.
Personally, I think Carroll County would be better served if our local leaders spent more time solving real problems here at home, rather than tilting at windmills in Washington and Annapolis.
Don H. West
Latest Carroll County Times Opinion
The writer is chairman of the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee.