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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Times Opinion

Westminster moving in the right direction [Letter]

The City of Westminster is moving in the right direction, but there is still much work to be done.

Our two largest departments are public works and the police, which account for approximately 80 percent of the city's operating budget and city workers, and deliver the majority of critical services to residents. I am very proud of their accomplishments.

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Public works employees can and do almost anything, including street repair, plowing, leaf, yard waste and bulk trash removal, grass cutting, maintenance and support of city events. It also operates the water and waste water treatment plants.

They are often the unsung heroes of city services. Many work 24/7, in all weather conditions, and the work never ends as seasons change. The freeze-related water main break earlier this year demonstrated public works heroism. City workers were down in a muddy, icy trench, risking frostbite and serious injury, and worked round the clock to restore water service. Now they'll be repairing our streets.

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Public works employees proposed some of our most innovative cost saving initiatives, including energy conservation and the redesign of our sludge drying facility. They work hard and also smart, improving services while saving tax dollars.

The police department is the other large department. Also 24/7, they keep watch in all weather conditions, ready to respond to any call. Our crime statistics in Westminster prove police success through dedication and hard work. Westminster crime, although not zero, continues trending downward, along with county and state statistics, and Chief Jeff Spaulding continues innovative policing strategies to ensure further reduction.

We can do better. Unfortunately, theft is a problem. Like everywhere in the country, theft is usually linked to substance abuse, whether addicts stealing to support their habit, or drug dealers robbing each other. Addiction is a societal problem that spans multiple jurisdictions, and the Westminster City Police Department works closely with the county sheriff's office and Maryland State Police to cope with that scourge. Westminster will continue to coordinate with other agencies in the county to develop better programs and drive our crime statistics further downward.

I am proud to serve with these outstanding city employees, and will continue to ensure the highest level of service for our residents. Please vote for me for Westminster City Council on May 12.

Robert Wack

Westminster

The writer is president of the Westminster City Council.


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