Yes, County Needs A Commission For Women
On Jan. 22, I attended a meeting at the Carroll County Office Building with the intention of hearing well-meaning persons debate the concerns on the Carroll County Commission on Women.
I listened as I stood against the wall in the back of this crowded room. After listening to those persons "for" the commission speak, I felt they had hit upon an area which desperately needs attention here in the county. . . .
Then I listened, with gritted teeth, to the opposition. It is so amazing how people choose to think or not think. Many who opposed did so because they did not want "their tax dollars" to be used in this manner. . . . We allow "our tax dollars" to be spent in less important ways. For example: How many of us will get the opportunity to live on the moon? Yet we watch millions of "our tax dollars" go up in smoke every time NASA decides to send a few persons and some metal devices through the atmosphere. We watch "our tax dollars" being sent to other countries to cure what ails them when we can't or won't take care of "home." We watch "our tax dollars" being pleasured away by so-called hard-working politicians, as they "do" lunch and dinner and the ,, taxpayer picks up the tab.
Those persons who spoke against this commission, especially the women, may not need or want someone to speak for them . . . These persons who were opposed were dressed neatly, most spoke fluently, and more than likely they have warm homes, transportation, and know when and from where their next paycheck will come. These persons may also have some family members or friends who can either shell out a couple hundred bucks or more when the need arises or they may know how to borrow it.
The persons who need an advocate were not present in large numbers at this meeting. Those needing someone to speak for (( them would not have been noticed in a positive light. Those in need are the women who are unable to stand up in a crowded room and speak, or they are the women who go the grocery store and use food stamps to shop while being scrutinized terribly by others with cash or a checkbook in their hands. Those women in need are the women who wait patiently for a monthly check because there is no child support or not enough support coming in on a regular basis, or they may be the women who have to deal with the degradation from a social worker who looks down upon her every six months when she must appear in the office of Social Services. . . .
It's fantastic if you are able to speak out for yourself, but do not make it harder for those who are in need of help from others. If you have the necessities in life, than you have been truly blessed. . . . The downfall of this country, from poverty to crime, is due to greed. And in this case, the majority rules.
Crickit R. Cook-Cook
The public forum held by our local legislators was apparently the largest and most vocal the legislators have ever seen. The hot issue was the request to establish a Carroll County Commission For Women. I was there to support the commission, and I found the open hostility of the opposition unnerving.
It became quickly obvious to me that its opposition was based on the unfounded fear that the Carroll County Commission For Women was backed by a group of "radical, liberal feminists." Its fear was fueled by attempts to link the supporters with the National Organization For Women (NOW). One woman spoke about these groups promoting homosexual and lesbian rights. . . . Naturally, we were shocked at such unfounded comparisons of the Carroll County Commission For Women with NOW. . . .
The recurring concerns expressed by the opponents were that this group would receive government funding, would not represent their views and would become a powerful lobbying organization.
I believe that the first concern was a valid one. However, the steering committee of the Carroll County Commission For Women had long ago accepted the fact that no funding would be available because of economic conditions.
The second concern was not valid. The members of the steering committee have varied political, religious, marital and employment backgrounds. In addition, the commissioners will have the right to choose half of the commission members. . . .
The third concern seems to revolve around the fear that this group will have too much "lobbying power." The main purpose of the commission is to provide women with a "clearing house" of information. . . .
Let us look beyond the unfounded fears which were fueled by misinformation. The time has come for Carroll County to establish a Commission For Women.
Cherie W. Jenkins
No More Tolerating Old Schools
Having read two recent articles regarding school projects and "wish lists," I was most dismayed with the statement issued by the director of school support services, Vernon Smith, that "our own priorities very clearly say that schools where additional capacity is an issue take precedence over schools where it is not."
I'm not saying that I don't understand the rationale of this thinking, but I do feel that my area schools and community are being penalized for not participating in rapid uncontrolled growth. . . .
Look to the triangle created by Elmer R. Wolfe Elementary in Union Bridge, New Windsor Middle School and Francis Scott Key High School in Uniontown. According to Mr. Smith, these three schools are "the most obsolete facilities in Carroll County." . . .
The "triangle" of obsolescence is in the process of being broken. A new New Windsor Middle School is under construction and set to open in September 1995. I truly . . . hope this is only the beginning.
Elmer A. Wolfe Elementary School, where I have a daughter enrolled in the fourth grade and within two years will send my son, is the most "obsolete" elementary school in Carroll County. There is no room to house fifth grade. . . . With the exception of a newly constructed entry ramp and one handicapped parking space, the school is not handicapped-accessible to the second floor, the basement or the cafeteria from within the school. . . .
Timing and schedules have been orchestrated so that when students from the old and (currently used) New Windsor Middle School vacate and move to the new New Windsor Middle, Elmer Wolfe students will leave their facility and move to the old New Windsor Middle while Elmer Wolfe is being renovated and enlarged. Makes good common sense.
The snafu kicks in if there is any delay in Elmer Wolfe occupying the freshly vacated old New Windsor Middle. Should there be any delay of transition -- breaking the "continuous use" clause -- hundreds of thousands of dollars will have to be spent to bring the building up to code with the fire marshals. If the county already is in a dollar crunch, this large sum could be saved just by sticking to the current budget schedule. According to recent news articles, this project looks likely to be pushed back several years. . . .
It is time this Northwest region of Carroll is brought in line with the rest of the county. I know the county's intentions are good, but look how many years our tax dollars have been deferred to other schools in other areas. . . .
Tuesday, Feb. 8, is a "red-letter day." Northwest Middle School will host the first of three budget hearings at 7:30 p.m. It is time to show school decision-makers that we will not be complacent with obsolescence anymore. Express your support for Elmer A. Wolfe Elementary to receive full funding for the planning of its much needed renovations and additions.
Deborah M. Doxzon