Puppets or Sound Planning?
The Sept. 7 Sun editorial "Puppet Show in Hampstead" was full of inaccuracies. Hampstead is not "beset with an inadequate supply of water," as stated. Hampstead has an adequate water supply because it has required, by ordinance, that all new developments provide a supply of water to meet the requirements of that development. This has been the law for six years or longer.
Art Moler, planning and zoning commission chairman, did not put the council request not to approve additional development for 90 days on the agenda. But the commission did respond by restricting recordation of North Carroll Farms Section 4 Lots to 57 in the first year and 50 per year there after. The commission may have been responding to the town's attorney who in written opinions advised that development approval could not be withheld due to inadequacy of schools.
The editorial states that planning commission member Chris Nevin attempted to have the issue of the council's requested 90-day moratorium placed on the agenda. This may be accurate, but the statement, "With [Martin K. P.] Hill acting as an off-stage prompter citing various rules of order, the commission delayed all public discussion of the moratorium until after the meeting was over," is not accurate since I was not present if and when such a request was made. . . .
Twenty-four town residents were in attendance at the Aug. 29 meeting, not 70 as reported by The Sun; 12 were from North Carroll Farms. The 12 have been opposed to the development
since 1991. They will always be opposed. . . .
Martin K. P. Hill
The writer is president of Masonry Contractors Inc.
The recent approval by the town of Hampstead Planning Commission of lots in North Carroll Farms and Westwood Park is another example of the weakness in laws concerning development in Carroll County.
Article 66-B, of the Annotated Code of Maryland says, in part, "The commission may consider and may use the failure . . . to certify the adequacy of any public facility . . . as a basis for disapproval." Clearly, the discretionary word "may" is why the local elected and appointed officials are afraid to disapprove development which, until now, has always been approved.
As a county employee, part of my job is to prepare Adequate Facilities Certificates for roads and storm drains serving proposed developments. In the past seven years, I have seen many cases where roads were certified as "approaching inadequacy," "inadequate," or "very seriously inadequate," yet I have never seen a proposed development denied on the basis of inadequate roads.
Vote for those candidates who would control development through stronger enforcement of existing regulations, and for those candidates who would support changing the word "may" to "shall" in Article 66-B.
David E. Booth Jr.
Religion, Politics and the Schools
I read Anne Haddad's article, "Christian Right Widens Battlefield" (Sept. 4). It seems odd to read my name and my reasons for running for school board associated with her reasons for presenting this article.
After two years of studying outcomes-based education, I see it only as an extension of the real problem -- the State of Maryland has decided that it is responsible for "the whole child and their modalities," or moods. That means your children are considered wards of the state.
. . . She states citizens needlessly fear the multicultural slant in the program as a springboard for gay rights. One only need look to our neighbor, Howard County. Its multicultural curriculum states that sexual orientation is included, and it is defined as, homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual. . . .
The real "red flag" Ms. Haddad misses is that too many indicators/demonstrators in this OBE program are not academic, proving the state of Maryland, joining Goals 2000, has mistakenly decided that all America's children belong to the state/nation. Any outcomes which are not academic are outcomes my children need not demonstrate to graduate. . . .
My reasons for running are not what was presented. I want high academic standards for all children. This includes learning to read, spell, write and succeed at math. History and geography are more important than state and federal mandates that stress behavior modification and social agendas. Our children need a good education, not another social reform project/experiment.
Laura E. Albers
In the voters guide for 1994, state Sen. Larry Haines, running for re-election in the 5th District, responded to questions about schools with respect to state financing to offset inequities and privatization. He ended his response with the statement, "I support tax credits, vouchers and private management of failed schools."
Senator Haines has a particular interest here. His church, the Church of the Open Door, operates the Carroll Christian Schools. These schools could benefit from educational tax credits or vouchers, unless credits and vouchers are limited to public education.
If Senator Haines intends to promote tax credits or vouchers that could be used in private schools, he is advocating aid to parochial schools, voted down in referendum by Maryland voters in 1972 and 1974. . . .
Over 90 percent of non-public enrollment is in schools operated as independent institutions primarily for denominational religious purposes, in which curricula are permeated by a denominational point of view. Carroll Christian Schools are such schools.
Persons of one particular faith should be free to use their own funds to strengthen the belief system of their particular religious group. But they should not expect all taxpayers, including those who adhere to other religious beliefs, to provide funds to teach religious views with which they do not agree. . . .
Even if tax credits or vouchers were limited to public education, where is the money to come from? . . . If we have additional tax money available, why don't we fully fund Head Start and Chapter I remedial programs and the breakfast/lunch plans for poor children?