Donald Dell's influence
My job causes me to travel throughout the southern United States. Most recently, I spent several hundred miles driving between Asheville, N.C. and Greenville, S.C. and several points in between. I've been there numerous times before, but this time more than any other I was struck by the area's natural beauty.
Maybe it was the change in foliage, or the winding, hilly roads looking out upon woods and farms as far as I could see. It might have been the clean-smelling air. Or when I got stuck behind the truck loaded with hay. Whatever it was, it reminded me of Carroll County. The people there ought to be thankful every day for the vast areas of untouched beauty that surrounds them, as should we in Carroll.
Then, I returned home and the first thing I happen to see on television is the one and only Donald Dell trying to tell me with a straight face that the Carroll County commissioners (i.e., Donald Dell) have virtually no power to regulate or control development here in Carroll. Maybe Mr. Dell would have us believe that it is nature herself who lays waste to hundreds of acres of forest and farmland to put ticky-tacky, eyesore subdivisions on every square foot of unoccupied soil, like the ones Mr. Dell's developer friends build, as if God intended them to go there.
No, Mr. Dell as a county commissioner has vast powers over the development process in this county. Let us count some of the ways:
* He appoints members to the Carroll County Planning Commission, who will either be sympathetic or unsympathetic to the desires of developers. . . .
* He appoints members to the Board of Zoning Appeals, with similar influence over the philosophical makeup of the board.
* He decides how any given geographic area will be zoned.
* He walks certain applications from certain people for zoning variances through the approval process to ensure their receipt of "fair treatment."
* He exerts his authority as "boss" in every nook and cranny of the County Office Building to make sure that developers are afforded priority treatment. . . .
* He disregards county staffers' recommendations. Some have benevolently referred to this as micro-management. . . .
While I cannot say that I've lived in Carroll for a long time (four years), I have lived here for the entirety of Mr. Dell's first term in office.
The likes of him and his friends are not why I chose to raise my family here. With luck, he can be turned out of office so that he can return to being a full-time farmer. Then he'll be able to feed manure to his crops instead of his constituents.
Stephen M. Kranz
Both as a woman who works outside of the home and as a Carroll County taxpayer, I am writing to express my strong support of Elmer Lippy as candidate for county commissioner. I have been impressed by Mr. Lippy's efforts on behalf of women as well as on behalf of all Carroll residents.
Commissioner Lippy has appointed numerous qualified women to our county boards and commissions, among them the Farm Museum Board, the Waste to Energy Committee and the Board of Library Trustees. He and Mabel Lippy are members of Carroll's League of Women Voters, and under his leadership, the county has pursued policies that promote women in county employment. Mr. Lippy also encourages equal pay regardless of gender, and supports a reasonable maternity leave policy. Whatever one's position may be on the hotly debated county woman's commission, Mr. Lippy's vote in favor of the commission signifies a sincere concern for women.
His efforts on behalf of women reflect the conscientious manner in which he has worked for the county as a whole. In the past four years, Mr. Lippy has effectively managed the county in a time of tight budgets by reducing the size of government through attrition, and cutting the expenses involved in travel on county business. . . .
Need More Schools
To all Carroll County commissioner candidates: . . The northeast section of Carroll County is experiencing rapid growth, both in the municipalities and in the surrounding unincorporated areas. If the rural nature of Carroll County is to be preserved and growth centered in the municipalities, then the facilities must be adequate to support the level of growth that occurs. Growth can be staged and phased in by the use of "lot limits," but the basic problem remains: We need more schools.
. . . If the solution is to slow growth, exactly how do you envision this happening, to what extent and what part should the county play in partnership with the towns to achieve this reduction in growth rate? If the solution is more schools, how will these facilities be financed and in what time frame? . . . As evidenced by our current situation, lobbying the state for additional funding is clearly not a viable solution to increased school construction.
. . . Other infrastructure inadequacies are also on the horizon and will need to be addressed. I do not see this situation as a "town problem" or a "county problem," but rather a "joint problem" that needs an immediate resolution for the good of all residents of Carroll County.
C. Clinton Becker
The writer is mayor of Hampstead.
Year of Woman
As a woman and a Republican, I think that it is important to acknowledge the strong field of female candidates from both parties in this year's election. From gubernatorial candidate Ellen Sauerbrey to state's attorney candidate Linda Holmes and commissioner candidate Rebecca Orenstein, the entire field of women candidates is extremely impressive. As a matter of fact, I believe that with the exception of county sheriff, there was or is a woman running for every available state and local office. What is most impressive about this fact is that it is no longer considered to be news.
Michelle M. Ostrander
Brown for Sheriff
Concerning the Oct. 16 letter from former State Police Maj. Morris Krome extolling the virtues of the Democratic candidate for sheriff, Ken Tregoning:
First, Mr. Tregoning and his buddies have failed to give any valid reason why Sheriff John Brown should be replaced. In the four years Sheriff Brown has been in office he has returned hundreds of thousands of dollars to the county coffers through work release fees and increased child support collections, as well as though conservative management practices. By all accounts, Sheriff Brown has run an efficient operation at the jail.
Secondly, Sheriff Brown has reduced the number of outstanding warrants by an aggressive approach to doing the mandated duties.
Finally, Sheriff Brown has kept his promise to continue supporting the Resident Trooper program, the most cost-effective police force Carroll County could wish for. . . .
Frank H. Rammes
FOP for Sale?
On Oct. 11, I attended a meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police. I am a member of that organization. On the agenda that night, both of the gubernatorial candidates were to address the audience independently.
Parris Glendening spoke first. He made many promises to the crowd of police officers: collective bargaining, binding arbitration, that he would push for a 20-year retirement plan at 60 percent for the troopers, etc. He did not address what his administration would do to combat Maryland's soaring crime problem, only what benefits and perks he would provide to the police agencies. It was obvious to me that he was trying to buy votes, and the endorsement at the taxpayers' expense.
Ellen Sauerbrey spoke next, not having heard Mr. Glendening. Her initial statement? "I am not going to make you any promises. I am, however, going to address Maryland's crime problem." She talked of "truth in sentencing," building jails and centralizing booking to aid the officer on the street, and other solutions to benefit the people the officers have sworn to protect.
One thing was embarrassingly clear to me. The FOP works as a union. Their vote to endorse Mr. Glendening was based on a benefits/entitlements promise package, not the public safety package Mrs. Sauerbrey is promising. . . .
Haines on Abortion
Two years ago, Maryland voters voted "for" Question 6, the pro-choice legislation that embedded the Roe vs. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision into Maryland law. Over 50 percent of the voters in Carroll County and almost 62 percent of voters state-wide voted "for" Question 6.
Now there is need to follow through on this victory. Pro-choice candidates need your support this November if our right to reproductive choice is to be protected. If you doubt there is a risk or think your legal right to choice is safe, think again.
Since his election four years ago, Senator Larry Haines has tried to force a referendum and overturn the current law that guarantees repro
ductive freedom. "The issue is not dead," said Senator Haines, "not as long as I am in the legislature" (The Sun, Feb. 27, 1991). Thus far, Mr. Haines' attempt to reverse current Maryland law has failed. Given more time, however, Mr. Haines will continue to work toward putting the government in control of a woman's reproductive system. . . .
In a recent issue of The Sun, I read that state Senator Larry Haines feels he has done such an outstanding job serving the people of Carroll County that he has no need to participate in community forums. As a citizen of Carroll County, I wanted to know just what Larry Haines had done for me, so I looked over his four-year record. Frankly, I was disappointed.
In four years, Senator Haines has introduced just three bills directly benefiting Carroll County. None of them passed. While Mr. Haines only introduced three bills affecting Carroll County, he introduced seven bills dealing with antique automobiles, recreational vehicles and motor-homes. He also introduced six bills directly affecting real-estate law. Larry's big fight, the bill he strong-armed to get passed, changed the school bus speed limit from 45 mph to 55 mph. Huh?
Outstanding service? Maybe for Realtors such as Mr. Haines, and a few deserving owners of recreational vehicles, but what about the rest of us? What about the general citizenry who elected Mr. Haines to help us address our concerns about growth, education, crime and the economy? . . .
Robert M. Zerner
As a Christian and a feminist, I am tired of right-wing political extremist telling me I cannot be both. I go to church and I support traditional Christian values. I also support a woman's right to work inside or outside of the home. I support equal pay for equal work and I support family-leave bills that allow parents time off -- without threat of losing their job -- when they have a child.
It makes me mad when people like Jerry Falwell say, "A Christian feminist, to me, is like saying a Christian prostitute, they are a contradiction in terms." What does he mean? Does viewing myself as equally worthy make me evil?
Recently, I read an article by Pat Robertson, head of the Christian Coalition. He wrote, "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is . . . a movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children and become lesbians." I'd like to remind Mr. Robertson that it was not so long ago that a woman could not vote or own property. Even now, women's salaries are consistently lower then men's salaries for the same job. If Mr. Robertson is suggesting that a true Christian must treat women as less than equal then I say he and any other right-wing fanatical who agrees with him is expressing a warped and inaccurate view of Christianity.
I love my husband and my children. I have been married for 37 years and pray that, together, my husband and I have raised our children to respect and cherish people. I will proudly continue to be a Christian and a feminist. I only wish that the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of the world would quit using Christianity as a front to promote poor treatment of women.
Catherine N. Hartman