Cutting funds for the 4-H program would be a loss to the 0) whole county
The Carroll County commissioners are considering cutting funds to the 4-H program in Carroll. These cuts would mean the end to the 4-H program as of July 1, which means no Carroll County Fair and also could mean possible effects on the Maryland State Fair.
The Carroll County 4-H is one of the largest and most successful 4-H programs in Maryland. Their members support the State Fair with fine exhibits of livestock. I know for a fact the Carroll County 4-H Rabbit Club is responsible for most of the rabbit exhibit and I am sure this is true for the rest of the animal exhibits at the State Fair as well.
What does the Maryland State Fair become without the Carroll County 4-H members to support it? I think an overgrown carnival.
It has come to light that Carroll County's 1997 recommended budget includes no appropriation for the Cooperative Extension Service's 4-H Program. Cries of support will come forth for 4-H. Alumni testimonials will pull at the heart strings, validating 4-H as an unequaled, life-changing youth development organization. Concerns will be voiced about the deterioration of Carroll County's neighborly flavor, to which no 4-H and no county fair would contribute. And youth developers will ask how we can afford the loss of the county's most significant mixed-gender youth education program.
Each of these reasons are well-grounded, but what does Carroll County receive for the $108,000 investment in 4-H? The state and federal government contribute comparable funding, currently placing an additional $143,000 into the county 4-H program -- monies that would surely decrease, and possibly evaporate, if the county does not support the program.
Next, look at the economic investment in youth development made by the 700 adult volunteers. If paid as professional educators -- which essentially they are -- and for personal resources invested, could we venture a guess of the phenomenal cost of what is being provided as free services?
Additionally, knowing that service projects are a major focus of each community club, what would be the county's economic loss of all 50 clubs' service work within each of the individual club's local communities? And finally, how would the loss of the county's major informal youth education program impact the county's major industry and wealth source, agriculture?
Where else does Carroll County get so much economic investment at such a small cost -- and outstanding young people as the result?
Commissioners: Three are better than five
I much prefer not to disagree with my respected delegate, Don Elliott, but with his proposal to enlarge our Board of Commissioners from three to five members, I have no choice. I can see nothing positive that would ensue from such a move.
It would mean two more salaries, two more secretaries, more travel costs, the need for two more offices in an already crowded building, more bureaucracy, more conflict in decision-making, doubling the cost of county administration, meaning more taxes for all.
There just does not seem to be much to recommend such a move and under no circumstances should it be considered without a referendum.
Over the years, our county has thrived. It is fiscally sound and must be kept that way. It has never been scarred by scandal or dishonesty. People in growing numbers want to come here to live. That says a lot for our three-commissioner government. We only have to look within the halls of our Congress today to realize that no form of government at any level is likely to be perfect. However, as long as we have a commissioner form of county government, let's keep a three-person board.
Willard L. Hawkins Sr.
With endorsements like these
In reading The Sun's endorsements for the 6th District (Feb. 29), I was reminded how much of a spin the paper puts on these races. In trying to attack the incumbent's record, The Sun refers to his "simple-minded ideological beliefs." Actually, these tenets are what made this nation great.
Perhaps had The Sun followed a more responsible course over the years in its discussions of the "pressing problems of the nation," including Baltimore, we would not be in such a decline. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's views deserve a chance after following Democratic ideology for so long.
Mr. Bartlett has already been in office for two terms, but The Sun is still wondering why. From the text of the editorial, is there any doubt whom The Sun will endorse in the regular election?
R. D. Bush
Bombers? Uncivilized even for football
Bombers! It is distressing that this name is still under consideration for the new football team in town. Bombers refer either to the aircraft or to their crew responsible for the death of millions and destruction of many of the world's cities.
Also, to those who deliver smaller but vicious instruments of death, whether as sophisticated as the one that brought down the Pan Am jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, or as crude as the one that killed and maimed so many innocent people in Oklahoma City.
In World War I, only one in 20 of those killed were civilian non-combatants, but in World War II, about half the dead were civilians. This appalling realty was mainly the work of bombers. Rather than endorse this sort of violence and send the message to our youth that it is cool to bomb, let's select something more civilized and humane for Baltimore's football team.
Is Dixon a hero or isn't he?
Two things I have long since quit doing: judging products and politicians by their labels alone (since both can be equally misleading or downright deceiving), and looking for new heroes to replace my fallen ones on the empty pedestals cluttering up my basement. I guess F. Scott Fitzgerald was right when he said: 'Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy." While there is nothing disgraceful about it, our recently departed delegate, Richard N. Dixon, who has responded to a "higher calling," fits neatly into both categories.
Whether or not he qualifies as a full-fledged hero, depends, of course, on whom you ask in Carroll County. True, he may have marched (or tiptoed) under the Democratic banner since 1982, but to call him a traditional Democrat would be as paradoxical as labeling Pat Buchanan a "free trader." That Mr. Dixon is, in reality, a "closet Republican" is of little or no consequence. Obviously, the governor wasn't bothered by it.
Mr. Dixon's formula for success is, as he will gladly tell you, a simple one: Vote the way your constituents want, irrespective of your personal views or what your conscience dictates. No wonder so many of his victories were "landslides," except for the last election, which he won by a much slimmer margin than usual.
Conceivably, he might even have found himself in the losing column -- and not be sitting where he is today -- had he voiced his opinion favoring (for the first time) a charter form of government during the campaign, rather than when he was on his way to his new job "on the bay."
Isn't it amazing that it took him 14 years to come to that realization? It must have hit him like a lightning bolt. I know it bolted me when I read it.
In closing out "his books" as a delegate, he apparently had some unfinished business to tend to with the commissioners. It was reported in the paper that he and the rest of the delegation were somewhat irked over the fact that the commissioners had not consulted with them before raising the "piggyback" income tax.
Maybe it was just a coincidence that the entire delegation then vetoed nearly every one of the initiatives that the commissioners had come up with for easing the financial crisis the county is in. But Mr. Dixon reserved his "nastiest nasty" for the Democratic Central Committee, whom he lambasted from his palatial office for not selecting the person he had hand-picked as his successor.
There is no disputing that he served the county well over the years, that he is as honest as "the day is long," and that he deserves all the "kudos" and accolades that were heaped upon him as he exited the scene. I only wish he could have left in a little more graceful manner....
Whether or not you agree with Richard Dixon, one thing is very clear. He had very strong support in Carroll County, which was evident in the 1994 election. Although there were many things he did that others and I did not agree with, he did vote as his constituents wanted. He earned a leadership role in the House of Delegates even though he did not always vote as the Democratic leadership wanted. His conservative positions often raised the question of whether he was a Democrat or just a Republican in disguise.
Mr. Dixon earned the respect of his colleagues in Annapolis and he deserved no less from the Democratic leadership in Carroll. By choosing to send the names of two liberals, they have thumbed their noses at Mr. Dixon and the citizens who elected him.
It is understandable that the Democratic Central Committee would not be able to decide between David Brauning, a conservative, and either Cynthia Cummings or Ellen Willis, who are "considered liberal by Carroll County standards," (The Sun, Feb. 18). However, to have sent Mr. Brauning's name with the name of either of the other two women would have at least acknowledged that the political base in Carroll is conservative and should be given just consideration. It would have also acknowledged Mr. Dixon's opinion as to his replacement. As it was, the committee could not even decide which liberal candidate to recommend.
The Democratic Central Committee has finally achieved what it has been unable to do through the electoral process, to have a liberal Democrat in the House of Delegates. If the people vote as they have in the past, then the Democratic leadership has taken a giant step towards ensuring little support from conservative Democrats in Carroll. I also have no doubt that there will be little, if any, crossover from the Republican side to support a liberal Democrat in 1998.
W. David Blair
Pub Date: 3/10/96