Sheriff cuts to aid budget, not fight...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Sheriff cuts to aid budget, not fight union

There is no way to play down the current facts that Carroll County government is in dire straits. Recently, I have had to make certain personnel moves within the Carroll County sheriff's office to meet budget restrictions. These moves were made after long and careful deliberations.

Knowing the inevitable, I felt that there was no need to prolong the agony of making cuts in my budget. Therefore, I cut two positions now instead of waiting until July 1. These cuts, along with other moves in the sheriff's office, allowed me to save approximately $250,000 for Carroll County taxpayers.

Although it was never reported in the newspapers, I advised the Carroll County commissioners at the public hearing regarding the sheriff's office on March 14 of these cuts. The sheriff's office was the only agency funded by the taxpayers that gave anything back to the county government.

I advised all three commissioners that I realized that they had some really dark days ahead during this budget cycle, but I would rather cut my office to the limit while still maintaining my obligations than see the citizens hit with another tax increase.

Our current budgetary situation does not allow a lot of options for the commissioners. They must make some very difficult decisions and I can honestly say that I do not envy them. But in a crisis situation, we must make due with what we have rather than raise taxes. I am vehemently opposed to any tax increase. I advised the commissioners of my feelings rather than have them raise taxes.

These decisions had nothing to do with unions, as many in the media have implied. My first duty and obligation is to the citizens of Carroll County.

I have always advocated less government while still effectively providing the mandated services that the sheriff's office now provides. I have been able to accomplish this by setting clear-cut goals, demanding accountability and thereby achieving positive results.

John H. Brown

Westminster

The writer is Carroll County sheriff.

Yates opposes northern bypass

I was sorry to see the article on March 13, entitled "North Route Selected for 140 Bypass," indicating that the county applauded this choice by the state.

As an elected official, I do not applaud the selection of that route and I have said so before, during and subsequent to my election in 1994. I hope that you will publish this and set the record straight.

Richard T. Yates

Westminster

The writer is president of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners.

Legislators didn't read Haines' bill?

It is absolutely mind-boggling. Imagine, three of our five legislators haven't bothered to read the fine print on Sen. Larry Haines' proposed bill to create thousands of new lots in the county regardless of whether our schools, roads or water supplies can handle them. As reported, Sen. Timothy Ferguson and delegates Donald Elliott and Nancy Stocksdale apparently didn't know that Mr. Haines' bill would allow subdivisions of up to three lots anywhere in the county to bypass the Adequate Public Facilities tests. Or that the planning commission would be stripped of its ability to deny a subdivision at the preliminary plan stage even if facilities were certified as inadequate. But that hadn't stopped them from voting in favor of the bill.

And Mr. Ferguson now admits that he didn't have enough time to read the proposed bill before voting for it and apparently relies on lobbyists to tell him what to do. Heck, he doesn't have enough "time to write a note to his wife," he says. Excuse me, but this piece of legislation isn't exactly "War and Peace." It is one page long. How dare our legislators play "follow the leader" without reading a bill of obvious importance.

Considering the amount of public outcry and debate over it, I would have thought that our senators and delegates would have taken the time to examine the adverse impacts of this legislation instead of just obeying voting protocol and heeding the advice of lobbyists. Now I'm really curious -- Has Mr. Haines even read this bill?

Wayne Schuster

Eldersburg

Library system worth tax increase

In my opinion, Carroll County's library system is worth every dollar we have invested in it over the years. The excellence of our libraries is a direct result of our long-standing willingness to fund their growth.

A busy, well-stocked, well-staffed free public library is an essential part of a healthy community. In Westminster, my hometown, the library contributes tremendously to Main Street's vitality. It's our "anchor store."

Weakening the library by means of budget cuts attacks the present and future well-being of all Carroll countians. In terms of economic and community development, failing to fund the library adequately is unwise and improvident. I support an increase in our property tax rate in order to fund the library system.

Tim Bryson

Westminster

'Monument to racism': skewed view of Oscar

I am amazed at columnis Gregory Kane's very imaginative way of finding racism as the basis of everything. ("Oscar is still a monument to racism of Hollywood," March 27).

His particular slant on the Oscars is both amusing and tiresome to those who can see beyond simply black-white issues.

Tell me what group, race or gender has not been portrayed poorly in one film or another? In my opinion, none of us have fared particularly well in popular culture. And here I thought that "Dances With Wolves" was about one man's quest for real relationships, community and humanity.

I don't see that blacks have any particular proprietary knowledge or experience in this area. Silly me for not seeing the obvious inappropriateness of a white telling a story about a "people of color." And I thought giving an Oscar to the pig movie pretty weak, but I sure didn't see it as a plot against native Americans, women, men or white folks.

How does he justify his view that 10 percent of the American population should wield a disproportionate amount of political, social and economic power? Our democracy is purportedly based on majority rule, but Mr. Kane and others like him want special treatment at the expense of other minority groups and the majority.

It is clear to me the "monument" that Mr. Kane is committed to erecting is to minority interests wrestling political, social and economic power from the majority, to wield on behalf of a few power-hungry individuals. Considering the seemingly endless list of improprieties in Baltimore City government over the last several years, it doesn't appear to me that politicians of color are any less susceptible to corruption that white politicians. The issues and problems facing the world today are far more complicated than race. Black, white, red or yellow, we are all in the same social, political and economic boat and it is leaking badly.

Whether we like it or not, we will ultimately sink or swim together. We all suffer from wounds of the past, but our solutions must come from commitment to everyone winning -- not just one interest group at the expense of another. Our choice, Mr. Kane, is whether to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

D. Wade Wisner

Westminster

No comparing Dole and Clinton

One need look no further for evidence of the pervasive liberal bias of The Sun's editorial staff than the anti-Dole diatribe written TC by Theo Lippman ("What makes a hero?, March 1), in which he calls Sen. Bob Dole a "draft dodger."

Yes, Mr. Lippman, both Mr. Dole during World War II and Bill Clinton during the Vietnam War were young men who would have preferred to stay home rather than risk death on the battlefield. And yes, Mr. Dole would have preferred a noncombatant role, as would most men. The crucial difference is that Mr. Dole served, unlike Mr. Clinton, and sustained wounds that cause him pain to this day. What Mr. Dole did not do was lead protests against this country in a foreign land, or write of his "loathing" for its military.

Ironically, had Bill Clinton served in Vietnam, he would have most likely served a few years as an Army lawyer, as the Army was not sending Yale law graduates and Rhodes scholars into the jungles of southeast Asia. The fact that he chose not to do even this speaks volumes about his lack of character. By labeling a man who served in the military a draft dodger, Theo Lippman demonstrates that he has a similar affliction.

Michael J. Fossler Jr.

Westminster

Cherish every moment, says mom who survived

Your article, "Birth and Death: a mother's story," by Diana K. Sugg on Feb. 11 really hit home. I am a rare survivor of the cardiac condition, Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, sometimes known as Postpartum Cardiomyopathy. A heart dysfunction related to pregnancy, this condition affects one in every 15,000 to one in every 4,000 women depending on what study you read. But the mortality rate is around 50 percent.

My story began in the eighth month of pregnancy with my third child. I delivered him in a hospital that could handle high-risk moms with cardiac problems. It wasn't until several weeks after the birth when I continued to have symptoms that a series of extensive tests were done to determine what was wrong with me. Soon after, I was diagnosed with Peripartum Cardiomyopathy.

I tolerated my decreased heart function until the baby was four months old. It was then that I took a turn for the worse. After five days in intensive care, I was sent home with instructions for total rest, to last up to a year, along with taking two different types of cardiac medications.

I cried every morning my husband took the children to the sitters. I had to beg the doctor to let me have the baby at least half a day. I was afraid to go to sleep at night, wondering if I would wake up in the morning. I wondered if I would live to see my children grow up, to be there for their first days of school, field trips, first dates, proms, graduations, weddings and their children. I let myself wonder what life would be like for my family if I were gone. My children, ages 4, 3 and 4 months, were so young they would have no clear memory of me.

I felt guilty about everything. The burden I was on my husband; the fact that I couldn't be the kind of mother I wanted to be; that I was missing a part of my kids' childhoods; that people, some we didn't know, brought meals for weeks.

Somehow, I survived. I know that my being here today is a miracle. You never think that pregnancy, and with it the anticipation of new life, might mean the end of your own.

Diana Sugg did an excellent job conveying the raw emotions when a young mother dies and explaining the facts of that mother's death. My heart goes out to the family of Karen Moats. Nothing anyone can say or do can ease their pain. But perhaps the day-to-day life of raising the baby will. He certainly has a special guardian angel.

My children are 11, 10 and 7 now, and I treasure my memories of when they were little. I tell them everyday that I love them and will do so even when they are adults.

My survival taught me many things, but most of all that life is short, so make the most of every day. And enjoy every day you have with your children.

Patricia Holbert

Westminster

Pub Date: 4/07/96

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