Yates accusations against Gullo baseless
Ordinarily, I make it a point never to stoop to the level of those who hurl wild, baseless accusations against me, and call my character into question.
As I learned long ago, even before entering politics, mudslinging benefits no one. It's like wrestling in the mud with a pig: You both get dirty, no matter who wins. Plus, the pig seems to enjoy it.
However reluctant, I feel compelled to respond to the outlandish allegations that Carroll County Commissioner Richard T. Yates leveled at me.
In claiming that I had reneged on my word not to allow the charter document to be released before July (so as to rule out the possibility of a special election), he not only tampered with the truth, but crushed it altogether.
If it needs to be said, at no time before or after my appointment to the charter board by Commissioner Donald I. Dell was I asked or pressured by anyone -- commissioners or other board members -- to enter such a pact.
I would suggest to Mr. Yates that he is aiming his poison-tipped arrows at the wrong target in attempting to fix blame for the newborn charter baby having been delivered on his desk in only nine months, as most babies are.
If he is so intent on finding a scapegoat, he should look to the former chairwoman, Carmen Amedori, who announced at a September meeting of the board her intentions to accelerate the process by holding weekly rather than biweekly meetings with an estimated completion date of Christmas.
Mr. Yates' feelings of betrayal confirm my belief that most of our suspicions of others are aroused by a conscious knowledge of ourselves.
If anyone has done any betraying, it is he who has betrayed the citizens of our county by erecting every possible roadblock to prevent the charter proposal from being brought before the voters in an orderly and timely manner, as dictated by the Maryland Constitution.
He has since the inception of the charter movement showed his total disdain for those citizens who petitioned for a vote on the issue.
It is apparent that he does not believe Abraham Lincoln's words, "Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better."
Throughout the charter-writing process, I did my duty with the best interests of the citizens of Carroll County foremost in my mind.
My obligation as a board member was not to sway under political pressure nor to hold my finger to the wind to judge the breezes of public opinion, but to write the best charter possible so that the people of Carroll County can decide what type of government under which we all will live.
Despite the time involved and personal attacks such as this, participating in the process of forming a new government has been one of my most personally rewarding experiences.
Jack A. Gullo Jr.
The writer is mayor of New Windsor.
Historic district panel has parochial view
In the March 15 letter "Main St. merchants should be responsible," Bill Hall, a Sykesville town councilman, sought to justify the rulings of the Sykesville Historic District Commission by claiming that the commission is operating under national rather than town standards.
This is not accurate.
The national guidelines have great flexibility. The Sykesville Historic District Commission has substituted its own narrow and parochial view as to what is permitted, much to the detriment of Sykesville.
I invite readers to review the Department of the Interior guidelines and compare those with the actual decisions of the Sykesville Historic District Commission.
The town of Sykesville held a meeting on Main Street revitalization Feb. 23. Before that meeting, Bruce Greenberg, acting coordinator of Citizens for a Better Sykesville, wrote the consultant sponsoring the meeting, asking to speak about the concept of revitalization.
At the meeting, the consultant asked for questions and comments from the public and Mr. Greenberg asked to speak to the issue of revitalization. He was planning to say that the proposed plans of the consultants, although laudable, did not deal with the major issue in revitalization, deteriorating buildings on Main Street.
The mayor and Town Council voted 4-2 not to let him speak.
It is evident that the council is unwilling to deal with revitalization of Sykesville and even goes so far as to publicly silence voices with which it disagrees.
The town government has turned down a request by Citizens for a Better Sykesville to explain its position in the town's newsletter.
Mr. Hall claims that the prob- lem in revitalizing Sykesville is the lack of responsibility of certain property owners. Mr. Hall, fortunately, lives in a house with brick and low-maintenance siding. Mr. Hall's house is outside of the historic district. Therefore, it is not subject to the limitations imposed by the commission.
Citizens for a Better Sykesville proposes that property owners in the historic district be given flexibility in maintaining their properties.
Maintaining old wooden structures is very expensive. To keep properties looking fresh and attractive requires painting on a three-year cycle.
To make this level of maintenance financially feasible, a number of property owners are willing to maintain the original front facades and ask permission to use vinyl siding on the other sides.
The Historic District Commission meets Tuesday to consider these proposals from eight property owners.
When I was a councilman, I was asked by a fellow councilman to vote for the historic district. He said it would make the town better.
Instead, it has made the people bitter.
The writer is a former president of the Sykesville Town Council.
Pub Date: 3/22/98