A hole in logic on 'watering holes'
It seems like common sense should prevail here, but after reading Sheridan Lyons' article Feb. 7, "They're in search of a watering hole," many questions come to mind.
The most perplexing is: If Carroll County and Hampstead have such a problem with water and sewerage (not to mention schools and roads), why do they continue to allow developers to build more houses and develop the surrounding area?
Gouge's unwise turtle attack
Maybe Carroll County is losing its appeal.
Farms are falling under the developers' bulldozers, forests and wetlands are having their borders nibbled away, and wildlife are losing their homes.
While all of this is going on, county Commissioner Julia Gouge is cheering on the demise of a threatened species, the bog turtle, in favor of an expeditious solution to Hampstead's traffic problems, according to The Sun Jan. 14.
Mrs. Gouge was quoted as joking about bog turtles bringing a high price on the black market and that someone might take them away and make soup out of them.
If this is a joke, I'm not laughing.
As humans and wildlife continue to compete for space, more conflicts are bound to arise. How we handle them will determine the type of society we become.
I'm counting on my elected officials to make wise decisions that accommodate wildlife species and habitats.
These elements of open space are what I find attractive about Carroll County.
If protecting our wildlife isn't important in Carroll County, perhaps this is no place to live.
It is time for Ms. Gouge to begin more constructive leadership.
It is wrong to suggest that threatened wildlife must go when their presence makes it inconvenient for human "progress."
Patricia L. Perkins
Ambulance billing is not a 'disgrace'
I am writing in regard to a letter in The Sun on Feb. 9 that said emergency medical services billing was a "disgrace."
As a Carroll County volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician, I must say that billing is not a "disgrace," but the best solution for the situation.
The Carroll County commisioners made the decision to implement county-wide ambulance billing last year.
This was done to ensure that the fire department would receive adequate funding.
Since Carroll residents do not pay a fire tax, as Baltimore countians do, there was not much money to go to the fire departments.
Nearly every department in Carroll now has part-time paid personnel to provide EMS needs during the day, as the number of volunteers has declined over the years.
This is not free and the county does not pay the cost.
Residents of the northwest corner of Baltimore County, such as Boring and Arcadia, do not have an ambulance in their areas. The closest ambulances come from Carroll County.
Moreover, individuals are not billed, insurance companies are.
If one does not have medical insurance, he will not have collection agencies calling.
Also, Emergency Medical Services are always provided and never hindered for financial reasons, unless Baltimore County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger does not allow billing ambulances to respond to his areas.
Brian J. Eagle
Sykesville should OK annexation Wednesday
Citizens of Sykesville are faced with a once-in-a-century opportunity. Wednesday, Sykesville citizens decide whether the town will annex the Warfield Complex. As mayor, I believe annexation is critical for two very important reasons: control and income.
To the south, Sykesville is nestled along the banks of the Patapsco River. To the north, however, a sprawling and uncontrolled Eldersburg edges ever closer to our town.
The Warfield Complex is one of the remaining few large parcels of land between Eldersburg and Sykesville. By annexing the Warfield Complex, we can control and regulate how it is developed.
Annexation gives the town of Sykesville exclusive planning and zoning authority. If we do not annex the Warfield Complex, when it is developed, and it most certainly will be, the county, state or some other entity will decide who develops it, how and what moves in there. We will have no power or authority to stop it unless we annex the complex.
Control over our destiny was a core reason why Sykesville incorporated almost 100 years ago.
Ask frustrated Eldersburg residents how difficult it is for their voice to be heard. Ask Eldersburg residents who live near the proposed Promenade Mall or along Route 26 about the importance of local land-use control.
The second reason to vote "yes" on annexation is income. The Town Council has made the town's financial health its highest priority. As a result, we have been able to lower taxes four of the last five years. The one year we didn't, the rate remained the same.
By annexing the Warfield Complex, overseeing its development and encouraging complementary uses there, we can stabilize our tax base. That is crucial to our being able to confidently make future investments in our parks, roads, police department and other high-quality services.
Change can be difficult. Annexation will create some change in our town. Not annexing the Warfield Complex will also cause change. I invite all citizens of Sykesville to join with the Town Council in taking control of our future. Let us decide how we will grow. Let us decide how we want Sykesville to look in the future. A vote for annexation is a vote for "hands on" control of Sykesville's future.
Jonathan S. Herman
The writer is mayor of Sykesville.
Pub Date: 2/14/99