Dell and Frazier wronged state and county
As a resident of Carroll County, I am appalled by the statement of commissioners Donald I. Dell and Robin Bartlett Frazier that "the state should stay out of local zoning issues" as reported in The Sun Aug. 27 ("Rejecting state concerns, Carroll rezoned farmland").
First, it was Mr. Dell who championed, "keep it country." Since he no longer believes in that, he should resign immediately. Carroll County can do better without a leader who doesn't practice what he preaches.
Second, Mr. Dell and Ms. Frazier need to apologize to Gov. Parris N. Glendening and the citizens of Maryland for such an attitude. The effects of a botched local zoning decision could spill into the surrounding counties and require state intervention to solve the problems.
Third, Ms. Frazier should resign as commissioner. Carroll County can do better in charting its future without her as well.
Daniel E. Withey, Sykesville
Board shouldn't dismiss complaint
The Carroll County school board should take seriously the anonymous letter in which the author pleads to the board to help improve employee morale ("School board OKs capital budget fund," Aug. 25).
Part of the problem with education is that those who work most closely with students have too little say in how schools are run. The board should reverse its policy of ignoring anonymous letters and instead accept such letters addressed to: Suggestion Box, c/o Carroll County public schools.
School board member Ann Ballard should retract her comment that she does not want to hear from anyone who does not "have enough backbone" to use his or her name.
In fact, such a comment from someone in a high position shows that she is out of touch with those who are doing the work. All the more reason to take the letter seriously.
Kristine Lockwood, Westminster
Restoring phone service was an ordeal
On Aug. 18 at about 6: 45 a.m. an accident occurred on the highway in front of our home. Two utility poles and their wires were taken down.
Thank goodness no one was injured. We lost electric and phone service, some appliances due to a power surge and our mailbox. Two of our neighbors also lost phone service. The electric service was restored in good order. I was told by the phone company that they would be out that day.
Our neighbor called Bell Atlantic and demanded that their phone service be restored. A repairman came and did just that in the early evening. I asked him if he was going to get my service back and was told "no."
He had no repair order for me. He also had no order for the second neighbor but she called and demanded service and they sent a second truck and restored her service. They did nothing for me. Maybe because I asked but did not demand. Look at the time and hassle they could have saved by not having to send someone on a special trip to me.
Thursday morning, I again contacted Bell Atlantic and was told that it did not have us in its computer system. We did not exist. We have lived in this house for 36 years and been a Bell Atlantic customer all that time. We receive a bill each month but we do not exist? Amazing.
They had to write out all my information (name, address, phone number) and said the earliest they could get here was Friday, the next day.
I explained that my wife and I are not young and we do have some potentially serious health problems; Bell Atlantic was not interested in this information.
Friday morning, I called and was told again that we did not exist. We were not in the system. They had no record of us or our problem. I had to once again dictate my name, address and phone number.
This time, I was permitted to speak to a supervisor and explained everything again. He told me that the earliest they could get out was Saturday.
I called again later on Friday and was referred to an advocacy group. They said that they would try to get my service on Friday. But even if they do, isn't this a tremendous amount of unnecessary confusion?
It's too bad that we are so dependent on telephones and that there is only one company from which to get this service.
Our electric service was restored in 6 to 7 hours. Phone service finally was restored in excess of 56 hours. Thanks, BGE. Shame on Bell Atlantic.
Thomas W. Tulley, Westminster
What I should have written on my building
I read with amusement recent articles about the sale of my building on Main Street ("Wantz Building sold for $530,000," July 20). Perhaps in addition to painting "Westminster Gov't. Unfair" on my building, I should have written, "Westminster Government is Wasting Your Tax Dollars."
My experience with the Westminster government began in 1981. Then, the brilliant town fathers, in the interest of reviving the downtown, were sold a bill of goods by developers who proposed the restoration of the Winchester Exchange Building. The project was located next to my building.
In order to please the developers, the city of Westminster required demolition of a body shop on my property, took 25 parking spaces from my property and forced me to lease part of my property to the developer. I was promised a parking garage and lease payments. I received neither.
Predictably, when the government largess ran out, the developer filed for bankruptcy, leaving me with a leaky roof, an elevator that didn't work and more than $100,000 in unpaid rent. Westminster was left with an embarrassment in the middle of town.
Did the government see the error of its ways? No, it found a new savior in the Max brothers, who bought the project from the bank, which was stuck with the project.
The Max brothers wanted to use my property without paying the back rent run up by Sherwood Square. I said "no." The Max brothers were not happy. Since they weren't happy, Westminster wasn't happy with me. Also, the fire marshal wasn't happy with me. The building inspector wasn't happy with me.
I received citations from the fire marshal. The Max brothers sued me. I didn't back down. I had my day in court and when it came to putting up their own money, not taxpayers', the Max brothers backed down. They were no longer able to use my property and had to build a fire escape of their own.
Throughout my adventures with Westminster, I complained that the Max brothers were given preferential treatment by the city.
I sold my building and left Westminster. The purchaser of my building is being given grants and low-interest money to rehabilitate my building -- money I could not get.
I hope for the sake of the taxpayers of Westminster, he does a better job of spending your tax dollars than the developers of the Winchester Exchange building.
I am sure many in the government will be happy not to see my face at meetings, asking questions which make them uncomfortable. I met and got to know many good people in Westminster, even some in the government. I will miss them. Good luck and keep your eyes open.
David Fairbank, Westminster
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