Taxpayers' money belongs to them

Regarding use of the Harford County budget surplus: County Executive James Harkins and County Council President Robert Wagner are salivating about how to spend next year's projected budget surplus. Included in Mr. Harkins' "spending plan" is a laughable two-cent reduction in the property tax rate which the County Council reduced to a more-laughable one cent!

The fact is that if there is a surplus of funds collected from hardworking taxpayers, then that money belongs to the taxpayers and should ALL be returned to them.

The mindset of the Harford County government seems to be to spend whatever they can get their hands on, regardless of already bloated budgets and a burgeoning bureaucracy. As a resident of Havre de Grace, I see very little benefit to the County Government and from my point-of-view, I could get along just fine without it!

Edward F. Colburn

Havre de Grace

Gratitude for efforts to upgrade school

The Bel Air High School PTSA would like to express our appreciation to the members of the County Council who recently approved funding to begin the modernization of Bel Air High School. Specifically, we would like to thank Councilman Robert Cassilly and Councilman Richard Slutsky for their leadership, along with Councilwoman Veronica Chenowith and Councilman Dion Guthrie, who voted in favor of the measure. We would also like to thank the County Executive for his support and cooperation.

The Bel Air High School PTSA has been a strong advocate for this modernization. As incoming president, I would especially like to thank our members, both past and present, who worked tirelessly to document the need for this project. Their efforts are their legacy to Bel Air High School.

Adequate school facilities are vital to education, not just in Bel Air, but everywhere. Looking to the future, the Bel Air High School PTSA encourages our elected representatives to build upon this progress. We urge them to fund the modernization of all schools in need, so that every public school building in Harford County supports the education of every child.

Cindy Mumby

Bel Air

The writer is president-elect of the Bel Air High School PTSA.

An error noted, a project regretted

Unfortunately, the plant covered in your article ["Suspended ceiling plant opens in county"] is not in Aberdeen but in Perryman, Md. Aberdeen and Perryman are neither the same nor interchangeable. As an example: Aberdeen is the one with a police force.

After the residents of Perryman survived the prolonged, ungodly, never-ending demolition of the previous structures on the site, the around-the-clock delivery of materials, parade of trucks, constant clouds of dust and dirt circling the area like buzzards (apropos), the construction phase began. Following the pattern set by other plants and warehouses built in Perryman, it too failed to rise with any consideration or benefit to the community. Just same ole', same ole' -- although there appears to be a pride from some source that it's the "biggest in the world." That's such a consolation to us all.

When history repeats itself, and it will, all of these cloned concrete eyesores that have inundated Perryman (no matter how much token shrubbery or promise of trees may occur -- that painted stripe around one building to break the monotony perhaps? -- expensive signs) will be obsolete and deserted; lease and/or sale signs yellowed and long-ignored. (As a homeowner with family roots deep in Perryman, I raise my cup, pray I'm right.)

There was a time when if you stated you lived in Perryman, your home was envisioned as snuggled somewhere in the labyrinth of Mitchell's shoe peg cornfields; pastoral, not industrial. Not today.

Thank you.

(Mrs.) Billie Wells Keller


We want your opinions

ISSUE: Next Sunday is Father's Day, a holiday said to have originated in 1909 as the idea of Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., whose father, a Civil War veteran, raised her and her five siblings after their mother died in childbirth. She is said to have had the idea in 1909 while listening to a sermon on Mother's Day, which at the time was becoming established as a holiday.

Local religious leaders supported the idea, and the first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, the month of the birthday of Dodd's father. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge gave his support to the observance, and in 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson officially proclaimed it a national holiday. Observance on the third Sunday of June was legally established in 1972.

QUESTION: As Father's Day 2005 approaches, what traits do you think are important for the modern father? Is there anything - past or present - about your dad that exemplifies fatherhood at its best?

YOUR VIEW: Tell us what you think. Send e-mail responses by Thursday to harford.speakout@baltsun.com. A selection of responses will be published June 19. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

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