The Baltimore Sun

Whatever happened to 'Choose Civility'?

It seems to me that the more than 9,300 county residents who signed the CB-58 referendum used this vehicle in hopes of improving our zoning process. The public now reads in The Baltimore Sun ("Turf Valley Development Petition Fuels Resistance," Feb. 8) the plaintiff's allegation that the solicitors of this democratic process cheated. Whatever happened to the theme "Choose Civility" in Howard County?

Perhaps the citizens who signed the petition believe it's time for a change and to hopefully bring transparency and public confidence in our county government.

Stuart M. Kohn , Laurel

Everybody wins when the process is open

Public hearings are a very important part of our legislative process. Bills are introduced for passage and the public has an opportunity to present testimony, pro or con, for the legislators to consider before voting on those bills.

Last Wednesday's legislative hearing hosted by the Howard County delegation was very well-attended. People turned out to testify for and against two county bills (12-09, Ethics Law Amendment, and 13-09 Grading and Sediment Control Pond Authority) scheduled for the hearing. But even more importantly, about 50 people (mostly Republican Club members) were there to offer their concerns about several statewide bills, including speed cameras, driver's licenses for illegal aliens, tax and fee increases, the death penalty and the state budget.

Everyone was well-prepared. They did their homework and presented their reasons for their opposition respectfully and intelligently, backed up with statistics and case studies.

I applaud the state legislators for scheduling a local hearing for county residents to have an opportunity to be heard, and I congratulate the people who came to testify and to those who came to lend moral support for a job well done.

Everybody wins when the process is open and both sides have a voice.

John Wafer, Ellicott City

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