Congratulations on the excellent piece by May Gail Hare on the new regime in Carroll County government ("Carroll commissioners break with past on growth, housing, transit," June 23). Let me point out a few things that may not be obvious to those who do not live in Carroll:
First: No matter what the office, the Republican candidate wins in the general election. Thus the real election is the Republican primary. The Democratic Party plays the role of the Washington Generals againsttheHarlem Globetrotters.
Second: There are two wings to the Carroll County Republican Party, the Slow Growth wing (e.g., Julia Gouge, Dean Minnich, Perry Jones) and the Pro-Growth wing (e.g., Richard Rothschild, Robin Frazier and most of the legislative delegation).
Third: Issues such as public transportation and low income housing are not even on the agenda. No politician of consequence favors these initiatives. They are red herrings.
Fourth: Since the election in 2002 of the Slow Growth wing, the opposing Pro-Growth wing has plotted to take control of the board of commissioners back. They succeeded when the five commissioner scheme and a gerrymandered district map were adopted. Many residents were dismayed when they discovered that election by district reduced their say in county government. Now they vote for only one fifth of the board. And voices of reason like Haven Shoemaker (present board member) and Julia Gouge (former board president) can not serve together. They are in the same district.
Fifth: When the Pro-Growthers say they want more local control, they are not telling the truth. A county executive form of government like most nearby counties would have transferred power from the legislative delegation to local officials. The Pro-Growthers campaigned against it. A more modest proposal to adopt "home rule" would have had a similar transfer of power from the legislative delegation to local officials. The Pro-Growthers campaigned against it.
Sixth: Residential housing adds more burdens to the school system and does not pay enough in taxes to compensate. Hence limitation of residential growth and encouragement of industrial growth is the path to lower taxes.
Seventh: If residential building is limited, then the value of existing housing in the county is enhanced. This would help those whose houses are now "under water."
Again congratulations to reporter Mary Gale Hare on her well researched piece. I only wish to fill in a few blank spots in the narrative.
John Culleton, Eldersburg