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May 10, 2005

There Must Be Something in the Water at City Hall these Days!

by Diana Halleman

First we have Joe Baldi announcing a run for Mayor in his boxing gloves, then we have soon-to-be former Alderman Dave Lenhart presenting his “slash and burn” budget proposals.  Are we to accept that either of these folks are believable in their actions? 

First, let’s talk about Alderman Baldi’s plan to run for Mayor.  For someone who promotes himself as a peacemaker, showing up in boxing gloves with the music from “Rocky” playing in the background was ludicrous.  What is more ridiculous than that, after telling the voters present at the January 20th Board of Aldermen meeting that their opinions were not important –now he wants the support of those very same voters for his candidacy.  Does he really believe the citizens of Frederick won’t remember his arrogance?  I give the citizens of this fair city much more credit than that and don’t believe they will be fooled by his ploys or empty promises.

As for Alderman Lenhart – what was he doing months ago when the budget was first discussed and input was requested from the Aldermen?  Why suddenly has he had this great revelation on how to solve the budget crisis?  His move to haphazardly slash the budget makes it all the more obvious that the time is now for him to plan on resigning and going with his family out of state in time to ready the kids for school.  His continued presence on the Board of Alderman, to my way of thinking, continues to add to the dissension and acrimony in City Hall.  Dave, don’t do us any favors by finishing out your term – go fishing, we’d all benefit more from that action.

Most people, I believe, want to leave a positive legacy when they leave public office, but it would appear that this hasn’t crossed Alderman Lenhart’s mind of late.  His recent actions scream out that he wants to be heard and make his points, even they are negative, and do the city much more harm than good.  It’s like the little child who has been told the rules time and again and then disregards them anyway by rebelling in the most obvious way to try to prove his point, even if it costs him.

With regard to his proposed 1 cent tax cut.  How misinformed and short-sighted can one be to consider cutting taxes in these tough economic times?  In promoting this, he only creates a scenario where the next administration will most likely need to increase taxes or fees to keep city operations functioning efficiently.  Vacillating between tax cuts and increases only creates frustration and confusion within the citizenry.  As far as I’m concerned it is one more partisan political move tinged by personal feelings and resentments about perceived slights and problems at City Hall.

As one concerned citizen, I suggest that Alderman Baldi hang up his boxing gloves and reconsider his approach to dealing with the voters of Frederick.  It’ll garner him more votes in the long run.  He’ll need them.

As for Alderman Lenhart, I truly believe that the sooner he departs from Frederick, the better off the city and its citizens will be.  I appreciate the good things he accomplished early in his term and the hard work he put in, but feel that his recent actions with regard to his budget proposals, his refusal to listen to citizen input on charter changes and his blatant disregard for civility and understanding at City Hall negate whatever good he might have done in the past.   His lasting legacy to our city will be one of which no one could take pride in.

Take my advice Dave, go fishing and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.  Bon voyage and good luck on your journey south.  And please, Joe and Dave,  do us all a favor and stay away from the water at City Hall!

And Excessive Ozone in the Air in Buckeystown!  or,

Mr. Bartlett to Bed!

by Jack Lynch

There is fresh evidence that excessive ozone releases from power plants at Dickerson and Buckeystown may be dangerous to the mental functioning of citizens in those areas, given the recent posturing of Congressman Bartlett in the wee hours of the morning, speaking to the nearly empty seats of the Capitol.  Or is that smoke really evidence of a new Unification church pontification?

We suggest that we'd all be better off if Mr. Bartlett went to bed early, and as old Ben said, was made wise by it.

Using analysis from the 1950's and a bell curve chart, and ignoring the various shifts of market and development and research and technology since, he declares that we are at the 'end of oil.'

And it's front page news at the FNP!

I could make much the same case for the end of oxygen.  We have more people on Earth using it, and the greenhouse effect is loading CO2 in the air, and pollutants are defiling the air too, and the oceans are absorbing less carbon.  We are running out of oxygen!

But we err, Mr. Bartlett is a scientist, one of three in the Congress he likes to say, and he probably absolutely believes in his cause, unless of course he's making pretty to some lobby or supporters.

If he is serious and his cause just, then let him build a consensus, or at least get prime Congressional floor time for his speech, when someone is listening, and can either agree, or challenge him and his claims.

Of course, a production peak of oil is important, but then, how difficult is it really for us all to reduce consumption?  Maybe drive less, drive slower!  Then promote solar to replace fossil fuels, develop more hybrid technology and hydrogen based fueling?  Build communities for walk-ability and neighborhood services?

And price increases do warrant changes, they already have recently.  Dear Republicans, don't forget your own words, the market does work, let it.

"Dear Chicken Little, we read your recent letter with great concern, but find you failed to convince us that the sky was indeed falling."

What is next?  A proposal for a nuclear power plant in Frederick County?  We're perfect for it, a vast growing region with immense electrical needs, and vital governmental and national communications infrastructure to support, and near the Potomac for that all important cooling water.

By the way, aren't we still studying the long term radiation effects on diary cows and their milk after the Three Mile Island minor release of over twenty-five years ago? 

The last one out of Congress please turn out the lights!  It costs a lot of money to keep this place open.