One for the ‘Hall of Shame’

Frederick News Post
Rev. Dr. John R. Deckenback
06/09/2012
I am embarrassed by the priorities and values expressed through the budget affirmed by the Frederick County Commissioners on Thursday. Government, on behalf of the community, has a responsibility to care for its neediest. The budget decisions pronounced Thursday regarding financial support for nonprofit-based social services appear to neglect this responsibility for the whole community's well-being. The prospect of small rebate checks to property owners only compounds this denigration of our community. This is not simply something for the Hall of Shame and an embarrassment to a community I call home, but a dereliction of responsibility.

One for the 'Hall of Shame'

Frederick News Post
Rev. Dr. John R. Deckenback
06/09/2012
I am embarrassed by the priorities and values expressed through the budget affirmed by the Frederick County Commissioners on Thursday. Government, on behalf of the community, has a responsibility to care for its neediest. The budget decisions pronounced Thursday regarding financial support for nonprofit-based social services appear to neglect this responsibility for the whole community's well-being. The prospect of small rebate checks to property owners only compounds this denigration of our community. This is not simply something for the Hall of Shame and an embarrassment to a community I call home, but a dereliction of responsibility.

Thinking all about me

Frederick News Post
Jan Daffern
05/20/2012
I am a pastor and a mental health professional, but I am writing as a taxpayer. When I heard that the Board of County Commissioners had voted to send property owners a $100 refund, my response was, "I want all of my money back." Our commissioners tell us regularly that we are abused as taxpayers, and I am starting to believe that message. Maybe this citizenship business really is all about me. I believe a lot of people agree with me and long to be liberated from the burden of supporting programs and services we don't understand, don't personally choose and don't use. How could I have missed this point for so long? As citizens of Frederick County, we should be trusted to put our fair share into the specific projects we are passionate about. For me, they are public education, services for the vulnerable, children, the physically and mentally disabled, the elderly and the poor. I want more than a percentage of my tax dollars going to these programs; I want all of my tax dollars going to them and I want to write the checks myself. When I say public education, remember it is all about me, so I mean Frederick and Linganore high schools and their feeder schools -- because that's where my kids went. The rest of Frederick County citizens can take care of their own kids. My family had great teachers who are truly deserving of my money.

Young’s double standard

Frederick News Post
Jan Samet O'Leary
05/18/2012
Commissioners President Blaine Young contradicts his own argument in his May 11 commentary regarding the cuts in grants to certain Frederick County nonprofits. He says that "if a nonprofit provides a service that otherwise would be a part of the traditional range of services ... then I believe an appropriate level of government funding is appropriate ..." He then adduces the 10-plus percent of the non-Board of Education budget that is directed toward "grants-in-aid" programs, which he calls "community support," and lists a number of programs that receive such aid. Evidently these fall within his notion of "traditional" services; otherwise, why suggest that support for them is acceptable? I fail to see how the missions and services of the organizations whose grants have been cut, and are in peril of being reduced to zero next year, differ in any meaningful way from the agencies that continue to receive county support. Is the work of the Mental Health Association, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Heartly House, the Alzheimer's Association, the ARC of Frederick County, Advocates for Homeless Families, and the American Red Cross (just a few of the organizations to be cut) so different from that of the Child Advocacy Center, the Scott Key Center, our county senior centers, the Office for Children and Families, the Housing Department, and others that Young favors? C'mon, Blaine, you can't have it both ways.

Young's double standard

Frederick News Post
Jan Samet O'Leary
05/18/2012
Commissioners President Blaine Young contradicts his own argument in his May 11 commentary regarding the cuts in grants to certain Frederick County nonprofits. He says that "if a nonprofit provides a service that otherwise would be a part of the traditional range of services ... then I believe an appropriate level of government funding is appropriate ..." He then adduces the 10-plus percent of the non-Board of Education budget that is directed toward "grants-in-aid" programs, which he calls "community support," and lists a number of programs that receive such aid. Evidently these fall within his notion of "traditional" services; otherwise, why suggest that support for them is acceptable? I fail to see how the missions and services of the organizations whose grants have been cut, and are in peril of being reduced to zero next year, differ in any meaningful way from the agencies that continue to receive county support. Is the work of the Mental Health Association, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Heartly House, the Alzheimer's Association, the ARC of Frederick County, Advocates for Homeless Families, and the American Red Cross (just a few of the organizations to be cut) so different from that of the Child Advocacy Center, the Scott Key Center, our county senior centers, the Office for Children and Families, the Housing Department, and others that Young favors? C'mon, Blaine, you can't have it both ways.