From the Desk of The Publisher:
WE GET LETTERS!!! Two Republican candidates for the Board of Aldermen of the City of Frederick weigh in on the annexation votes taken last week. And due to technical difficulties, it will be posted in this manner! Please ignore the byline and look at the end of the letter for the contributors.
Caution wasn’t the byword…
The midnight vote last Thursday by the Board of Aldermen to move forward with the Crum and Thatcher annexations begs the question: Why the rush?
We attended this meeting as both candidates for the Board of Aldermen, but more importantly, as concerned citizens. We live in Worman’s Mill and Dearbought, respectively, and travel the stretch of U.S. 15 that will be impacted the most by development on this annexed property.
We understand the concerns of our fellow citizens. As candidates, we recognize the problems that increased traffic will cause to this roadway and we understand that city government’s responsibility is to provide public works and public safety. The existing infrastructure is not adequate and we must ensure that the developer fulfill the promise to complete a full interchange at Biggs Ford Road.
The language in the current agreement, in our opinions, is not specific enough to be enforceable by future administrations. Has the current board set up the next administration, and our city, for failure?
Commissioner (Jan) Gardner, on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, expressed several concerns about schools, sewer availability and road adequacy. The county commissioners enlisted the assistance of the Maryland Department of Planning, who also sent a representative to Thursday’s meeting. While all made comments “on the record,” their concerns and the concerns of residents were dismissed in an effort to hurry up and move forward with these annexations at any cost.
The traffic and safety concerns can not be dismissed. Earlier this week, a nearly fatal accident occurred at Hayward Road and U.S. 15. Unfortunately, there have been fatal accidents at this intersection and there are likely to be more as usage of this roadway increases. The problem we foresee is that, like the Monocacy Boulevard agreement, deals like this change. Will our city's taxpayers end up footing a multi-million dollar bill to put in an adequate overpass? We hope not. Additionally, how many accidents will have to occur before we get this right?
While we are both in favor of positive growth for our city, job creation and new development, we believe that all growth needs to be examined with care and prudence. We ask again: Why the rush? Why were legitimate public safety and public works questions dismissed in an effort to pass a “yes” or “no” vote? Is this really in the best interest of the citizens of Frederick and our future?
We firmly believe the two projects have great potential to be a strong benefit to the people of Frederick. However, to put these projects to a vote without thoroughly examining all the problems that come with the expansions shows a level of recklessness and disregard for the public safety of our residents that our city can do without.
George Bauer and Amanda Haddaway
Republican Candidates for City of Frederick Board of Aldermen