Update June 11th: See also Blue Ridge Forum where investigative blogger Richard Falknor tells us about two other counties, in addition to Washington, where the Republican pols have gone wild with spending.
Public meeting scheduled for June 21st in Boonsboro on the biking trail!
They don’t seem to understand that taxpayers can’t afford boondoggles in this day and age—first they are pushing a grandiose sport stadium plan for downtown Hagerstown and they are serious about a 23-mile biking trail for recreational fun, fun, fun by resurrecting the long-dead plan for a Weverton to Roxbury hiking/biking trail that landowners thought they killed 20 years ago. [Oops! Correction! It is even more ambitious—not just from the prison at Roxbury, but all the way from Hagerstown to Weverton!]
I wrote a post when the biking trail first reared its ugly head in January. I truly thought the idea was so ridiculous in light of every Maryland counties’ budget woes—Washington County is already under water with pension liabilities, just wait until the pension bills O’Malley has foisted on counties comes due—that they couldn’t be serious.
What is happening here is precisely what Tea Party activists nationwide have warned—electing Republicans does not always guarantee government will be fiscally responsible. We must be ever watchful, and be ready to ‘primary’ any Republicans who go wild with taxpayers money (or take citizens’ property rights) as we see happening in Washington County right now!
*Note to Tea Partiers everywhere—you have to pick some political battles and win them! You have to bore in and do the hard work to defeat some lavish spending projects or some liberal legislative initiative and not just be a gadfly or gnat buzzing about and saying “tsk, tsk!” to this and “tsk, tsk!” to that, if you want to have political power that elected officials fear. Del. Neil Parrott (R-Wash.) gets that.
Enough shouting! Here is the press release that I can’t believe a Republican County Commission sent out on May 16th. No one saw it until very recently—who did they send it to? The Herald Mail hasn’t mentioned it that I know of (if you saw this release in the Herald Mail in May please send the link). Incidentally, affected landowners did not receive notice of the June 21st meeting until after the press announcement was made.
And, they are calling it the ‘Civil War Railroad Trail’ because they think if they call it anything to do with the Civil War everyone will swoon and dare not oppose it.
Hagerstown, MD (May 16, 2012) – For the past several months, Washington County has partnered with the City of Hagerstown and the Hagerstown Bike Advisory Committee on the planning stages of the proposed Civil War Railroad Trail project that will connect Hagerstown to Weaverton, in the Southern portion of the County. A public information meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the Boonsboro Volunteer Fire Company, located at 6 St. Paul Street in Boonsboro, Maryland.
Is it the government’s job to create healthy life styles using other peoples’ money? And, what on earth are bikers going to spend money on—they will put a bike on their car, drive to the trail, eat their bagged lunch and go home to DC.
The public is invited to attend to learn more about the potential project and offer comments. The proposed plan would encompass 23.4 miles along the former Baltimore & Ohio Railroad bed, which is now owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The trail is expected to create healthy lifestyle opportunities, tourism, and economic development for County citizens, passing nearly 14 federal, state, and local parks, and providing easy access to several municipalities. See the Promoting HealthyLifestyles and Economic Development subsection of this release for more information.
So where is the money coming from? They don’t even know! But, you can be sure the landowners will pay dearly with their loss of privacy, security and property values. The Big Spender Republican press release goes on:
Potential Funding Sources/Invited Partners
The project is currently estimated to cost $16.4 million and the following partners could contribute funding:
• Private, non-profit entities [THERE WILL BE NONE!]
• Washington County and cooperating Municipalities [TAXPAYERS!]
• State of Maryland, Maryland Department of Transportation, and Maryland Department of Natural
• U.S. Government, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of the Interior [
And, get this, the Commissioners tout in this press release that they have received many letters and e-mails in support of the project—why? Because they have kept this whole process under wraps and only those biking political activists and some insiders/cronies knew this boondoggle was proceeding!
To date, the County has received over 45 letters and emails of support and less than five letters and emails in opposition of the Civil War Railroad Trail project….
If you are opposed to this wasteful government spending project and assault on property rights, here is where you voice your opinion (along with attending the June 21st meeting):
To voice your opinion about the proposed Civil War Railroad Trail to Washington County Government, please send an email to CivilWarRailTrail@yahoo.com. If you would rather write a letter, please address it to 100 West Washington Street, Room 226, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740.
And, it sure looks like the first on the list for any serious Republican to ‘primary’ next time around is the faux Republican Commissioner Ruth Ann Callaham. Truth be told, we would have been much better off with Democrat Kristan Aleshire on the County Commission, a public servant who watched out for taxpayers’ dollars better than most Republicans do!
Here is what I said about Aleshire in November 2010:
For readers outside of Washington County, Kristin Aleshire was the only Democrat running for his seat on the Board of County Commissioners. He was considered a careful, quiet, dedicated public servant famous for studying the budget line by line and questioning expenditures like a good Republican should do. It was then a shock to all of us Tea Party-minded people who voted for Aleshire to see that he lost his seat and that some Republicans had orchestrated a highly questionable robocall the day before the election.
Update! Washington County Commissioners cut funding for school nurses but have time and money to talk about biking trails for yuppies! Go figure!