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(Town Crier for October, 1999)
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by Ann Ferguson

Consider this contrast--in one neighborhood residents keep their grass cut, store their trash cans at the rear of their properties, and maintain their homes with pride. In this neighborhood, crime is a rare event. In another neighborhood, indoor furniture is set out on porches, disabled cars squat in driveways, and rain gutters flop, back and forth, against the peeling paint on the homes. This neighborhood puts out a welcome mat for criminals and they take the invitation because it is a comfortable environment for their drug dealing, assaults, and burglaries. Such conditions also invite a rodent population to move in.

The decay of a neighborhood does not occur overnight. It generally starts with one or two properties which start a downward slide. Unless local laws are enforced, the "slumming down" acts as a contagious diseases--table, decent owners feel threatened and move out. Usually followed by owners who are attracted to surroundings where property maintenance is a low priority.

Code Enforcement is the most effective remedy to maintain healthy, stable neighborhoods. The Town Code sets standards not intended to infringe on residents, but requiring that property owners meet minimum standards to avoid infringing on the rights of their neighbors, including protection of the public health.

The town's annual budget allocates funds for code enforcement personnel and expenses. I consider this money well spent to protect the investment we've made in our homes and to minimize criminal activity in our neighborhoods.

Madison Hill Playground Funded

Madison Hill, located off Good Luck Road, is the newest subdivision in the town. Three years ago, residents there brought their need for a playground to the Mayor and Council. A series of letters to the Department of Parks and Recreation of the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) and testimony at M-NCPPC budget hearings has been successful. The budget adopted for 1999-2000 includes a $70,000 allocation to install a playground.

The site has been selected and a conceptual design is scheduled to be ready for review in December. Construction should be underway next summer.

Y2K Compliance Plan Adopted

In accordance with state guidelines, the Mayor and Council have developed a contingency plan to handle problems which might arise from computer malfunctions as the calendar turns to the year 2000. Town compliance deadlines have been met in all known areas that would affect services to residents. The development of a contingency plan is considered a precaution to cover problems resulting from unforeseeable sources, including a weather emergency.

Farmers' Market Notes

The closing date for the 1999 Farmers' Market season will be Thursday, October 28. An average of 300 customers attend the market each week.

Watch The Town Crier in the spring for an announcement of the opening date of the 2000 market season.

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This page was last changed on Saturday, October 2, 1999. Questions, comments, or submissions? See the Website Committee web page. This page has been accessed 4024 times.