Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Skating on thin ice...

I attended a meeting at the Hagerstown Town Hall last night, mostly out of curiosity. A group of parents and children, along with the local Optimist club, are trying to figure out a way to build a skateboard park in Hagerstown. I have to admit I've never understood the attraction of skateboarding, but then there a lot of things I don't understand, and I certainly have no problem with somebody enjoying something that I don't understand, and neither do I have a problem with them wanting to have a place to practice that enjoyment.

I do, however, have a problem with some of the opinions expressed at that meeting. The person running the meeting is one of the leaders of the Republican Party in Wayne County. He has already announced that he will seek the nomination for County Commissioner in 2008. He stated at the meeting that it was the responsibility of the taxpayers and the government to provide and maintain a park for people that wanted to ride skateboards.

This is the same Republican that is such a staunch defender of forced annexations, the Economic Development Income Tax and the Economic Development Commission.

I think I've figured out why there are so few Democrats in Hagerstown and Wayne County. They're just not needed anymore


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I read your comments about the skateboard mtg.

I do not expect the taxpayers to fund a skateboard park, that's why we are raising the money ourselves.

I have not announced that I will run for any public office.

I did not support the EDC when the former president played games with the truth. In fact, I resigned from that board, & you know it.

When your desire to get elected causes you to strech or spin the truth, then you have become the very polititian that you so often complain about.

Denny Burns
Hagerstown resident &
holder of no elected office

7:55 PM  
Blogger Rex Bell said...

Hi Denny,
Don't forget that I was at the skateboard meeting where you made the the statement about the government's responsibility to provide and maintain this park. That is taxpayer money.

I was also present with several others when you stated that you would run against Mary Heyob in 2008.

And the fact that you disagreed with a past president of the EDC hardly qualifies as disagreeing with the concept of forced re-distribution.

That's not spin. That's just fact.

Thanks for the input, though.

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you list your public community service record that you have given to Hagerstown and Wayne County for the past 54 years compared to Denny Burns. I think the public should see what you have done for The community and county as far as free service. It would be interesting to see your resume' compared to Denny Burns. Just a suggestion.
Everett Hampton

5:41 AM  
Blogger Rex Bell said...

Hi Everett,
Thanks for the input.

First, let me thank you for bringing up the point at the meeting that we shouldn't expect the taxpayers to fund this park. You are right. The response from the chair was wrong.

Secondly, I won't claim to have the same level of involvement in various clubs, organizations or boards as many in the community, and I certainly don't have the same level of involvement as Denny.

I will say that my involvement in church, the boards that I serve on, and the organizations I belong to goes to further personal responsibility, personal freedom, and lessening the effect that bad decisions and government has on our lives.

I've stated many times that the path I'm following wouldn't be suitable for someone that believes they have a claim to other people or their property.

Thanks again

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for answering my question, I appreciate it. You should have been at the last skateboard park meeting. We have fundraisers planned to build the park. I talked to Ralph Thalls about he town's liability insurance and he told me that their(town's)insurance rate would go up a few hundred dollars. If the town excpets the park and does not want to pay the extra few hundred dolars, the Optimist Club is prepared to pay it to the town. Tne maintneance of the park will be very mininal and go to the park board for care. They are already maintaining the park, playgrounds, soccer field and swimming pool, so the skateboard park will be very mininal. Believe me if the txes go up it will not be because of the skate board park. Good luck, on election day. I mean it. Everett Hampton

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Bell,
Hello, I am relatively new to this area and think it is a beautiful place to live.
While I was a faithful supporter of a certain political party where I lived previously, the political complexion of this area is very different. I have been researching the candidates and their views, but I have yet to commit to a party. I have seriously considered the Libertarian Party and your blog postings have helped me towards making my decision.

I have read your comments about the skateboard park and Denny Burns. Be sure to understand that my comments about the skateboard park are not politically fueled and I am not even sure if I like Denny all that much (sorry Denny, I'm sure you're a nice guy).

Nonetheless, I have attended every skateboard meeting and your posting which said "He (Denny) stated at the meeting that it was the responsibility of the taxpayers and the government to provide and maintain a park for people that wanted to ride skateboards" was inaccurate!

I do not know if you are spinning, stretching, or just not comprehending the truth. Be sure that the skateboard committee does not expect the taxpayers to pay for the park. There is a fundraising committee whose sole purpose is to raise money for the skateboard park.
I would appreciate it if you would be more accurate in your statements about the skateboard park.
I would also appreciate it if you and everyone else would keep their political agendas away from the skateboard park and find different platforms to solicit votes and popularity.

These kids really need a skateboard park and don't need a bunch of self-serving adults ruining it for them.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Rex Bell said...

I have only attended one skateboard meeting, on October 3rd. It was at that meeting that Everett Hampton made the tatement from the gallery that it wasn't the place of the taxpayers to fund this park. It was also at that meeting that Denny Burns stated from the chair that he disagreed with Mr. Hampton, and went on to partially explain his idea of the role of the government in this project.

I'm certainly glad to hear that I misunderstood what he meant.

As I stated in my initial post, I have nothing against a skateboard park. If skateboarders and their supporters can obtain voluntary funding to build and maintain the park, more power to them.

And yes, I do have a political agenda. That agenda involves making sure that taxpayers are not saddled with any more financial responsibilities which are not essential services that the government needs to provide.

I'm glad to know now that the organizers of this park agree that public money should not be used on this project.

Good luck with your park.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that you do not think that the the physical health and well-being of the youth in this community is essential enough to be supported by our taxpayers and government.
FYI- There is even a Presidential Fitness Program sponsored by the federal government. This is the website if you care to inquire about

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I want to keep this simple and say I don't think you can find two people in Hagertown with a heart more for youth than Denny Burns and Everett Hampton. While serving on the Optimist board with Denny, I found him to be one of the most responsible handlers of the clubs finances while making sure the kids got everything they needed and always came first.

While Everett is not being judged here, his stance beside Denny is one of glowing recommendation for him. I will never believe this is any kind of personal political venture or hidden agenda. Denny's resignation from the EDC should have gotten public applause for his recognition of coruption and not wanting to be a part of it.

I realize the funds for the park are going to be met through various fundraisers and I'm sure the Optimists will help pick up some slack. I too, do not skateboard for I'm sure I would exchange the thrill of the ride for various broken bones. But I do understand todays kids and thier attraction to it.

If for some reason the taxpayer had to contribute, this kind of project sure seems to be the kind you want your community to get behind.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the last comment:

Taxpayers should never have to contribute ... the two are incompatible. I think that's what Mr. Bell is trying to keep from happening.

To the rest of you fine folk:

This actually relates to what I just typed. Whatever organization you have created to administer the fundraising and construction for this proposed skate park should vow to your local park management organization that they need only assume general upkeep responsibilities and any major rennovations or additions to the skate park at any time in the future requires the formation or reactivation of the same type of organization to administer fundraising to support such proposals.

This will guarantee that 30 / 40 years from now the public will not be forced to pay for a skate park that, to most people of the period, seems to have always been the responsibility of the local park management organization.

Safeguarding the future is important.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comments. I still do not understand how some people think that a skateboard park is any different than the baseball park, soccer park, library, playground, pool, or any other public facility. Who will be taking care of them in the future when they need upkeep?

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough about the skateboard, it will be built and no one can do anything about it. I also know that our government is flawed in many ways, but we do still have freedom for many reasons. What I would like to know is what one Libertarian can do in congress? You know that the other parties will ignore everything one does. Everyone knows that they will never be a majority. Your ideas are not all that bad abnd even agree with some of them, but taxes can be kept down. Ask Joe Smith our Township trustee how the township budget has gone down every year for eight years. That keeps our taxes a little lower. Property taxes will continue to go up no matter who is in the office. What is the solution for schools, libraries, and other taxable things? Give us a solution. If the Libertarians have a solution share it with othger congreemen or women. Thanks, Everett Hampton

7:51 AM  

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