‘New Day’ isn’t needed in La Plata, cur­rent one is fine

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - Roy Hale, La Plata, The writer is the cur­rent mayor of the Town of La Plata.

This let­ter is in­tended for the cit­i­zens of La Plata who will vote in an im­por­tant election on Tues­day, May 2. This lo­cal election will se­lect the mayor and four coun­cil mem­bers that will rep­re­sent all the cit­i­zens of La Plata for the next four years.

I com­mend all the can­di­dates for the will­ing­ness to serve their com­mu­nity, but the choices avail­able sep­a­rate the can­di­dates be­tween those who have served the com­mu­nity very well and those who fore­see a “New Day in La Plata.”

La Plata is a very good town, both fi­nan­cially and struc­turally sound. We have been able to re­tain our small town at­mos­phere yet func­tion ef­fec­tively in a com­plex and eco­nom­i­cally driven world. This did not just hap­pen; it took a lot of work by peo­ple who had the ex­pe­ri­ence and ca­pa­bil­ity to make very dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions. Here are just a few facts to back up that state­ment.

The town has a very low debt to eq­uity ra­tio. The Town Hall, the po­lice sta­tion and the pub­lic works fa­cil­ity on U.S. 301 are rel­a­tively new and none have an out­stand­ing mort­gage. The equip­ment the town uti­lizes to pro­vide a high level of ser­vice, whether they are trash trucks or po­lice cars, are paid for in full. All ac­com­plished with­out rais­ing the town prop­erty tax rate in the last 16 years with no ex­pec­ta­tion to in­crease the tax for the next fis­cal year.

Our waste­water treat­ment plant is state of the art and was se­lected as the best in the state of Mar yland for a town our size in the last cal­en­dar year. We can pro­duce four times our daily de­mand for wa­ter that will help at­tract new com­mer­cial and some res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in the fore­see­able fu­ture.

We have a strong busi­ness com­mu­nity that has a pri­mary pur­pose of serv­ing the res­i­dents of the com­mu­nity, and when they do this well are usu­ally suc­cess­ful. Many new and re­mod­eled busi­nesses are part of our land­scape be­cause La Plata is a busi­ness-friendly town.

We are work­ing with the county to find a suit­able lo­ca­tion in La Plata for a new li­brary com­plex and have part­nered with the county and the La Plata Town Cen­tre Cor­po­ra­tion on a trans­porta­tion study for our down­town area that will com­mence very soon. These are im­por­tant is­sues that will ben­e­fit the en­tire town.

I am not con­vinced that a “New Day in La Plata” is what the ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents’ de­sire. Ex­pe­ri­enced and highly mo­ti­vated elected of­fi­cials who can make the hard de­ci­sions nec­es­sary to keep La Plata strong and vi­brant should be the pre­ferred choice. Ac­cord­ingly, I fully sup­port Lynn Gil­roy, Wayne Win­kler, Keith Back, Joe Nor­ris and Tim Giles.

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