Ambulance Fee

'Shameful, Uncaring'

I learned with dismay and disappointment that the county Board of Supervisors has decided to impose a $500 charge for Fairfax citizens in need of an ambulance ["Fairfax Jobs Program for Retarded Renewed," Metro, May 25].

That, in my opinion, is a shameful and uncaring act more suited to Montgomery County than Fairfax. It demonstrates very clearly where the supervisors' priorities are -- more concerned once again with taxing the poor, the helpless and those in need of immediate medical attention than with providing life-saving assistance.

When will this end? Can we next expect a charge to be assessed each time a citizen calls the police for immediate help? Or a $1,000 fee for the firefighters to come to save your home? Or a $400 fee before the rescue squad will appear to give critical aid?

I suggest the supervisors rethink their position. I assure you, I shall encourage my fellow county citizens to rethink their Board of Supervisors.

Everett G. Hopson


Draw Clearer Lines

On Soccer Field Use

Thank you for your article regarding Lewinsville Park soccer field No. 2 ["Artificial Turf Battles," Fairfax Extra, May 13].

Since leaders of McLean Youth Soccer continue to insist that the memorandum of agreement between the Fairfax County Park Authority and McLean Youth Soccer is open to interpretation as to whether the soccer group could charge fees in return for playing time on the field, as well as claim that McLean Youth Soccer never intended to charge for field use, I would like to propose a very simple solution to this controversy.

Since the agreement between McLean Youth Soccer and the Fairfax County Park Authority is a matter of public record, why does McLean Youth Soccer not simply post the agreement on its Web site and let its members and the community as a whole read the document and form their own conclusions?

Allegations have also been made by McLean Youth Soccer that quotations from their e-mails about the charging of fees for field use have been taken out of context.

Again, why not just post all of the e-mails in the possession of the Park Authority in their entirety on the McLean Youth Soccer Web site? Any costs incurred could be paid out of the disputed funds, and at least some of the questions about the financial arrangements involving Lewinsville No. 2 could be finally laid to rest. If that is done, I'm certain that the Park Authority could document whether all materials that were made publicly available are present on the Web site.

Additionally, usage schedules for the Lewinsville Park fields should be posted on the McLean Youth Soccer Web site. That would serve two purposes. Any interested parties would be able to find out what groups are using the fields, and since the general public is promised use of Lewinsville No. 2 for a total of four hours a month of traditionally scheduled hours, it would be possible to find out when those four hours might reasonably occur.

When individuals cede authority to others to act on their behalf, and fail to intercede when there are indications of abuse of that authority, those individuals remain responsible for the actions of those they have empowered. Leonardo da Vinci phrased it beautifully when he said, "Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence."

These contracts, fee arrangements, discussions with the Park Authority and the financial records of McLean Youth Soccer should be made easily available to the league members and the community that has supported McLean Youth Soccer for so many years. The members of McLean Youth Soccer should insist that this be done by their elected representatives. Soccer truly is "the beautiful game"; the members of McLean Youth Soccer must not allow it to be sullied any longer by simply accepting the status quo.

Let's open the records and speak honestly. If the truth proves to be less honorable than we would like it to be, once we truly know what we are dealing with, then we can formulate a plan to move on from there. And while we do that, we can begin to refocus our attention on the wonderful children of this community and their remarkable accomplishments.

Barbara Bodson