McKay and Light Rail

I read in your paper comments made by St. Mary's County Commissioner Thomas F. McKay (R) [Extra, Aug. 21] in Ocean City at a convention he attended at taxpayers' expense. According to the Post article, "McKay criticized [Sen. Roy P.] Dyson's (D) desire to bring light-rail transportation to Southern Maryland." McKay was quoted as saying that "growth would get out of control" and could bring "huge apartment complexes" along the train's path.

It's just now that McKay, who never met a developer he didn't like, is interested in growth?

It is Dyson, not McKay, who is concerned about growth to begin with. In the 2005 General Assembly session, Dyson introduced a bill, which McKay opposed, that would have addressed the issue of our out-of-control growth wrought by the overdevelopment McKay supports.

McKay has made some bewildering comments in Post stories about his possible candidacy against Dyson, something he's been planning since he first ran for office. A few months ago, he said the reason he wanted to run for the state senate was so his parents could see him sworn into office in Annapolis. That's not a particularly strong platform to run on.

As for light-rail transportation bringing "huge apartment complexes" along the train's path, what kind of sense does that make? After three years in office, does McKay have any idea how apartment complexes would have to come into being? It would not be light-rail building these apartment complexes. McKay's friends, the developers, would have to go through the planning and zoning process and public hearings for approval of apartment complexes. I can just imagine the hue and cry that that would bring about.

And finally, what's wrong with at least considering light-rail for Southern Maryland? A visionary leader like Dyson has said that we should at least consider the option. With gas prices exceeding $3; our roads congested morning, noon and nights; and with numerous automobile accidents every week, light-rail sounds like an option we should be considering. It's a cheaper ride, more convenient and better for the environment.

We need visionaries like Dyson in Annapolis, not a newcomer who, all of a sudden, pretends to be against growth and tries to make us fear something that isn't even possible.

Ed Gildersleeve


Helping Calvert High

Being last is a bad place to be. This is especially true when it comes to fundamentals in life. Your recent article was clear in showing that the 2005 High School Assessments results placed Calvert High School 12th out of 12 public high schools in the local counties for ninth-grade algebra tests [Extra, Aug. 28]. I hope that the local school board does not spend time quibbling on what constitutes a trend and that the news isn't really that bad. We should take the news at face value.

Since two of Calvert County's other high schools finished first and second, and the only other Calvert County high school finished in the top half, it makes you think it is time to flow resources from those schools to Calvert High School. The responsibility does not lie entirely with the school board. I believe our teachers and administrators are undervalued and underpaid for their critical role in society. I also know that a parent's education, career and involvement in the student's education play a crucial role in student achievement. But, with that said, we are looking to our school board to provide the necessary leadership to pull Calvert County High School out of last place.

What can we, the parents of your students, do to help?

Thomas Carroll

St. Leonard