Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


From the Desk of
Commissioner George Weikert

Geroge Weikert(8/1) I'm quite sure an article from a neighboring County Commissioner is not often found in your local newspaper. I'm an avid reader of the Emmitsburg News Journal (the old Dispatch), the local charm and local headlines help keep me in tune with what is happening just south of the border. As a life long resident of Adams County Pa and a member of it's Board of Commissioners, I have found the Mason Dixon Line over the years may have become more that simply a surveyors mark in the sand.

As a youngster a trip to the Harney Grocery Store was quite a treat. Some of the products which were on those shelves were quite different than those found at the Greenmount Store or Minters Grocery Store at Baltimore St and Middle St. in Gettysburg Pa. The prices seemed better also. My Dad always said that his money seemed to" buy more at the Harney Store". As a matter of fact my home address still includes Emmitsburg Rd. Gettysburg, Pa, 17325.

I've spent many years reading about the Civil War, how the residents of Emmitsburg welcomed the soldiers from both sides and provided what goods and services they could muster up as the troops passed through your town. I understand the houses of Emmitsburg shook as the cannon fire erupted from the fields of Gettysburg. I got an eerie feeling last week as I could see and hear the fireworks from your celebration; I think I now know what it must have been like back then.

I have learned over time that the parameters of County Government in our two states are very much different. The Counties in Maryland are responsible for law enforcement, road construction and snow removal, solid waste collection, education, judicial services, transportation and probably many others services which we all take for granted. County government in Adams County Pa., for instance, is much different.

The County is divided into 34 municipalities, 21 townships and 13 boroughs that are responsible for their roads and streets, police protection and land use. By the way, the state is also responsible for some county roads. Sometimes we have to check the official map to determine whose road it really is. The County Government is responsible for tax assessment, mapping, courts, adult and juvenile probation, children and youth, weights and measures, prison facilities, a nursing home, assists with land use and transportation planning, voter registration and elections, land conservation and others.

County services are provided for by real estate taxes, municipal services are provided for by there own real estate tax, earned income tax, real estate transfer tax and an admission tax on certain amusements. I hope you're not confused yet because public education in Adams County is provided by 7 separate school districts, all separately funded by state subsidies, their own real estate tax, earned income and admission tax levies. Wow what a difference that line on the pavement on Rt 15 has made.

I read recently the article written by Commissioner Kai Hagen. I met him last year when we traveled to Frederick on a meet and greet trip to share our thoughts and discuss our issues. We are very similar in the opportunities we have before us. Land use and the preservation of our beautiful forests, viewscapes, farm land , water resources and wildlife are the number 1 priority for our short time here on the earth. We are the stewards of everything around us and we need to hand it to the next generation in tact and better than it was when it was entrusted to us for its care. We really don't own this land; we can not destroy it, pollute it or mar it beyond repair. We are simply the caretaker who will soon hand this land to our children and grandchildren in hopes that we have set a good example for them to watch over it for us. We are working hard over here in Adams County to preserve, protect and promote what we cherish the most. I know for a fact that your County Commissioners are doing likewise.

Although I have not met you all personally, I'm sure some of us pass each other by everyday on our way to work or traveling to the Gettysburg Giant Foods Store and the Emmitsburg Jubilee. I promise to raise my hand and greet you if you would do the same.