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Voting in Favor of Annexation

Jack Deatherage, Jr.'s

I've heard a small number of people complain about the proposed annexation of land along North Seton Avenue. Their reasons are simple. They don't want the added traffic, or the extra burden on the town's obviously limited water supply and questionable sewer system. Some people just plain don't want anyone new moving in and changing Emmitsburg. Of these reasons only the "changing" bothers me. I recall calves bawling in the backyard of the last house before the old Highs Store on the West End of town. There were chickens there too if memory serves. A backyard along South Alley at Creamery Road also had chickens in it for many years. Then US 15 began bringing people to town who thought the little burg was quaint and might well be worth a few bucks if developed properly.

Away went the chickens and calves. We can't have livestock in a residential area! (But we can have dogs barking from 10 PM until 2 AM!) We can have cats, which apparently belong to no one, crapping in our flowerbeds and little vegetable gardens. But no one can have a chicken, or goat, or any other animal not considered by the Town to be a normal pet. I seem to recall a few people outraged over learning there were residents who actually kept snakes in their houses! "How dare they bring those things into Emmitsburg? There should be a law against this!" I heard more than one Eburger growl.

One of my neighbors told me about the horses that used to be stabled just up the street from us. The owner hauled their manure down the alley and dumped it for my neighbor to compost for his garden. There were also a few pigs along the alley that contributed to his garden. The garden fed his family through the summer, fall and winter. It's strange how much the town has already changed. And people want to stop it now?

I want it stopped 20, 30, 40 years ago! I want the houses built in the last two decades torn down, covered with dirt and trees, or gardens planted over them! I want to hear roosters crowing their pride to the dawn! I want to hear calves bawling for their milk and pigs grunting as they eat the scraps that get crammed down garbage disposals nowadays. (Creating a problem at the sewer treatment plant instead of being put to a good use.) I want to be able to step out my backdoor and grab a couple of "good" eggs to make noodles with, or snag a chicken I'm irritated with to roast in my oven, stuffed with garlic and celery.

I want! I want! I want!

Well, tough! The town has changed, is changing and ain't gonna stop changing because I want, or anyone else wants! Everything CHANGES! Either it grows and changes, or it dies and changes. There is no static state where reality freezes forever! No matter how bad I want it to stop- EVERYTHING CHANGES!

I hate, and I mean claw at my guts hate, what has become of Emmitsburg! That out of the way, I will vote in favor of annexing the Boyle farm into the town. Why? Because it's going to have houses built on it whether it's annexed or not- and it will happen in my lifetime. Maybe not 100+ houses, but houses none the less. Houses that might as well be paying taxes to the town. Why should the people buying the houses enjoy the use of Emmitsburg and not pay for it? And they will use Emmitsburg. Their kids will attend Emmitsburg Elementary, play on our ball-fields, in our public parks and be hauled to the hospitals in our ambulances. Their homes will be covered by our fire department. So why not annex and at least collect the taxes? Anything else seems kind of stupid at this point.

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