Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Good move on Warfield Complex

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We’re moving now.

Nearly 10 years after the Town of Sykesville annexed the Warfield Complex, and two years after the re-construction project began, the gears of development are starting to churn again.

The Warfield Development Corporation and Cafritz Interests of Washington, D.C. signed a letter of intent on Jan. 11 for the latter to lead the redevelopment project that involves a partnership between Sykesville, Carroll County, the state and private parties to redevelop the 138 acres at the old site of Springfield Hospital Center.

The parties are negotiating a lease for Cafritz Interests to be in charge of attracting business and renovating the buildings.

Since redevelopment broke ground in May 2006, two tenants have come to occupy two of the 12 historic buildings slated for renovation: Nexion Health, a national nursing facility management company, and Carroll County Dance Center. The town's goal was to complete development by 2010.

A lack of communication among the parties has led to disagreements, delays, and divergent opinions on the direction redevelopment should take place as recently as last summer.

But county and town officials have worked out their differences, and the project can move forward. Cafritz Interests is expected to present an overview of what it plans for the property this month.

Mayor Jonathan Herman has said the goal is to create a development that would complement the town, creating economic development and cultural opportunities.

Redeveloping the 138 acres that were once part of the Springfield State Hospital Center will bring more money, jobs and people to Sykesville. Residual effects would extend to the county and the state.

We look forward to seeing what vision they present, and hope it carries the right mix of businesses to become a destination that will entice people to visit downtown Sykesville time and again.

Take the time to vote Tuesday

We will have the chance Tuesday to do something that makes many people around the world envious: vote for the people who run our government.

Yet many of us take voting for granted, and see it more as an annoyance than a responsibility.

We wake up too late to vote early in the morning, and traffic chips away at our morale on the way home. Some of us can vote during a lunch break, but many of us work an hour away from home and don’t have the luxury of voting in the middle of the day.

We can vote on our way home from work, but what about dinner for the kids? And who’s going to make sure they do their homework if we’re out voting?

Plus, who likes to stand in line to do anything?

Yes, you can find any excuse to not vote on Tuesday, but if you don’t make it to the polls, do you not also surrender your right to complain about the people in office?

Voter turnout is usually dismal during a primary election, though this year should be higher than two years ago because we are voting for president.

And while you think about your presidential vote, remember that you will also have your choice for the Board of Education. The school board spends a lot of your money, and our children spend a lot of their time in school, so little is as important as the people who help run the system.

Log onto www.gazette.net⁄votersguide08 for our guide to this year’s primary, but let that be the starting point of your research.

Democracy works best when our leaders are elected by the majority of eligible voters, not just the majority of people who voted.

See you at the polls Tuesday.