Cumberland Times-News

November 27, 2012

Face to face

Let our delegation know how you feel

Cumberland Times-News

— Every year about this time, the Allegany County delegation to Annapolis meets with citizens and local officials to gather public input. While some years the attendance is good, other years there is a sparse turnout.

The delegation’s meeting this year will be held at the Allegany College of Maryland auditorium on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

The delegation meeting is held prior to the annual General Assembly session in Annapolis and gives the state lawmakers a chance to hear ideas and complaints from constituents.

For those of us in far Western Maryland, a trip to the state capitol is not as easy or convenient as it is for someone living in Baltimore or its suburbs. “From a representatives standpoint, it’s one of the few times the citizens can come out and talk face-to-face about whatever is on their minds. We can bring them to Annapolis without them going there,” Delegate LeRoy Myers Jr. said of the delegation session.

Local government — whether be at the state house, court house or city hall —functions most effectively when citizens involve themselves in issues and decisions. Letting your elected representative hear your opinion may well influence how he or she votes.

Last year’s pre-legislative session featured discussion on such topics as slot machines for veterans posts, help for the Cumberland Office of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, funding for education and concern about teacher pensions. Myers said he believes health care issues are among concerns the delegation will hear about when they meet with constituents this year.