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Friday, May 31, 2013

Rocky Gap Slots, Rocky Gap State Park, Governor Erlich, WCBC, Cumberland Maryland, and Visionary Leadership

My response to WCBC's great and brief article about slots, political gridlock, missed opportunities, etc., with former Gov. Erlich.

I would love to hear what the losses to the state were in two respects.

Primarily the loss to keep the doors open as the Lodge was always run at a deficit, and secondarily, the loss of revenue projected from what the state could have made in those eight years that we lost in possible opportunity.

I am also curious what Gov. Erlich suggests to stop this gridlock all too common in our bureaucracy today, as well as what his vision is for this side of the state, often overlooked by Annapolis!

The folks in this area stay because of determination to make it a better place and because of its beauty that we want to share as we build a more wholesome environment, and it is really a shame that we had to come to this, to slots, to try to make our lodge work, and at what expense does it cost us, the locals, when our assets are taken away like this.

I for one, am tired of all the ridiculous politics that keep our area constantly in turmoil, and not just not making progress, but far too often perhaps moving a step backwards.

I really believe their is a local political ineptitude to share a proper long term vision for our treasured area, and I have written about this for quite a while.

Two examples along these lines would be our local WMHS, which is certainly an asset in many respects, but I feel has swash-buckled us locally out of funds and property while further adding a financial burden to Cumberland, which was recently reportedly the 9th poorest city in the entire nation, and is in no way, shape or form able to properly move forward on paths as such!

The second example I would site is along those same lines.

With the new school being considered now that we have the land which was traded for roughly 40 acres of our largest local park, I had suggested to a few local politicians that we have a new high school of science and technology, as well as attract a large college to locate here and have an engineering campus, that could compliment this area as well as the new high school and other outstanding institutions.

I wonder why I get a cold shoulder when I offered to assist with this and have written and spoken to local folks about having a man, a 38 year tenured Dr. Efimba at Howard University who earned his doctorate in Mathematics at M.I.T., offer to help bring a college as such here.

Not only is Dr. Efimba willing to help, but so is a friend with Northrop Grumann, who is a physicist and also on the oversight committee at N.A.S.A., a Mr. Carl Mikeman.

These men have said they would help with a proposal, but I am not going to help with any proposal when I cannot even get a desired phone call in return for the ones I have placed.

Rest assured these are men of their word, and perhaps most importantly, they have offered their assistance for free!

You cannot find to more brilliant dedicated men as these, my two friends.

This came about when I asked Dr, Efimba about how we could bring prosperity to this area in relation to Green Technology, of which I was privileged to have been specifically published about in my featured article at the U.S., Department of Energy (google: swygert HRDC).

Back to Gov. Erlich's remarks, I very often wonder why folks ever get into politics, as I was raised to believe it was not for the self at all but for the greater good of all.

I hope what I write here is published and read with an open mind, and perhaps we can gain the respect in this area we deserve, but not with the lack of leadership we all too often have.

The final point I would like to make is that these selfish examples that are lacking in collective vision are the exact reasons things do not get done, and how can anyone with a reasonable and rational mind respect that?

I speak up, I study, I write letters to officials, agencies, and newspapers...I write and record music, I write poetry and I will continue to do so until I have no breath left nor solid thoughts to share because I desire a brighter future here in this area I have now called home for going on twelve very very tough years.

I do not care or consider what others opinions are of me because what is important is the truth be told, and the proper changes made, and that only happens with awareness of the real facts, not those we far too often read as misconstrued to start with, or perhaps not even reported at all.

This area is growing by leaps and bounds, and I for one am happy for that progress and grateful for the hard work of those that should be credited, however on the other hand, to be listed as one of the poorest cities in the entire country, in the top ten, well, that is just no longer acceptable.

What will we lose here next because of a lack of vision and a lack of proper management, as well as selfish politics?

There is no logical or reasonable reason why this area should suffer as it does, yet it does and has continued to do so for decades.

In closing on a better note, I recently was honored to meet a young doctor at WMHS, a Dr. Moore.

He is an, "Ivy Leauger" as he studied at Yale first, and then, American University of England, George Washington University, and I do not recall the other school.

He attended to my fiance in the emergency room one evening and was very sincere and candid in a brief conversation, which boiled down to having him state he mostly wanted to be in Cumberland because it needs the help of fine folks like him, and although this may sound arrogant in type, it was nothing of the sort.

I saw a sincere man that did not judge me any different from another, that understood the local challenges in this area on many levels, and I clearly understood perhaps the most important facet of our conversation, which was about proper communication and understanding.

I have my personal gripes because I am a thinker, do not settle for illegitimate excuses, and although not an Ivy Leauger, I am the son and brother of two West Pointers, and fully understand that selfishness has no place in progress!

Dr. Moore certainly understands that, and it seems to me that many other fine men in our area do to, such as Bill Valentine, Butch Hendershot, Barry Ronin, Brian Grimm, etc., much the same as Governor Erlich seems to concisely convey in your article.

We need great men like these to lead us together NOW! Men that are far beyond the self, and I think that is an inference that can be taken from Gov. Erlich's statements as you have quoted.

Gridlock and "StagNation"comes from a lack of leadership and vision, and time and opportunity pass by swiftly as we too often fail to take proper and ethical advantage of the great gains we could be making together.

Change is not coming, change is deeply upon us, and it is time to continue swiftly and efficiently down this path together, regardless of political affiliation, towards great progress, lest we waste another eight years on so many important issues, and at what future cost I ask?

Perhaps that was long winded, but Gov. Erlich's remarks provoke my thoughts as I have observed and experienced for over eleven years of life in these precious and beautiful mountains of Cumberland, Maryland, my home and the most beautiful place I have ever known which I enjoy watching grow as we revitalize and set examples of what can be.