As someone who drinks public water that comes from the Monocacy River, I care about its cleanliness. Like everyone, I respect personal property rights, but I also respect taxpayer rights.

So when I read about the hoopla at last week’s meeting over a plan to restore the polluted Monocacy River and heard the fear expressed by landowners who live along the Monocacy River over losing land and valuable property, I reread the plan. And here is what I found: The plan is merely suggesting ways to restore the health of the river and bring it back to life, just as if my doctor told me I had diabetes and suggested ways to improve my health and manage the disease. There are no recommendations to seize people’s land, but there are suggestions like plant more trees, use best management practices and protect wetlands.

Adopting the plan doesn’t mean any of these suggestions automatically become county policy; how and whether they are implemented will be up for discussion. Overall, the recommendations are very helpful and constructive. Kudos to the Monocacy River Board, participating farmers and citizens who have doggedly worked to prepare them for Frederick and Carroll counties.

Perhaps a way to move forward would be to look at each contentious situation to see if there really is an issue — or merely a perception of one. If there is an issue, there is most likely a solution that works for all.

I take the health of the Monocacy seriously because the river provides over 25 percent of the city of Frederick’s and surrounding neighborhoods’ drinking water and has unfortunately failed safe public drinking water standards for some very toxic byproducts linked to cancer and liver damage, particularly in pregnant women, young children and older people. This is an unnecessary outcome directly related to eroding stream banks and narrow or nonexistent stream buffers. If my doctor prescribed a health plan for my diabetes, I wouldn’t tell him to buzz off because it cramps my lifestyle. I would listen and work to develop a health plan that addressed the problem and worked for me. As a community we ought to be able to discuss this problem together, look at specific situations and work toward real solutions that work for everyone.

Janice Wiles


(14) comments


I'd settle for Make the Monocacy CLEAN Again!


Thanks for a nice LTE Janice. Our water is polluted which makes this a safety issue. It's also an economic issue for the Chesapeake Bay watershed. There's a balance that must be reached with property rights and protecting to environment.


I spit my coffee out while reading " I respect personal property rights, but I also respect taxpayer rights" Really Janice? You have never respected anyone who owned more than a quarter acre of property and your little Friends of Frederick group never cared about my rights as of taxpayer, having filed many numerous lawsuits that I, as a taxpayer, has to pay for against Frederick County. And I may add, not one of your lawsuits were ever won. As a taxpayer, I resent having my tax dollars spent on attorneys the county has to hire to defend your court filings.


Blaine, you promised us we would not hear from you for the next 10 years.

Comment deleted.

It is, Hay, you are right and he is being his usual obnoxious self.


What is it about the public's right to insure their water resources are not contaminated? Or is that an issue you prefer not to discuss or even debate? Apparently you are trapped in the present and without regard to the future of our water resources that are currently polluted by land owners protecting the price line and value of their properties rather than the quality of our drinking water.


Thank you, Janice, for a well written and needed article.


Janice - amazing how people take water for granted until it becomes an issue. I believe that water, necessary for life, food, and the existence of millions of flora and fauna, will become a major issue for a lot of people in the very near future. This is a easy and doable approach to protecting the watershed. Thank you for the letter.


How is that possible under Trump's rule and selection of a long time oil person to lead the Department of Energy? Hasn't Trump accomplished the same with his selection of our new EPA director? Can't we take an informed guess of what FRACKING is going to bring to the State of Maryland?


Not sure of your point but, since you mention it, I also believe that the environment is headed for a world of hurt based on the appointees of Trump - greed and big oil will have too much power.


I believe that is just what I said.


The problem is the people proposing this are informed nd experienced and the current fashion is to put somone in charge who is ignorant or better yet, hostile to the perceived goals. And there needs to be a catchy slogan and a free cap or tshirt involved.


Yes, we need to make the Monocacy great again.


Ha ha - YES, now there's a slogan! Make the Monocacy Great Again!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominem criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.