Peter Lee Published on 12 December 2012
Category: English in the News
Carroll County Times
Applause and jeers were heard as people strongly expressed their opposing opinions for and against a proposed ordinance designating English as the official language of Carroll County.
Dozens of men and women of different colors and from different backgrounds crowded into the meeting room in the downstairs of the Carroll County Office Building on Tuesday to debate the proposed ordinance. About 50 people commented during the two-and-a-half hour public hearing, with the majority opposing the proposal.
The commissioners left the record open for 10 days, at which point they will vote on the proposed ordinance.
Under the proposed ordinance, which was created by Commissioner Haven Shoemaker, R-District 2, official actions and official views coming from the county will be in English. However, any county employee or elected official will still be able to communicate in any language for unofficial business.
“We don’t need to pass laws that are unnecessary,” Ready said. “I don’t know what problem we’re trying to solve.”
Ready characterized the proposed ordinance as “A solution looking for a problem.”
If the proposed ordinance keeps illegal immigrants away from Carroll County, it would be a good thing to do, according to Eric Tong, of Dundalk. Tong argued that illegal immigrants bring with them crime and drugs. Tong expressed concern that American values were under attack.
Christopher Craig, of Taneytown, argued that the proposed ordinance is a measure that simply states that the county wants to do its business in a common language. It makes sense that the government would want to communicate with its residents in English, which an overwhelming majority speak, he said.
The proposed ordinance is a preventive measure, according to Mike Stewart, of Manchester. With states spending millions of dollars on translating materials for non-English speakers, Stewart said he doesn’t want Carroll County to go the same way.
“Just because we don’t have a problem now doesn’t mean we have to wait around for one,” Stewart said.
Read the full article here.
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