MEETING WAS 'DOWN,' BUT NEVER 'DIRTY'
From: Asa Leete Elliott
aka "The Elderly Professor"
Most of the article by JoAnna Daemmrich on the civic group dotting its i's ("Civic group bylaws: dotting all the i's," Nov. 15, Anne Arundel County Sun) was excellent reporting, but some comments at the start were not.
I think it is unfair to the devoted members of the community who give so much of their time to improve their community to put in print that this meeting was "down-and-dirty!" Certainly it was "down" -- down to earth with its discussion of important points, and that's how it should be; but the public should not be left with the idea that the meeting was "dirty." I heard not one abjectionable comment, no bad language, no unfair insinuations nor accusations. Those who spoke only gave their opinions which is what one is expected to do at a meeting.
Any offensive loudness was unintentional. I am accustomed to projecting my voice to a large group without a microphone. The presence of the microphone evidently amplified the voice too much; for which I apologize.
Thanks, JoAnna, for using the word "professor." This unofficial title comes nearer to reality than you probably expected. I have spent 25 years studying, practicing and teaching the parliamentary procedure of Robert's rules, which inherently include proper and succinct English expression. I am an active member in two international associations whose sole purpose is to promote education in parliamentary procedure, and I hold advanced degrees in each. I participate in local groups of these associations. I have served professionally in local, state, regional and national organizations giving advice on meeting procedure and on writing bylaws. I have taught Robert's rules in classroom and workshops. So the title of "professor" does come close.
Many groups, I find, have bylaws that can be better organized for clarity, have too much unnecessary wording and repetition, contain unwise provisions that restrict the rights of the members and omit vital ones that would protect those rights. Yes, the group on which you reported was "down" to the nitty-gritty, and, I believe, that the conscientious, caring and dedicated members, after full and free discussion, will be aware of the facts and will, by their vote, come up with the best solution for them.
SCHAFER GIVES THANKS TO COUNTY CITIZENS
From: H. Erle Schafer
Former Circuit Court clerk
I am writing this letter to the citizens of Anne Arundel County to thank them for allowing me to represent them over the past 16 years.
I was elected councilman of the 2nd Councilmanic District from 1970 to 1974. I was then appointed the first urban renewal director for Anne Arundel County, and I took urban renewal out of the planning stages and began the real changes in the Glen Burnie renewal area. It was an exciting time and when you look around you, you realize that it was very rewarding to have been a part of the urban renewal effort. In 1978, I was elected to the Maryland Senate and represented the 32nd District. While a state senator, I sponsored the legislation that raised the legal drinking age back to 21. I was fortunate to work with the MADD group, and together we were successful in changing the drinking age. I had legislation introduced which capped the prison population in Anne Arundel County. I was instrumental in having the Glen Burnie Multi-Purpose building built where the District Court is located on B & A Boulevard and Ritchie Highway.
In 1986, I was elected clerk of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, and I took the courthouse into the 20th century. I had computers installed, updated the offices, installed carpeting, had a new telephone system and overall made the Court House a nicer place to come to work and for the public to come and do business.
I feel that I have had an exciting, successful career, and I owe that to you voters for electing me to office. I look to the future and will continue to work for you as a private citizen and a member of your community.
Again, thank you for your support over the years, and especially for the many friendships that will continue in my private life.