Baltimoreans deserve more for their taxes
Charles Ecker, newly elected Howard County executive, said in his inaugural address that one of the most important concerns facing his administration was the need to retrain county employees to properly handle their jobs. Here is a political neophyte in an up-scale affluent suburban county realizing the need to have employees prepared to handle new responsibility.
Yet in Baltimore city, where the capability of employees to handle such mundane things as correctly answering the telephone is not apparent, there is no citywide training mechanism to enhance the job skills of the city's 29,000 workers.
Mayor Schmoke certainly must understand that in these recessionary times, a hiring freeze and ensuing attrition of the work force is going to force the city to come to grips with the failure of many employees to handle greatly expanded job responsibilities. But where is the mayor's commitment?
His personnel department head, Jesse Hoskins, had developed a very successful training department while in a similar former position in Chicago. But here in Baltimore, where these needs are much more vital, the administration seems to have blinders on.
Former Mayor "Du" Burns may have summed it up best when he recently was quoted as saying, "I don't know who is directing the band, but it is not playing in harmony."
Minimal start-up costs for a training director and a small staff is a very small price to pay for the opportunity to save the city millions in the future. The state's highest-taxed residents deserve much better services than they are getting.