Editor: Maryland is one of the smallest states, yet its governo is about to become one of the highest paid in the country. Why?
The man operates on too grand a scale. He wants too much too quickly: a stadium, a new transportation system, a golf course.
He pressures legislators to act before they have had time to consider. And his personal style is prone to cause subordinates to cut corners and take chances in order to carry out his wishes.
MA Well, we've had about as many state games as we can tolerate.
Daniel J. Chase.
Editor: Let me reassure your readers and Charles P. Stanley who recently wrote to The Sun, the current Metro schedule is exactly the same as it was before tie replacement was undertaken last February. During the morning rush hours, trains leave Owings Mills and Old Court every 12 minutes and all other stations every six minutes. During the evening rush hours, trains leave Charles Center for all stations, including Old Court and Owings Mills, every six minutes.
When the Owings Mills Metro extension opened in July 1987, we had planned to run all trains to Milford Mill and every other train to Owings Mills. There were two reasons for doing so. First, the majority of ridership was projected and continues to be from Milford Mill on down. Second, there is a very significant cost savings to the taxpayer to do so -- especially in electricity.
After our first few weeks of operations at Milford Mill, Old Court and Owings Mills, we received a number of complaints about the less frequent service to the two outer stations. That September we revised the timetable and ran all trains between approximately 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. all the way to Owings Mills. This is the frequency which was resumed on Dec. 3.
It was a compromise -- one of the trade-offs we have to make
every day between providing the best possible level of service and doing so within our fiscal constraints.
Ronald J. Hartman.
The writer is the MTA administrator.
Editor: City Council President Mary Pat Clarke's angr reaction to the state insurance commissioner's ruling that geographic territories are legitimate and permissible factors in determining automobile insurance rates is misdirected and totally ignores the real reason for high automobile insurance rates.
According to Maryland's attorney general -- and the insurance laws in most states -- geographic location is a legitimate rating factor. The place of garaging of the vehicle is verifiable and certain geographic territories, like Baltimore City, have greater claims costs.
In addition to greater frequency, city drivers are much more likely to sue in the event of a traffic accident, whether major or minor, than their counterparts in other parts of the state.
If Ms. Clarke really wants to help lower automobile insurance premiums for her constituents, she should seek to reduce the underlying costs of automobile insurance through a good no-fault bill and cost-containment measures. This will reduce the underlying losses (claims) and transaction costs (litigation fees) that make up the largest part of auto premiums.
Territorial rating will not reduce any of the underlying costs; it only redistributes these to other parts of the state.
Telling Maryland residents in suburban and rural areas that they have to pay more so that Baltimore City drivers can pay less, without any sort of overall cost reduction, is an unfair solution to this complex problem.
John A. Andryszak.
The writer is vice president of the U.S. Fidelity and Guaranty Co.
What 'Free' Care?
Editor: In reading the Dec. 9 article on working parent awaiting day-care help, I noticed it mentioned that "parents receiving welfare and enrolled in education and training programs receive free child care."
That was news to me. I know from experience that these parents will get $54 a week, per child, for licensed day care. The amount parents receive for "informal" day care is $7 a day. For anything less then a five-day-a-week, 6 1/2 -hours-a-day schedule, the payment is a whopping $1.66 an hour. Gee, that will really help.
Even if the parent goes to school full time, the average cost of day care is $85 a week. That is $31 per week out-of-pocket money for a single-parent-one-child household whose average AFDC income is $317 a month. By whose standards is that considered "free child care?"
The only choice some people have is to beg and plead with relatives, neighbors and friends to baby sit for little or no money. Many people have no choice. They will never be able to go to school, or to work to support their families.
Maybe by asking welfare mothers you could find out what child-care hassles we have to go through trying to get an education or job skills for ourselves, in order to become financially independent.