Reader Asks: What About South County?

Readers write

January 20, 1991

From: Tom Gill


Rose Haven Civic Association

Read between the lines in Anne Arundel County. Sure, but what about South County? Your reporterscover North County, West County, Central County, and Annapolis, and we are forgotten.

Perhaps, like a beloved mother, we are simply overlooked. More likely, you regard us as wholesome -- unexciting -- asa Norman Rockwell Boy Scout calendar, a bunch of God-fearing hicks and hillbillies.

OK, but remember when they call the roll Up Yonder, we South Countians, we'll be there. I wonder how many quiche-eating, yuppie agnostics from the rest of the county will be there with us -- or reporters from the Anne Arundel County Sun. Darn few, I'll bet.


From: Ronald F. Shockey

Glen Burnie High School

In your "Readers write" column of Sunday, Jan. 6, 1991, Mr. Lewis F. Holmes seems to have the same misconceptions of custodians as many people have. One of them is that custodians are paid $30 an hour for working recreational programs.

The Unit III employees and the board have a contract. When it is convenient for the board to live up to this contract, it specifies what each Unit III employee earns. For example: A Grade 5, Step 10 custodian (the highest grade and step of a custodian) earns $20,821.00 a year.Divided by 2,080 working hours a year, this does not come up to $30 an hour. Even at double time, as Sundays are, this does not equal $30 an hour. At that scale, custodians would rate getting their names printed in the newspapers.

I fail to understand where Mr. Holmes gets his figures, unless this is what the board charges for these services.

The latchkey idea seems to be a very interesting one. I was thinking that a few hundred custodians I know have some free time now and would like to get together. I was wondering if Mr. Holmes' employer would mind giving us the key to his place of employment. They will be glad to clean up afterward. After all, they are trained in this area.

Mr. Holmes states: "If school administrators are on site, nobody from custodial services is needed." Why not turn this statement around? After all, custodians are present anyway. Except for special school functions, administrators only work school activities that the custodians do not. I have never seen an administrator working a community recreation program.

I personally will lose approximately one-quarter of my salary by the loss of community recreation programs -- programs that are paid by Parks and Recreation and supposedly not coming out of the board's budget. I wonder if Mr. Holmes would like to donate one-quarter of his pay to the board to get them out of a problemthat he had no say in. I wonder if the people that caused this problem would like this kind of cut.

This county has other departments and each has its own budget. If these departments have a surplus, I wonder if the custodians are given credit? Why do people think the school custodians caused a shortage? They are like everyone else, tryingto make a living wage, paying for housing, putting food on the tableand raising their families, as I'm sure Mr. Holmes is trying to do.

The custodians are just being required to pay for someone else's mistake. As a taxpayer, this is what concerns me. What mistake was made? And what is being done to see that it doesn't happen again? Is it being fiscally responsible to have a school with under 70 students with a principal being paid in the high $60s?

What is the exact shortfall of the board budget? All the newspapers seem to agree that it'sapproximately $8 million. It seems like an accounting department could give a little closer accounting. After all, an exact figure was given on overtime savings.

As a board employee, the board and taxpayers would have more to save if parents would talk to their children about preventing vandalism and theft that takes place in the schools.

Mr. Holmes, please ask any custodian whether they agree with beingpaid $30 an hour. They are the average taxpayer and I know what theywould tell you.


From: Jerry M. Brandt

Severna Park

On Sunday (Anne Arundel County Sun, Jan. 13), Phil Greenfield wrote about "The Lighthizer Years, 1982-1990: Achievement Through Strategic Planning" where he listed some of the major items left out of the report. I compliment Phil on making these public, but a good reporter would have found more.

For instance, during those eight years, not one major train wreck occurred in Anne Arundel County, and his Aircraft Management Team had a perfectrecord with no air crashes, (planes with two or more pilots). Another area of excellence was the fact that not a single bridge collapsed in Anne Arundel County, with the exception of the bridge over Baltimore-Washington Parkway, and that was ruled not the fault of our executive since it was under construction at the time and still in the contractor's hands.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.