From: Grateful grandmother
Just dropping by again to thank you for the super job you are doing with the Anne Arundel County School lunch menus.
It has been a great help to those who have to pack lunches.
AVERY'S WORK PRAISED
From: Kathy Miller
for a Drug-Free Annapolis
The Alliance for a Drug-Free Annapolis would like to place on record its thanks to Eric Avery, director of the mayor's Office of Drug Policy, who will be leaving city government on May 31.
He was one of the leaders who, two years ago, recognized the need to form a community, grass-roots organization to look at the issues of alcohol and other drug abuse in the city.
Massachusetts and Colorado were developing community-based programs and Eric met with the governors of both states to obtain first-hand information on their programs. From this initial research and a great deal of enthusiasm at the grass-roots level, the Alliance for a Drug-Free Annapolis was formed in March 1989.
Later, Eric was the driving force behind the application to the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention for a grant. Annapolis subsequently became one of 95 communities to be awarded a Partnership Grant, the objective of which is for communities to produce plans to tackle substance abuse in their own back yards. When the grant was written, Eric believed it should be managed outside the constraints of local government.
We supported this view, and the liaison Eric established between the city and the alliance is unique. This partnership will, of course, continue.
Through Eric's professionalism and dedication, Annapolis has received national recognition for its work on drug prevention and education. The city, the many organizations he hashelped and the alliance have a lot to thank him for.
We are delighted that Eric will remain active with the alliance as a member of its Board of Directors and its Church Committee.
From: Michele Bunker
When is enough enough for Representative Tom McMillen? You would think that a man who was independently wealthy, received hundreds of thousands of dollars from special-interest groups and voted himself a 35 percent pay raise would haveall the money he would ever need.
However, a recent issue of Forbes magazine revealed that McMillen used his connections on Capitol Hill to get in on a Caribbean real estate deal. The deal, organized by Representative Robert Mrazek of New York, centers on the sale of Pierres Island in the Bahamas for $870,000 after buying it for $475,000 two years ago.
Unfortunately for McMillen, the sale is being investigated by the Justice Department and the Department of Energy, because of, among other things, Mrazek's possible connection to fugitive businessman Bartlett B. Chamberlain Jr.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wealth and making money. However, it is disturbing to see Representative McMillen using his elected office to further enrich himself through real estate deals. After all, it was bad real estate deals that helped precipitate the savings and loan fiasco!
To add insult to injury, while McMillen is busy making deals, he is also raising our taxes. Since his election to Congress, McMillen has been getting richer while the rest of us have been getting poorer.
From: Phil Andrews
Common Cause Maryland
The 1991 General Assembly session was one of the best-ever for government reform. The following bills are headed to Gov. William Donald Schaefer:
* HB 1047 establishes the first limit on political action committee (PAC) contributions in Maryland history. A PAC will be limited to $6,000 per candidate per four-year election cycle.An individual may contribute up to $4,000 to a candidate and up to $10,000 to all candidates combined during an election cycle. Politicalcommittees will be required to adopt names that reflect their true identity.
* HB 1049 prohibits lobbyists from raising funds for General Assembly members or candidates or serving as an officer of a finance committee member of a committee supporting a General Assembly candidate. SB 695 prohibits lobbyists from controlling a PAC.
* HB 254 prohibits state officials from lobbying their former agency for compensation for on year on matters that were under their jurisdiction within a year prior to their departure.
* SB 170 plugs several loopholes in Maryland's porous Open Meetings Law. Advisory commissions, such as Linowes and 2020, will have to meet in public. Officials will no longer be permitted to close meetings for an "exceptional reason."An Open Meetings Compliance Board will render advisory opinions about closed meetings.
The leadership that Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Clayton Mitchell provided was essential to the passage of the campaign finance and lobbyist reform bills. Sens. Michael Collins, Idamae Garrott and Gerald Winegrad, and Delegates Anne Perkins, Dana Dembrow and Brian Frosh played key roles. Reform of Maryland's Open Meetings Law is largely due to Winegrad, who guided the bill past many hurdles, and to Senate Majority Leader Clarence Blount and Attorney General Joseph Curran.
Marylanders should be encouraged that the 1991 General Assembly responded in an impressive way to public concern about excessive special interest influence and closed-door government.