The Truth on Slots
Editor: In its April 26 editorial regarding the dangers of legalized gambling activities in Maryland, The Sun stated incorrectly that a bill allowing slot machines for charitable and fraternal groups in Harford County was killed in committee in the Senate.
Actually, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, by a vote of 9-2, gave this bill a favorable report. The full Senate killed the bill nine days later, 22-25.
During the 1990 election campaign, my opponent, Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, and his colleague, Sen. Michael J. Wagner, strongly defended their votes in 1987 in favor of legislation that legalized slot machines for use by fraternal and charitable groups on the Eastern Shore. Interestingly, both Mr. Jimeno and Mr. Wagner voted this year against the Harford County slot machine bill on the Senate floor, although Mr. Jimeno was one of the nine senators who voted for the bill in committee nine days earlier.
John Leopold. Pasadena.
The writer is a former member of the Maryland General Assembly.
Editor: Your recent editorial regarding the Body Talk situation and the conditions of the Liberty Road area bear comment from this involved 35-year resident of the region.
You conclude from the helter-skelter growth and development of Liberty Road that we lack political clout and that families are disinterested or too busy to be involved. This is contradictory to your comments on the community's abilities to confront the owners of Body Talk and eliminate their modus operandi for doing business in our neighborhood. For it was with the full support and actions of our political representatives at all levels of government -- and the concerted outcry of residents from all areas of northwest Baltimore County -- that our leadership groups and personalities were able to eliminate such activities.
Further, your editorial characterizes Liberty Road residents and groups unfairly and speciously.
We are no different from any other metropolitan region in paying for our dream houses or having various groups confront each other when their areas of concern overlap or become controversial. Contrary to your thinking, both the Liberty Road Community Council, representing residential associations, and Liberty Communities Development Corp., representing business owners, agreed to cooperate more openly and fully just a month ago. What others should understand is that LCDC using public funds has the obligation to work with LRCC, which exists purely from voluntary funding.
We feel that many problems which keep our residents alert and concerned stem from the publicly conceived idea that anything is fair game in an integrated area. Thus it requires eternal vigilance as the price of integrated living we all enjoy to preserve and encourage the betterment of Liberty Road.
Editor: Recently, the Baltimore County Police Department stood by as passive witnesses while a group of demonstrators in Woodlawn engaged in blatant acts of urban terrorism.
These demonstrators caused the false imprisonment of thousands of employees who were locked in their buildings against their will by order of the police, creating a major safety risk to them in the event of a fire.
Thousands more were inconvenienced because of the disruption resulting from the closing of major roads by the police.
If, in fact, politics ruled the day and this was the most that the Baltimore County Police Department policy-makers chose to do to protect the law-abiding citizens of the county, then perhaps it is time for County Executive Hayden to consider replacing the current police chief.
Ronald H. Galler.
What's Her Plan?
Editor: Please do not let Ellen R. Sauerbrey get away with her April 23 letter. Tell her to take any state agency she chooses, give her whatever time she says she needs, and then tell her to go to it. Let her tell us just what a "management cut" is; tell her to show us just how she would make it; and then tell her to show us, in black and white, just how her "2-percent management cut" will get this state out of its half-billion dollar hole.
At the agency where I work, Towson State University, our cuts run much deeper than 2 percent. We have virtually no funds for the purchase of library books; we are forced to cancel classes even if they are needed for the completion of majors; we are laying off irreplaceable staff; we cannot replace retiring faculty; we, like all state employees, will not be getting a cost-of-living increase next year.
A state with a half-billion dollar deficit should not be lulled into thinking its budgetary problems will be solved by a little snipping at the management level; nor should a state that commissions a tax-reform proposal see it glibly dismissed by the House minority leader as a "locomotive barreling full speed ahead" with taxpayers "tied to the track!"