Court workers toil longer, avoid layoffs
As we strive to overcome Maryland's current economic situation, let us not waste useful energy by pointing fingers, which only fosters alienation and divisiveness. Instead, let us look back on this financial crisis as an opportunity to establish common goals and intergovernmental cooperation.
A common theme recognized in corporate America is downsizing. Although some believe it is the easiest way to combat a strict budget, people suffer from the indignities of unemployment and layoffs. An alternative has been to allow employees to continue working by increasing work hours. When situations like this occur, the human element falls into the background and we are left to face what appears to be a new issue of "us versus them."
From my experience with the state employees who work in the clerk's office, their dedication to their work and their sincere desire to "get the job done" is highly commendable. Seeing this as an opportunity to explore how we can win by supporting state government, 21 people in this office have volunteered to work on Saturdays in August. That will bring a tremendous volume of work that has piled up because of a hiring freeze up to date. Their willingness to sacrifice Saturdays in August makes a strong statement about these workers' concern for the importance of keeping the records current and their pride in their work.
The writer is clerk of the Baltimore County Circuit Court.
Use death penalty
It is too bad that you are the people with the loudest editorial voice. No one I'm acquainted with holds your opinion that cold-blooded murderers should be spared the death penalty. Everyone I know is sick of misplaced pity for killers. Exactly what is the point in keeping O'Donald Johnson alive (at the taxpayers unwanted expense) for 53 years? It is ludicrous to say the death penalty is no deterrent, because if he were dead, at least we know that one known murderer would not be turned loose to kill again, both of which happen regularly. Your reasoning is lacking when you assert that since the death sentence is not administered even-handedly enough we should just get rid of it. Since a lot of people break traffic laws, should we do away with them too? Eliminating the death penalty would certainly not best serve the innocent victims or the rest of the public (potential victims).
If the line of reasoning that calls Clarence Thomas a hypocrite for repudiating [affirmative action programs], which he admits opened up educational and professional opportunities for him is correct, wouldn't that same logic call a person who later denounces selling cigarettes, even though his route to success was financed by it, a hypocrite too?
It seems that someone who might be expected to be a liberal, but turns out to be a conservative is called a "hypocrite," while, of course, someone who is transformed from conservative to liberal thinking would be called "enlightened."
Baltimore City educators have heard that much more needs to be done in order to properly prepare our children to compete with others after high school. This places a responsibility on those in city government and at the Department of Eudcation to provide classroom situations which are conductive to achieving this goal. But those in power do not seem to be meeting this responsibility; in fact, they seem to be contributing to the problem.
During the past few years, for example, students at Southern High School have lost teachers in English, math and other subjects each June because faulty enrollment projections from "downtown" erroneously indicated there would not be enough students to justify keeping the staff intact. Then, each September those classes have from 40 to 60 students.
The people "downtown" should be more aware that "zoned schools" such as Southern has a large percentage of students who come to high school already experiencing serious attendance, discipline and other problems and are further disadvantaged by being placed in overcrowded classes.
Thomas C. Millian