Irresponsible Column

Readers write

August 25, 1991

From: Jeffrey D. Wilson

President, Harford County Council

Mark Guidera's "Observer" column of Aug. 18 is an irresponsible attack upon the constitutional rights of legislatures, specifically the County Council of Harford County.

It is the right of a council member to develop legislation as a privileged communication, like attorney-client privilege. How a member handles a bill is up to that person. Some members choose to introduce a bill without any prior discussion with other members or any informal public review.

When a member does choose to hold pre-introduction discussions with other membersof the council or with the public, such as in a workshop, the momentof birth is chosen by the council member.

The press, including the Harford County Sun, generally respects the gestation period of a bill. For example, Harford County Sun editor Mark Guidera has known formonths that I have been working on an ethics bill. I have told reporter Carol Bowers that it is not ready for release yet.

The HarfordCounty Sun has respected my position. Indeed, it should. Why should there be a public debate on the hypothetical, specific issues of a bill until the author of the bill knows what those specific issues are?There are very reasonable grounds for the constitutional right of legislative privilege.

Guidera's editorial also displayed a completelack of understanding of the charter-mandated procedure for public comment and contribution. The bill is introduced and advertised at least 22 days prior to the public hearing. No bill can be enacted into law without a public hearing.

If Guidera thinks additional time would help, he should advocate changing the law. There are no grounds tocondemn a council member who complies fully, in spirit and letter, with the law.

The real story regarding the adult bookstore bill is that Harford Sun editor Mark Guidera is mad because Evening Sun reporter Bruce Reid scooped the story.

William Congreve wrote, "Heaven has no rage like a hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."

Congreve never met a scooped editor.


From: Ronald M. Szczybor


I was greatly disappointed byyour recent criticism of County Council President Jeff Wilson, County Councilman Phil Barker and State's Attorney Joe Cassilly regarding the decision to refrain from releasing a preliminary draft of legislation on adult book stores. ("Observer," Aug. 18)

These people should be commended, not criticized, for their efforts to rid our community of these pervert centers.

As Phil Barker states in your column,the preliminary draft was not released to you because he "want(ed) to get the document in order and show it to council members (first) and then let the people see it."

That makes sense to me.

The comments you make regarding these men are basically "cheap shots" and I contend your logic is warped.

The majority of Harford County residents want these deviant centers closed.

Your claim that Joe Cassilly has a vested interest in the passage of this bill is ridiculous.

As Harford County's State's Attorney, Joe Cassilly should be consulted on the legality and enforcement of the legislation. Even you, as areporter, should understand that.

After reading your rhetoric, I would contend that with your logic, you'll do more harm than good forour citizens.

I suggest, in the future, if you wish to criticize conservative values, have your column placed in the opinion and editorial section of The Sun.


From: Leonard E. Cantrell Jr.


Upper Chesapeake Health Center

It has been called to my attention that your paper ("Cancer patients couldget treatment closer to home," July 21) mistakenly implied that patients must leave Harford and Cecil counties in order to receive chemotherapy services.

In fact, we have an active medical oncology service in our hospitals (Harford Memorial and Fallston General) headed byDr. Joan Edwards, a well-qualified oncologist-hematologist. Chemotherapy is provided to patients under this program at both hospitals, aswell as at Dr. Edwards' office.

By developing the Upper Chesapeake Oncology Center (the subject of your article), we will add radiation therapy to our cancer treatment program. It is radiation therapy that is not yet available in Harford or Cecil counties.

I hope that this information clarifies the services that are currently available locally and those that soon will be.


From:Carl D. Rogers


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