Editor: I want to clarify the issue regarding the increase in nursing license renewal fees raised in Kathryn Bauer's Sept. 11 letter. The annual fee was increased to $25 from $12. Due to lack of funding, the board has been unable to effectively provide all needed services.
On May 24, Gov. William Donald Schaefer signed into law Senate Bill 579 sponsored by Senate President Mike Miller and Sen. Paula Hollinger. This bill places 80 percent of all revenues collected in a special fund to be used exclusively to cover the cost of operating the board. This law will enable the Maryland Board of Nursing to use licensure fees for their intended purpose, board expenses. No other money may be used to fund the board's operation.
The practical implications are immediate. The board must raise sufficient revenues to fund its operation. We believe that the increase in fees and the ability to develop our own budget will allow us to automate the licensure renewal process and significantly reduce the amount of time it takes for a nurse to receive a renewed license. The process will take approximately the next two or three years to complete.
We will also be able to improve the investigative process, speed up resolution of complaints and enhance our response to the public in our day-to-day operations. Booklets containing the state's nursing laws will be available again. Our plans include a newsletter twice a year and publication of other needed informational materials for the nursing community and the public.
The board, in preparing for implementation of the law, surveyed all other state boards of nursing and determined that a renewal fee of $25 was the median amount charged in this country. Without an immediate increase in all fees there would be inadequate funds in the coming fiscal year to carry out the mandates of Senate Bill 579.
Donna M. Dorsey.
The writer is executive director of the Maryland Board of Nursing.
Views from Florida
Editor: Baltimore has taken a predominant place in our local newspapers, the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times. Hardly a day goes by without a reference to the beautiful Inner Harbor, the success story of Baltimore. Our local news media are trying to sell the concept to a disinterested citizenry, which is fed up spending more taxes for fruitless ventures especially in recession.
As you know, the mayor of Tampa set out as her goal to emulate Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The local press is trying hard to soften popular resistance by dazzling pictures and reports about the Inner Harbor. People object particularly to the aquarium in water-starved Florida. I suspect that the local newspapers, while scanning wire reports, hit on other good things coming from Baltimore. They print commentaries by Sun and Evening Sun columnists, like your most-talented Wiley A. Hall III, whose ''Russian visitors, what will they see?'' is my all-time favorite.
When a newspaper becomes so popular nationwide as The Sun, it is inevitable that some reports will not get unanimous approval. At least I was offended by an article, ''New world, same old hostilities,'' reprinted in the St. Petersburg Times.
We must change our attitudes if we seek the position of world leadership. We must follow our rhetoric by deeds to be credible. America's foreign policy must undergo a drastic change.
There is nothing wrong to admit to mistakes but something remiss when mistakes are converted to look like virtues.
Editor: Most people are all talk and no action. This goes for voting as well. Possibly when there is no talk there is no action. Or maybe only the discontented vote their conscience.
Baltimore tends to be a complacent town where most don't want anything to change. Fill the potholes and clean the alleys and most will be happy. This is why Mimi DiPietro was re-elected so many times on a constituent service platform.
Well, I'm glad so few voted. It made my vote more valuable. The complacent sat back and the provoked voted.
Maybe we (the provoked) have finally moved the First District into the 20th century just as the 21st century appears on the horizon. We've finally elected our City Council representatives on the basis of issues instead of the good-old-boy network.
Mark B. Patro.
Editor: I feel I must add a qualifier to the Sept. 17 letter by Samuel A. Banks stating that the nomination of Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court ''. . . has been an occasion for immense and cataclysmic public reaction throughout our nation.''
I would respectfully suggest that ''immense'' and ''cataclysmic'' are a tad too grandiloquent for the reality. Let us keep in mind that very recent polls, appearing in your newspaper, indicated -- that some two-thirds of all Americans, reflecting every social, political, ethnic, religious and economic persuasion in this country, held themselves up as having ''no opinion'' on this nomination.