What's on the Governor's Mind
Editor: On Aug. 30, you printed an article regarding two state employees who opposed the 40-hour work week. The two employees complained to The Sun after I sent them a letter at work explaining that I wished they had come to me with their concerns.
My letter to the employees was a very well reasoned, kind response to two extremely frustrated state employees. My letter did not threaten; it explained my difficult choices and why I decided to do what I did. By no means were my letters to those two employees meant as harassment or intimidation.
I would hope that any state employee who had a concern over a policy decision would bring his concern to my attention first before making it a public matter. I believe that a president of a private corporation would also expect that same courtesy. I would have welcomed the opportunity to explain my position and the necessity for increasing the workweek.
One of the employees, Connie Powell, said in your paper that she wrote to me last spring about the 40-hour work week. She said that she never received a reply. I asked a member of my staff to search the computer log for Ms. Powell's letter. We did not have a record of Ms. Powell writing to me regarding the 40-hour work week. If I had received Ms. Powell's letter she would have received a response, similar to the one I sent to her subsequently.
I was also worried about the public perception of state employees conveyed by Ms. Powell's letter. I have received many letters from private citizens who support the 40-hour work week and who do not understand some state employees' reluctance to work the extra hours. In addition, many state employees have written in support of our efforts.
I thought that by these two employees airing their views publicly they were perpetuating the idea that the majority of state employees opposed the 40-hour work week. I believed that most state employees understood that when we implemented the 40-hour work week it was intended to avoid massive layoffs at that time. I greatly appreciate and value our hard-working, dedicated state employees. They do invaluable work for our state and never receive enough praise for their efforts to help Marylanders.
Ms. Powell suggested that she did not know what was in the back of my mind. What was in my mind is the fact that I would have appreciated the opportunity to explain my position to Ms. Powell. She chose not to give me that opportunity. I would hope that in the future any state employee who disagrees with a policy decision would come to me first. I will do my best to explain the situation and review any alternative ideas presented to me.
( William Donald Schaefer.
The writer is governor of Maryland.
Editor: Democratic presidential hopefuls should not throw up their hands in despair over the apparent prospect of being defeated next year.
Although George Bush has earned high marks for his conduct of foreign policy, his abysmal record on domestic affairs should hearten the brave Democrats who enter the ring against him.
The trouble with our Republican presidents, past and present, is that they mingle only with the privileged and the wealthy who move in the upper strata of society.
In a matter as basic as extending unemployment benefits to those who have exhausted their weekly checks, Mr. Bush cites the damage it would do to the budget deficit.
Not a word about the effect on the deficit of the salary grab engineered in the late-night hours by greedy senators, who increased their pay an average $29,000, which in itself exceeds the annual earnings of millions of workers who toil in mines, factories and offices across the nation.
Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans elected to Congress in recent years are any bargain to the average American citizen.
But if voters in 1992 stopped to think of where their best interests lie, they would opt to get rid of Mr. Bush if only because of his callous disregard of the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed, the latter numbering hundreds of thousands of heads of families who are struggling to keep their heads above water in a period of economic recession.
Albert E. Denny.
Editor: The deadlock over the naming of the new stadium has assumed the proportions of a national embarrassment for the city, yet Gov. William Donald Schaefer and owner Eli Jacobs apparently remain adamant about their personal choices.
It is a curiosity, though, that of all of the opinions expressed in this paper's letters column, on talk-radio shows and elsewhere, no one has apparently considered the name as it would relate to the second, adjacent stadium, planned to be built for an NFL expansion team by the 1994 season.