From: Robert S. Wagner
I am writing in response to a letter to the editor published in last week's edition of The Harford County Sun, "Wagner: Wake Up."
Ellen Cutler authored the letter, which chastised me fortaking realistic analysis of the question of building a vast amount of new schools in our county.
The scenario I am trying to avoid isthat of having many schools built and not having the student population to fill them in 10 years. All of the projections by the Board of Education only reflect population growth for the upcoming six years. I want to be assured of not spending the taxpayers' dollar frivolously. I feel that I was elected to spend every tax dollar wisely, and I will work to that end.
On the fact that I may have a child attending a private school, rather than public, I'm sorry, Ms. Cutler, but it is my God-given right as an American to choose and do whatever I feel is in the best interest of my family.
In sorting through the issues that affect the Board of Education, I analyze each issue thoroughly and can do so with an unbiased opinion. I hope you can understandthat an individual making some of the fiscal decisions that council members do affecting the Board of Education would very well be complicated by having a child attending public schools. In further explanation, decisions made by council members could be subject to reprisals against the children in a public school setting. I have the utmost regard for our teaching staff and will strive to help education in Harford County.
I would like to remind Cutler that during budget deliberations, I did work toward acquiring the moneys required to help reduce classroom size by the hiring of new teachers; hire 6 new art teachers; raise nurses' salaries; and ultimately enhance the level of education in the county. I am a strong advocate for good, quality education, but I also can see the big picture.
Everything is economically driven and it revolves around: How do we pay for these projects? I would be open to any comments anyone has as to how we can better education in Harford County, and how to fund these ideas.
HAVE PRIDE IN AMERICA
From: Joseph I. Cassilly
I was very disappointed with your article on the Pride in America Program, "Patriotic program on test run in schools," Harford County Sun,Oct. 6. It made no effort at all to tell your readers what the purpose of the program is.
As the county state's attorney, I saw this program as a positive approach to the problems of teen-age alcohol anddrug abuse, teen-age parties and loitering, which disturb neighborhoods and businesses and the sense that there is nothing to do. The program was to challenge young people to realize their potential to volunteer in the community.
Unfortunately, when the program was presented at Fallston High School, the first part of a film which was shownhad audio problems. The students did not hear John Kennedy's voice say, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
While students in communist China and the Soviet Union have had to starve themselves and stand in front of tanks in order to find the freedom to better their country, we hoped to impress upon our high school students that they are already free to work in volunteer fire companies, recycling centers, recreation programs and many other community efforts to better their environment, to be proud of the fact that they have power, talents and abilities that are needed by this nation.
Believe me, as a Vietnam veteran who has spent 20 years imprisoned in a wheelchair, neither Col. McDaniel nor I haveto "justify" the pain we went through, because we have pride in ourselves. And as I said that day, Pride in America is pride in ourselves.