One-Man Gestapo?Editor: It's been interesting and at times...


January 16, 1992

One-Man Gestapo?

Editor: It's been interesting and at times amusing to follow the personal correspondence sent by our illustrious Governor Schaefer to numerous individuals during the last couple of years.

While I wholeheartedly support William Donald Schaefer's right to contact whomever he pleases and express his opinion, the last story forces me to conclude that the gentleman has succumbed to the pressures of high office and carried his personal right and privilege to the unsavory level of a one-man Gestapo.

Had I received a copy of my photograph, taken at an anti-Schaefer rally, with no explanation or comment, I would undoubtedly feel intimidated or threatened. ''Big Brother is watching!''

Regardless of my own reaction to such an event, I must ask several questions.

Who took the pictures? For what purpose were they taken? Who paid for the photographer, film, development and postal charges?

Who took the time and trouble to identify the persons involved? Where are the negatives? What other information may have been compiled regarding these people? How many dossiers exist that we aren't aware of?

I may be as paranoid as Governor Schaefer appears to be, but I strongly suspect that Maryland taxpayers unknowingly finance this expensive and reprehensible behavior.

Sherry Dougherty.


No to Helmets

Editor: Here you go again.

Why does your newspaper keep silent when the government tries to take away any freedom but freedom of the press?

Freedom of choice is not for sale at any price!

If motorcyclists knew that a helmet was full-proof, they would wear one. If they knew a helmet would not hinder their hearing, vision, cause headaches from excessive heat in the summer, or cause fatigue from the weight and wind buffeting, they would wear one. If they knew a helmet wouldn't snap their necks or choke them, they would wear one. At first glance it's easy to call them safety helmets, but look closer and they are not everything they seem to be. You might also look at the cause of most motorcycle accidents, cars failing to yield the right of way. If the motorcyclists are not at fault, why should they be the ones penalized? Shouldn't the drivers of the cars be required to pay the injured parties' expenses? Aren't they insured?

As to the seatbelt law, I don't recall an abundance of Marylanders supporting it when it was passed. Simply an abundance of politicians that fell for federal extortion relating to highway funds. The same extortion now being used.

Maryland motorcyclists will never give up their freedom without a fight and will never sell it like your paper seems so willing to do.

Robert Usher.


Real Estate Agents' Fees

Editor: We in the Maryland Association of Realtors take exception to the assertion in The Sun, attributed to a deputy budget secretary, that real estate agents' fees do not cover the cost of regulation.

Two years ago, a $20 increase for licensing was levied. Our association supported the increase, with the understanding that the then current licensing fees plus the increase would be returned to the Maryland Real Estate Commission for the purpose of improving their manning levels and providing additional and more timely services to the public and to the industry. The fee increase became reality; the anticipated improvements did not. Our understanding was that the commission's budget was decreased rather than increased and that the license fees go into the General Fund where their identity disappears.

We believe that license fees are adequate for proper and efficient functioning of the Maryland Real Estate Commission without any further increases. There is a problem, however, in determining that adequacy within the current framework in which the commission operates as a division within the Department of Licensing and Regulation.

We suggest that the commission be established as a separate department, directly accountable to the governor for prompt and efficient service to the public and the industry. Then it would operate with its own budget, funded with all of the income from license fees, and the question of whether license fees are pegged at the proper level could be examined with clarity. Until that happens, however, and the commission is removed from the realm of political football, conjecture about the fees not supporting the cost of regulation is irresponsible.

Pierre H. Vining.


The writer is president of the Maryland Association of Realtors Inc.

Unnecessary Duplication

Editor: I am not an economist, but I agree in part with Louis Brendan Curran's call for Maryland's political leaders to ''stop playing word games and do what they must do. . .'' However, he goes off the deep end when he calls for them to ''raise taxes.''

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