The MVAEditor: I have dreaded picking up my morning paper...


March 11, 1992


Editor: I have dreaded picking up my morning paper in the last few weeks fearing new revelations about the MVA's fake license problem. My dread reached its peak with your March 4 editorial on the subject.

There are a number of facts that your writers missed. On the one hand you chide MVA to ''fix the human element'' and get rid of the bad apples. The fact is that MVA does get rid of any dishonest employee it finds as the case in point clearly shows.

Your writer calls MVA a contradictory operation, but that same writer would be the first to complain about a bureaucracy that was so rigid and cold that the ''rules'' became it's only driving element. And let's not forget that in the past five years the MVA has expanded its operation in creative and unique ways by opening every Saturday, opening Express offices with night hours and fast services, opening a phone center that gives correct information the first time, and most importantly it did all this at minimal cost. We should also remember that MVA has automated its registration and titling operation, built eight new full-service offices, remodeled three offices and developed a little item called the Bay tag that has put hundreds of thousands of dollars into the bay clean-up effort.

Let's also hold Marshall Rickert responsible for turning a cold bureaucracy into an operation that cares about its customers and is willing to change with the times.

Your writer was correct in stating that fraud may never totally be prevented. As long as there are criminals who see a chance for a quick buck and college kids who want to drink and bad drivers who insist on driving, there will be fraud. The crimes of a few should not be allowed to overshadow the hard work and `D dedication of the hundreds and hundreds of MVA employees all over this state.

Herb Butler. Perry Hall.

Public Arts Need Public Funds

Editor: The current controversy over funding for the arts frames three questions: 1. Should public funds be used for the arts? 2. How can the recipients of the funds be chosen? 3. Does society at large need the arts?

Locally, appointees in the mayor's office have suggested that the arts should be self-supporting. They would have our city resign from a long list of cities that have for centuries nurtured their artists: Rome, Paris, Vienna and yes, Washington, D.C. Indeed, these cities would not exist were it not for the artists who were hired, with public funds, to design them.

Michelangelo was funded largely by the Vatican. Would he or his works be known to us now if he had been told, "Go support yourself!?" Would we know Mozart's 41 symphonies if the Hapsburgs had said, "Get lost Wolfi!"? The mayor's advisory committee is on very shaky ground here. No, we will not find a Mozart struggling in a garret in Baltimore, nor will any city in any century, but this is no reason to deny our gifted lesser lights the same public funding Mozart enjoyed.

( Kenneth A. Willaman. Baltimore.

Fair Pay

Editor: Should there not be, perhaps, a negative bonus and a lead parachute for those CEOs whose efforts on behalf of their corporation result in billion-dollar losses?

' Cyril R. Murphy Jr. Baltimore.

Clinton's Visit

Editor: Michael Olesker's Feb. 25 column, ''Clinton didn't see some sorry sights in West Baltimore,'' belittles both Baltimore's mayor and presidential candidate Bill Clinton. It distorted fact and placed both men in an under-served light.

I accompanied Governor Clinton on his trip through the area. As co-coordinator of American University's Students for Clinton, I had the unique opportunity of driving in the candidate's motorcade.

While touring West Baltimore, many individuals from the community were pushing toward Governor Clinton and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. While many questions were being fired from media and community alike, one elderly citizen's questions were apparently drowned out.

When he finally did get the attention of the mayor it was only because he was shoving against Mr. Schmoke and cut off the route the group was taking through the project. A reporter grabbed the man and moved him out of the way.

These incidents occur occasionally and are often the result of an over-eager media establishment. Neither the police, nor the Secret Service incurred incidents to my knowledge in what could have been a potentially dangerous situation. When the mayor and presidential candidate travel to a neighborhood with such a propensity for crime, there is obviously some trepidation.

I also am surprised that Mr. Olesker implied that Bill Clinton, the governor of one of the poorest states in the nation, has not had much experience viewing poverty close up. He is well aware of the terrible urban situation in this country and is the only candidate thus far to present an urban revitalization plan.

The funding of Head Start, housing projects and college education through national service are just a few of the ways in which President Clinton will help the citizens of West Baltimore.

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