Harford County TrashThe Sun's virulent attack on Harford...


August 15, 1992

Harford County Trash

The Sun's virulent attack on Harford County's private trash haulers surprised and angered me.

Harford County has had a long tradition of outstanding trash hauling service because it is an area which has remained in the private sector, driven by the profit motive and has not been watered down, cheapened or denigrated by being taken over by the governmental bureaucracy. The suggestion that the Harford County haulers are gouging the public is ludicrous.

First, there's far too much competition for that to be possible. Moreover, the county executive and county council of Harford County are responsible for the dramatic increase in the hauling fees.

We implemented for the first time in ten years a tipping fee of $35 per ton, which was bound to nearly double the charges that trash haulers were making.

It is hypocritical for any public official, whether elected or appointed in Harford County government, to put the blame on the private trash haulers for the dramatic increase in their service fees.

What is perhaps the most shocking to me is that The Sun has taken upon itself to condemn, though not by name, one hauler who has taken an especially progressive approach to the new tipping fee and recycling program.

He has implemented a per-bag trash service so that the family that reduces its trash dramatically will reap the rewards by a service cost that is actually lower than was possible before the tipping fee and recycling program.

The Sun seems determined to force the small private businessmen out of the trash hauling business in favor of the multinational trash haulers or perhaps a governmentally run trash service.

It's time to remember that America is a nation of free enterprise and small business. We should be supporting our local business people when they are doing their best to be progressive, rather than undermining them with unfounded criticism.

Jeffrey D. Wilson

Bel Air

F: The writer is president of the Harford County Council.

Baker is Choice Replace Bush

Regarding your editorial (Aug. 5) that asked who should replace George Bush as the Republican presidential nominee if he stepped down, the answer seems obvious to me: James Baker.

You mention the fact that Mr. Baker has never shown a willingness to endure the rigors of presidential campaigning, and might also have mentioned his dismal record in his previous runs for elected office.

Despite these facts, however, Mr. Baker's presidential aspirations are well known. The distance Mr. Baker maintains between himself and Dan Quayle, as well as his softening posture toward Israeli loan guarantees, can be interpreted as the first political maneuvers in the 1996 Republican primary campaign, which presumably would pit him against Mr. Quayle.

While Mr. Baker has never actively courted Republicans, or the rest of the country for that matter, on his own behalf, he most likely would have started soon after the November election in preparation for 1996. If Mr. Baker feels his chances this year are better than they will be in 1996, he could, and would, begin sooner.

This raises the second point mentioned in the editorial, the fact that Mr. Baker does not have a constituency. Mr. Baker's 1992 constituency would be anchored, however, by all those Republicans terrified by the prospect of watching the presidential coalition they have painstakingly built over the past 30 years dismantled, and in some cases co-opted, by the Clinton-Gore Democrats.

Although known for their loyalty, recent events make it clear that many Republicans have concluded that in order to save their ship, the Republican Party, they must get rid of their captain, George Bush.

In any case, a Baker constituency would be easier to build than a constituency for Mr. Bush, who at this point cannot even count on Republicans, and furthermore must be held accountable for the economy and other domestic problems.

A Baker candidacy has all the advantages of the Bush foreign policy successes, without any of the burdens of his domestic failures.

Add to Mr. Baker's ticket Jack Kemp, the housing and urban development secretary, as vice presidential nominee, and you at once placate right-wing Republicans that for some reason persist in their love of Mr. Kemp, and add a much-needed domestic agenda to a national ticket.

A Baker-Kemp ticket eclipses in stature and experience the suddenly small-potatoes Clinton-Gore candidacy.

A Baker-Kemp ticket would provide Republicans an irresistible alternative to the prospect of an uphill, lonely, and negative Bush-Quayle campaign.

The only one left to convince is George Bush.

Stephen M. Dolan


Stick to the Merits on Mall Expansion

A recent editorial in this paper (Aug. 6) criticized Woodward & Lothrop's environmental track record and sought to cast doubts upon the company's sincerity in raising environmental concerns regarding the expansion of the Annapolis Mall.

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