Region's NeedsYour Oct. 19 editorial, "Turning Point for...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 05, 1992

Region's Needs

Your Oct. 19 editorial, "Turning Point for Baltimore City," brings to the forefront probably one of the most compelling strategies needed to address some of the financial and social ills that are beginning to plague our region.

With each entity in the Baltimore region continually short of funds and working harder and harder to meet the day-to-day needs of its citizens, a collaborative and cooperative approach to improving the quality of life and economic vitality of the region is imperative.

It is exactly for this reason that the Baltimore Metropolitan Council was created by legislation on July 1, 1992.

With the active involvement and participation of the mayor of Baltimore, the county executives from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford and Howard counties, and the commissioners from Carroll county, the BMC serves as a forum for regional problem-solving.

It ensures cost-effective delivery of services through cooperation with all levels of government and promotes collaborative solutions to issues such as air quality, solid waste, economic development and the environment.

In some arenas, it is only through economies of scale and regional efficiencies that true consensus on substantive solutions can be reached.

An interdependent and unified tack represents the soundest and most responsible direction for addressing some of the issues that directly impact on the metropolitan region's quality of life.

Charles Krautler

Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council.

Bright Potential

Your excellent Oct. 18 article about the positive lives of two young African-Americans pointed out a graphic example of the "assumed guilty" stereotypes that are so damaging to progress in our society.

There are 1,387 African-American males enrolled this fall at the Baltimore City Community College who are similarly working hard to become productive citizens.

My compliments to The Sun and to staff writer Michael Fletcher for focusing on the bright potential of two of our many talented African-American men.

James D. Tschechtelin

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Baltimore City Community College.

Time to Step Down

Governor Schaefer's recent endorsement of George Bush in the 1992 presidential race makes one feel for a once excellent governmental leader who sadly is now well beyond any effective or rational continuance in public service.

As if his rebuff of a fellow governor weren't enough, Mr. Schaefer was quoted in The Sun as saying "if he [Clinton] wins, he'll treat us the same as any other state." Anyone who has ever dealt with anyone on any matter knows that it isn't true in personal relations, and it certainly doesn't even qualify as wishful thinking in political relations.

"The governor is going with his heart with what he should do with his conscience," says Mr. Schaefer's acting press secretary. Isn't it generally agreed that the heart is a vital organ, but totally devoid of reasoning capability? Mr. Schaefer obviously has difficulty in dealing with intelligent fellow human beings, especially those identified as such by the Rhodes Scholar label.

Mr. Schaefer's reaction to the Clinton campaign's position regarding him was juvenile and unfortunately symptomatic of a totally other than juvenile affliction.

Mr. Schaefer was a great champion as mayor of my home town. Now it's time to hang it up. He should be good to himself and, more importantly, to those Baltimoreans -- not Marylanders -- who still remember him fondly. Step down.

Don Ripke

Baltimore

Don't Legalize

The Governor's Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission has no argument with Mayor Kurt Schmoke's assessment of the current federal drug strategy. It is a failure and has been noted as such in several federal General Services Administration reports. Daily events in Baltimore City provide solid evidence.

The commission agrees with the goal of "getting the user off the substance . . . and make sure they don't do harm to others." But there are other ways to accomplish this without legalizing drugs.

There must be more treatment programs, users must be made accountable with the emphasis on treatment programs before jail sentences; and let's continue to use all resources available to seize traffickers' assets in an effort to take the profit out of the market.

Legalizing drugs before trying every other conceivable method is a mistake. It sends the wrong message to our youth, who have been learning of the dangers of drugs, and it seriously jeopardizes the health, safety and well-being of all Marylanders.

Yes, innovation and creativity are vital. We must try new programs and given them a chance before we take a plunge that could inflict irrevocable harm to us all.

Neil Solomon, M.D.

Baltimore

The writer is chairman of the Governor's Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission.

The Thin Blue Line

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