Privatizing Trash Pick-upEight months ago, on March 30...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 22, 1992

Privatizing Trash Pick-up

Eight months ago, on March 30, our union held a public news conference at the city landfill to alert our citizens that our city was about to fall victim to a landfill crisis. We stated that we were astonished that Annapolis Mayor Al Hopkins' administration, over the past two years, has done little or nothing to address this community-wide concern. . . .

On Nov. 5, the refuse and recycling committee of the City Council released a report recommending that the city begin on Jan. 1, 1993, the immediate privatization of its refuse and recycling services. Quite frankly, we were astonished and offended at the content and timing of this committee report . . .

pTC Does the mayor and City Council really think that it is in the best interest of their constituents to breach a contract and illegally displace these families at the height of the holiday season?

Are the mayor and City Council prepared to take the kind of action that will send a negative message to city employees whose morale is already at an all-time low? . . .

A public hearing has been scheduled on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall (160 Duke of Gloucester St.). I urge all Annapolitans who are concerned about the quality of their city services, the continued employment of their neighbors and the financial well-being of our city to attend this meeting and demand that the mayor and City Council reject this ill-conceived proposal for privatization and to resolve our landfill crisis.

Tom Newquist

Annapolis

The writer is vice president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 3406.

The Arrest of a School Principal

In her Nov. 8 column about the arrest of Patricia A. Emory, Elise Armacost stated that Severna Park Elementary School parents were "angry at the media for being a messenger of bad news," and education officials closed ranks "turning the school into a virtual fortress,"

I disagree with both these statements.Yes,many parents werand are mad at the media,but not for " being the messenger of bad news," but rather for trying to sensationalize it ... I don't think the media obtains objective information by surrounding the school grounds with cameras and microphones in hopes of getting angry parents or scared children to talk.

As for education officials " turning the school into a virtuafortress,"more power to them. I cannot say enough in support of the entire Severna Park Elementary School staff, the interim principal and the Anne Arundel County School Board. Yes, they kept the media out of the school, but every parent was welcomed in. The school provided us with a room to meet, they gave us objective information, they accepted our anger, our tears and our concern, both for Mrs. Emory and our children.

More importantly, on that difficult day, our teachers, with the support of counselors, let our children talk and ask questions. This was followed by a normal day where learning took place. . . . The teachers and school board at that awful time provided a safe, secure learning environment for our children. The media, on the other hand, appeared as threatening vultures looking to sensationalize our children's pain. Please give us the facts in this case and leave our children alone.

Laurie Levitt

Severna Park

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