Good-faith money for auto insuranceMichael A. Fletcher's...

the Forum

December 15, 1992

Good-faith money for auto insurance

Michael A. Fletcher's Dec. 9 article on the Citywide Insurance Coalition raises several interesting points.

A. Robert Kaufman, the long-time activist, sometime political candidate and president of the coalition is quoted as saying, "Here, the mayor is trying to make us jump through hoops for $60,000." Kaufman further claims, "[Councilman] Melvin Stukes [D-6th] has sabotaged our efforts to get the council to help us sweat this out of the mayor."

As I understand it, there are several bases for the creation of a publicly owned, non-profit firm to insure Baltimore drivers.

The first is the belief that the privately owned and sometimes publicly traded insurance companies all have joined together in a vast conspiracy to cheat the Baltimore driving public by overcharging them for insurance coverage. Presumably those companies have two goals: to increase their profits and to lower the costs for the suburban and rural drivers in the state.

This is so silly as to be ridiculous. Why in the world would anyone believe that no individual agent or company would attempt to corner the city by reducing their charges to a point where they would undersell all other insurance companies and make a profit at the same time.

The second belief is that the insurance company has not quantified the costs for many years and the charges for insuring city drivers may be far greater than the costs. This may be true and for that reason, the current study may be worth pursuing.

The third belief is primarily that of Kaufman, the perennial socialist candidate for office. He appears to be the one who is pushing for the non-profit concept.

The mayor has been more than generous with this group. He has spent $76,000 and agreed to contribute another $50,000 in tax dollars. The only condition is that the interested parties put up $60,000 of their money.

Considering that this amounts to about $350 each for the 169 organizations, the mayor is requiring little more than a good faith contribution. These interested parties have collected only $1,700 or about $10.05 per organization, according to your article. . .

William Grimes-Wyatt Sr.


Loch Raven golf

Regarding John Steadman's article "New Loch Raven course is just Hayden tap-in away" (Dec. 2), if Mr. Steadman had called the county to get all of the facts before writing the article, perhaps his sports vernacular, "tap-in," would have been changed to "a shot from the three-point range."

Mr. Miller should submit his plan for a golf course at the Loch Raven watershed to our development process. There are criteria for developing golf courses which all developers, including our own county recreation department, must meet. The process includes a thorough study of environmental, safety and community issues.

Since this property is within Baltimore County, we are obligated to treat Mr. Miller's proposal as we do all development proposals.

The article implies there has been a four-year delay caused by Baltimore County. This is certainly not accurate for Mr. Miller's organization, the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation, since it withdrew its request in the face of heavy community opposition several years ago.

We look forward to formally receiving Mr. Miller's application and providing him with our golf course construction guidelines to help him move from a three-point shot range to a true slam dunk for golf.

Merreen E. Kelly


The writer is administrative officer of the Baltimore County Government Administrative Office.

The Block works

The Block, a home-grown, local effort, which everyone in authority has tried to shrink, stop, chop and legislate out of existence, has been lied to and blackmailed, shunned and extorted.

Yet it continues to entertain and amaze, while it employs people, pays real estate and sales taxes, license fees and permit fees, and it continues to prosper and thrive.

In the same neighborhood, there are three areas created by out-of-towners who came to Baltimore with spread-sheets and surveys, smug looks and plenty of attitude, and everyone in authority bent over backward to waive this and that, bow and scrape.

These three giant white elephants employ no one, pay no property taxes, raise no sales tax, delight or enthrall no one.

Has anyone in authority thought of the obvious solution? Move the Block to the Power Plant, the Brokerage, or the Fish Market.

Byron Predika


Holiday cheer

While shopping at White Marsh Mall, I had the opportunity to hear the Woodlawn High School chorus and orchestra. The chorus performed in robes of red, singing a medley of holiday songs, and was absolutely wonderful.

Some solos from the orchestra were also played while a good many shoppers gathered around to listen and enjoy.

We hear so much about crimes of young people and racism these days, but do let me make a point. These young performers were a mixture of black and white students working together, bringing joy to others. They must have spent many hours of preparation for this concert.

You see, there are so many good young people out there, (let's hear more about the do-gooders). This group is living proof that we can all work together.

Thanks to Woodlawn High School for an excellent performance. . .

Jessie Englar


Hunters' image

Commuters on their way to work one recent Monday morning in Baltimore County were witness to the slaughter that took place on the first day of hunting season.

Deer parts -- legs, heads, skins and innards -- cluttered the sides of the road, visible to everyone.

Is this necessary? Don't sportsmen realize that the less the public (which does not condone hunting) sees, the better off their image will be?

Incidentally, I was under the impression that all deer killed had to be taken to a checking station. If they were all cut up, how could this be done -- unless, of course, they were shot illegally?

P. Whittington


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