If it ain't broke, don't fix itFrank DeFilippo's...

the Forum

February 10, 1993

If it ain't broke, don't fix it

Frank DeFilippo's commentary "Suddenly, Gov. Do-it-now is Gov. Do-it-later" (Feb. 4) about Governor Schaefer's combining the departments of agriculture and natural resources falls way short of reality.

These agencies are different and have varying responsibilities. Agriculture has often been chopped away at. To give but one example: on the same day Mr. DeFilippo's article appeared, The Sun reported that the agency didn't even have enough funding to help farmers with bay cleanup compliance.

Moreover, the department's extension services have been downsized to the point where Harry Homeowner no longer has a local extension agent to request vital information.

On the other hand, the Department of Natural Resources works hand in hand with many departments, not just agriculture. The DNR performs valued services to the state that are not related to agriculture, from educational programs like "Scales & Tales" to wildlife protection, forestry and tree planting.

Mr. DeFilippo persistently bashes agency size, even down to his statement "bigger is not necessarily better, it's merely bigger."

Mr. DeFilippo has answered his own argument. A combination of agencies will not reduce its size. On the contrary, merely because it is a bureaucracy, it will increase its size and create a monster agency with too many responsibilities, too many arms becoming intertwined and tangled and too many layers of suits and ties.

This is not fragmented government but one that is departmentalized, responsive to industry and consumer needs.

Yes, some companies are downsizing, and that is good. So why should the state take their good idea and turn it around to develop a boondoggle agency that is too big to see its own feet?

&Don't fix what ain't broke.

Patrick D. Ridgely

Owings Mills

Freeze spending

Gov. William Donald Schaefer's proposal for a 4.5 percent increase in state spending for next year is fiscal insanity. The state's taxpayers were hit with a $900 million tax increase last year, and now Governor Schaefer is back on his huge spend-and-tax agenda.

Instead, state spending should be frozen at last year's level. At the same time, the state should be looking at all expenditures to see where cuts can be made, starting with the prevailing wage law, which costs the taxpayers $30 million a year while benefiting only a handful of union bosses.

State spending and taxing is out of control, and taxpayers should demand more responsibility from the governor and the


Ray Gordon


WITH-AM: Farewell, good friend

For centuries, mankind has searched for the elixir of life. The elusive magic potion has driven explorers, royalty, scientists, industries and poets.

What school-age child has not followed the exploits of Ponce de Leon and his quest for the Fountain of Youth? Did not Cleopatra inspire intrigue and loyalty with her youthful beauty?

How many millions has science dedicated to the pursuit of the ultimate cure-all?

Movies, television, cosmetics, medicine and advertising all trumpet the endless virtues, the absolute necessity, of youth everlasting.

Was there ever a poet who, when rhapsodizing over his beloved, neglected to mention her youthful countenance?

To all those who have struggled to put aging in abeyance, the answer has been right here in Baltimore for 50 years. A turn of the radio dial to 1230, WITH-AM, preserves the body, the mind and the soul in a state of perpetual youth.

While older people look forward with anticipation to each new day, they are blessed with countless memories of yesteryear. Each song played on WITH brings a smile, a memory, a foot tapping and often a sing-along.

With each song we are young again. We recall the first date, rumble seats, canoeing on a moonlit lake, band concerts in the park, the friend who lost his life on Guadalcanal.

Next month the WITH torch will be extinguished. Farewell, good friend. Farewell, companion to the young at heart; farewell, Glenn and Benny and Harry, Buddy and Bing and Ella. Farewell, King, Count and Duke.

Farewell, my youth.

Sally Piette


Zoe, then Kimba

Of President Clinton's nominees for attorney general, Zoe Baird, a leading candidate, broke only marginally important laws. She certainly is not dangerous a criminal who poses any threat to society.

The delicious aspect of this whole situation was that a highfalutin' member of the lawyer class, which has heaped limitless layers of legal lunacy upon the citizenry, was caught up in her own web.

The icing on the cake is that this episode involves the Democrats, who are supposed to be the last line of defense surrounding the higher moral ground.

"Don't stop thinkin' about tomorrow" -- I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Dave Reich



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