Schmoke must come clean on residency ruleMayor Kurt L...

the Forum

June 25, 1993

Schmoke must come clean on residency rule

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke says he is "satisfied" with the explanation of Marlyn J. Perritt, director of parks and recreation, as to whether she is really a resident of Baltimore City. I and the citizens of this city are not satisfied with her evasion of the truth and his allowance of such tactics.

There are many questions that need to be asked, and it is the job of the mayor to ask them to the satisfaction of the taxpaying residents of Baltimore. He has mandated that not only department heads but all city employees must live within the boundaries of Baltimore City.

He must stand up for his own decisions, settle the issue once and for all and not just brush this under the rug. Avoiding issues has become synonymous with Mayor Schmoke and his office.

Does Ms. Perritt pay to the city the piggyback tax on her income earned in the city? Does Ms. Perritt pay car insurance based on her "gratis" residency in Clifton Park at the rate all of us do? Or does she pay Prince George's County rates, since her driver's license lists a county residence?

It is a slap in the face of those of us who remain in the city and continue to pay higher property taxes and car insurance and piggyback taxes. Yet we are not given a residence or allowed to have one address on our driver's license and another on our voting card.

Mayor Schmoke and Ms. Perritt owe us the truth. The citizens of Baltimore City are not as dumb as some of our elected officials seem to think we are.

Lois Raimondi Munchel


Berger's Top Hits

Responding to charges of critics, Stuart Berger, Baltimore County school superintendent, recently reviewed the accomplishments of his administration. With characteristic modesty, however, Dr. Berger omitted several of his more noteworthy achievements:

1. Coalition building. Rarely has an individual united so many diverse groups from all over the county -- students, parents, faculty, school administrators and community leaders. That these folks are united in their sense of alienation from and opposition to his policies seems to be of little consequence.

2. New forms of communication. Dr. Berger has pioneered the ''stonewall'' or ''closed door'' method of relating to others, a method which he has successfully instilled in Board of Education President Rosalie Hellman. Marvelously efficient, it saves him the time and energy of having to listen to and struggle with concerns from anxious parents. Besides, what do they know about educating their children?

3. Facility with ''newspeak.'' Not since Ronald Reagan, the Great Communicator, dubbed ballistic missiles ''peacekeepers'' have we enjoyed such creative terminology. Teachers are not dismissed, they are ''excessed.'' Level 5 programs are not being gutted; ''expanded options'' are being offered for students. Transferring handicapped students from special schools where they can move about freely to home-based schools where their movements are much more limited is done for the sake of ''least restrictive environment.''

4. ESP. Dr. Berger has the amazing ability to answer questions before they are asked. Sometimes he even provides answers to questions which are not being asked (which more than compensate for the occasional lapses when he fails to answer real questions).

5. Conflict scheduling. This still takes practice, but Dr. Berger seems to have it mastered. The strategy is to schedule meetings with two or more groups at different locations in roughly the same time block. One is then forced to leave early from meeting A in order to arrive late for meeting B, and thus avoid prolonged discussions at either meeting.

These achievements should not go unrecognized; with a little effort I'm certain one could even develop a ''top ten'' list. As the parent of a Level 5 student, I'm especially impressed by how efficiently Dr. Berger has dismantled one of the finest special-education programs in the nation. All this in less than a year.

avid B. Kaplan


Justice charade

I have now experienced the justice system first-hand, and what a charade.

My nephew was unfortunately killed in a car crash in which the driver was intoxicated. The driver was 17 years old with a blood alcohol level of 0.21. Legal intoxication is 0.10. (My nephew's blood alcohol level was .00). We were unsuccessful in getting a waiver to adult court, so the driver was tried in juvenile court.

The first slap in our face occurred when the court date was delayed so the driver could attend his prom and graduation. Did my nephew get that courtesy?

The trial was a complete farce. The driver and his attorney did not dispute the statement of facts, and therefore he was found delinquent on six counts. These included negligent driving, excessive speed, driving while intoxicated, gross negligence and vehicular manslaughter.

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