Middlebrooks' School GamesCounty Councilman Edward...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 27, 1993

Middlebrooks' School Games

County Councilman Edward Middlebrooks' explanation in The Sun June 11 about why he was the fourth vote to kill financing for Solley Elementary School is appalling. Mr. Middlebrooks was willing to have the county lose $1.6 million in state funding for this project and to give up the five acres of land that a private citizen is donating all because he doesn't like Councilman Carl Holland in whose district the school is.

What kind of political hack is Mr. Middlebrooks that he casts his votes based on who he likes rather than on the merits of the issue or what is best for the citizens? Mr. Middlebrooks seems to take offense that the voters in the 3rd District elected a Republican to the County Council and that the county elected a Republican as county executive. . . . There is no excuse for his petty vindictiveness. I hope that in the next election, the voters will recall Mr. Middlebrooks' childish behavior and toss him out of office. Mr. Middlebrooks would do well to remember that the other three who joined him in voting against the Solley school -- Maureen Lamb, David Boschert and Virginia Clagett -- are the very same council members that the voters resoundingly rejected by overwhelmingly passing term limits which bars these three (and only these three) from running for re-election to the County Council in 1994.

County Executive Robert Neall and council members Holland, Diane Evans and George Bachman deserve praise for their efforts and perseverance to get Solley built and at minimal cost to the taxpayers. . . .

Edward L. Maddox

Millersville

Meade Changes

Last summer, Fort Meade announced that "as part of the installation's Army Communities of Excellence initiatives, hundreds of World War II billets were demolished." Your May 28 editorial praised this wasteful behavior and did not mention that some of these barracks were or could have been used by the fTC homeless and job training programs in the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan area.

Your editorial urged the Army to continue in its efforts to turn Fort Meade into a wonderful research and educational center and country clubfor defense contractors. (Defense contractors now rent Army light aircraft, play golf, listen to the Army band and use its many facilities.)

This Flay Day, Baltimore honored the "Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance" at Fort McHenry. Francis Bellamy, the author of the Pledge, and his first cousin, Edward Bellamy, author of "Equality," thought the job of the Army and the federal government was to look after the welfare of the people, not defense contractors. Your editorial praised Col. Kent Menser, the Fort Meade commander, for reaching "out to schools and neighborhoods . . . military leaders have served as mentors for localstudents and donated school materials." The Bellamys would have seen through this type of "tokenism." . . . John W. Baer

Annapolis

Volunteers' Value

On behalf of the Maryland Volunteer Network, I am writing to express my concern for the current and impending loss of volunteer programs in Anne Arundel County. . . .

Recently, the Anne Arundel County Fire Department volunteer chief was demoted, much to the dismay and public outcry of volunteer firemen throughout the county. Representing the largest number of volunteers in the county, the Anne Arundel County Fire Department volunteer coordinator position was eliminated last January.

Additionally, the Anne Arundel County Office of Community Services Volunteer Coordinator position will be eliminated June 30. This valuable program served to recruit, support and recognize the 40,000 volunteers serving in county government providing services to the citizens valued at $23 million! . . . From the Social Services program Holiday Sharing, that provides Christmas gifts for struggling families, to the neighborhood volunteer fire departments present at time of critical need, there is no substitute.

Volunteering offers individuals opportunities for skill development, self-reliance and raised self-esteem. Volunteerism stimulates social responsibility and economic growth, even to the extent of creating new jobs and professions. . . . The need is for expanding and enhancing volunteer programs, not their systematic dismantlement.

Mindy Amor

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Maryland Volunteer Network.

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