`TCAH: Neall And Haigley Are Out Of Bounds Maybe County...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 25, 1993

`TCAH: Neall And Haigley Are Out Of Bounds Maybe County Executive Robert Neall and Fire Administrator Paul Haigley feel a need for change in the chain of command at the fire scene, but why inside of the volunteer fire houses also? . . . My problem is with the demotion of volunteer chiefs, the paid captains can now order around the former volunteer chiefs inside of their own volunteer firehouses. . . .

What Mr. Neall and Mr. Haigley fail to see is the volunteer firehouses are not part of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department. They are corporations which have boards of directors and bylaws to govern them. The bylaws of all incorporated volunteer fire companies state that "there will be a chief."

How is it legal for Mr. Haigley to change the bylaws of a legally constituted corporation? Mr. Neall and Mr. Haigley are clearly exceeding their authority. The actions of Mr. Neall and Mr. Haigley are demoralizing the volunteer fire companies. Taxpayers should remember that their fellow citizens, the volunteers, are providing them with free fire protection.

The volunteers own their fire houses and equipment which were purchased with money from fund-raisers (bingo, fund drives, carnivals, etc.), not money collected from taxes. Mr. Neall (the taxpayers' friend) seems to be doing his best to humiliate the volunteer officers by stripping them of the only personal benefit they enjoy, the recognition given to them by their peers.

If we destroy the efficiency of the volunteer fire departments, the taxpayers will receive the bill for filling the positions of departed volunteers with paid personnel. I think the volunteers have been doing a heck of a job protecting the community for the last 100 years. Let's leave them alone, Mr. Neall and Mr. Haigley.

Richard T. Williams

Pasadena

The writer is a member of the Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Department.

Academy Insensitivity

It was with great interest that I read the article in The Sun July 13 concerning the U.S. Naval Academy's having scheduled its 1993 fall alumni weekend to include Sept. 25, which this year coincides with the Jewish High Holy Day of Yom Kippur.

Points made in the article included:

* Fewer than 10 percent of Naval Academy graduates are Jewish.

* The Academy said it would try not to plan homecomings for major Jewish holidays in the future but could not promise there would never be a conflict.

* There had been a similar conflict at least once previously, for which the Alumni Association president had apologized.

I am a 1966 graduate of Hood College in Frederick, Md. In its catalog and other material which I read before applying, . . . the statement was made that although the college was affiliated with the Evangelical and Reformed United Church of Christ, its policy was to be open to and welcome students of all religions. I found that to be true during my four years as an undergraduate.

Several years after my graduation, while scanning the upcoming scholastic year's Calendar of Events, which was published in the spring issue of the Hood College magazine, I noted that Campus Day, an annual homecoming-type event that was always held in the fall and in which alumnae were invited to participate, was scheduled for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana.

I immediately wrote to the college's administration, expressing my dismay at what I felt certain was an unintentional oversight, stating that the scheduling was inappropriate, since their religious observance could preclude the participation of both current Jewish students and Jewish alumnae.

Very shortly thereafter, I received a letter advising me that the conflict had indeed been unintentional and that Campus Day had been rescheduled. I was exceedingly proud of my alma mater then and continue to be so to this day. The persistent insensitivity of the Naval Academy is quite disappointing.

Harriet Weiner

Baltimore

Tree Protection

We should all be as unlucky as the Kenneth Reads of Annapolis. According to The Sun (July 12), the couple removed slightly more than an acre from an agreed-upon forest preservation program and sold it for more than $184,000. Mr. Read bemoans the fate that has befallen them: They may have to pay $26,000 in retroactive taxes, leaving a mere $158,000, give or take a few dollars.

The Reads reportedly own about 34 acres of woodland, meaning, ofcourse, that if they sell the remaining holdings at approximately the same amount, over $3 million will be realized. . . .

Mr. Read growls that he has been taken to the cleaners -- "really taken to the cleaners," he emphasizes. They entered into the preservation program in 1972, indicating that their woodland was bought before then. One may safely assume that an enormous (even astronomical) gap exists between the amount paid and the current value. With that kind of ill fortune, I wouldn't mind going to the cleaners myself.

Abner Kaplan

Baltimore

'Bunk' Athey

On June 29, Tyras "Bunk" Athey was sworn in as Secretary of State.

This is a great honor for Anne Arundel County. I believe the citizens in District 32 realize what a good delegate "Bunk" Athey was, as he served almost 26 years as an elected official.

I think the rest of the county should know that during that time, approximately 15 years, "Bunk" served as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, one of the most powerful committees in state government. . . .

Citizens in Anne Arundel County should be very proud of "Bunk," as we are in the delegation. He also was chairman of the Southern Legislative Conference. . . . I can assure you that all the states' representatives had nothing but great respect for "Bunk" Athey. Anne Arundel County will miss a good delegate, but Maryland has gained a great Secretary of State. We wish "Bunk" good luck.

W. Ray Huff

Pasadena

The writer is vice chairman of Anne Arundel County's state legislative delegation.

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