Fair GameDo you want a group which votes itself a 45...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 10, 1993

Fair Game

Do you want a group which votes itself a 45 percent pay raise at midnight; excepts its members from laws they pass, refuses to discipline flagrant law breakers; votes on issues on the basis of what is good for the "party" rather than what is good for the country?

A group that takes 1,800 pages to "tax the rich" in the name of fairness; votes for a trillion dollar increase in debt and calls it a deficit reduction; passes retroactive tax increases; writes a cable rate reduction bill which raises the majority of rates and potentially complicates reception of all broadcast channels?

Is this the group you want to define what is "fair?"

The fairness doctrine is another law designed to keep the legal profession occupied.

David L. Cavett

Bel Air

Black Leadership

The responses to the Aug. 22 column by Mike Olesker on the suggestion by NAACP chief Ben Chavis that Rodney King is a heroic figure demonstrates the key point of confrontation in the black community today.

Letters to the editor in reaction to Olesker's comments suggested everything from a conspiracy to circumvent black leadership to Olesker's gall in defining it.

The real problem facing black leadership, and the black community as well, is the problem of economic integration and development in America and the global economy, not the symbols and icons needed to make us feel good.

Who cares who says what about whom or why a ''hero'' is required at all?

Blacks do need role models, but we can do better than just picking the last recognizable name we can find. What needs to be done is to address the economic ills of the community through education reform and economic activity that works.

The civil rights organizations established circa 1900 to confront the legal obstacles to racial equality and justice in commercial opportunity are not equipped to act for a legally independent and politically disorganized effort to make progress for blacks in a high-tech, global economic environment.

A confrontation exists between so-called black leadership around who or what organizations can best solve black economic problems. I contend that none is prepared for this: new institutions and arrangements are needed. You can't put new wine in old sacks, as the Good Book says.

Carrington B. Davis

Baltimore

The King's Tavern

I was saddened to read about the recent death of Lavonda "Bonnie" Hunt, the East Baltimore tavern owner.

I took my wife to Ms. Hunt's bar on our first date to test her mettle. Any woman who couldn't appreciate a bar done up in Elvis wasn't for me.

We danced all that night to "the King" on the juke box and have been together ever since.

=1 Thanks and so long, Bonnie. You'll be missed.

Geoff Bond

Perry Hall

Berger's Indefensible Actions

I am astounded by your Aug. 26 editorial's attempt to defend School Superintendent Stuart Berger's personnel actions.

The procedures he used to demote 40 principals and assistant principals were contrary to any legitimate, acceptable personnel practices. His actions are indefensible and sufficiently damning to warrant his dismissal.

In my years of experience as a personnel psychologist, I have worked with many private and public organizations. In no instance have I encountered a chief executive officer who has attempted to violate fair employment practices the way in which Dr. Berger did.

In your editorial you state that "indications are that at least some of the written evaluations, like those in other professions, can't be taken too seriously because they gave inflated reviews . . ."

What evidence supports your assertion? I certainly hope that for the sake of the employees at The Sun and the organization itself, your top management doesn't arbitrarily assume that some performance appraisals must be inflated, thereby justifying throwing out all in favor of completely subjective decisions.

It is common knowledge that Dr. Berger believes all students can succeed, even excel. Does he not make this same assumption for adults as well?

It may be quite reasonable to assume that the vast majority of administrators would be outstanding. In a excellent school system such as Baltimore County's, those who demonstrated incompetence and mediocrity would have been weeded out.

If in fact the performance appraisals were "inflated," then the raters should have been retrained to conduct valid ratings.

Certainly the appraisals should not have been discarded only to be replaced by a totally subjective procedure which invites abuse of power. Had a single minority been demoted under these circumstances, it would have been a clear violation of his or her civil rights. Should a lesser standard be applied for those not protected by minority group status?

I trust the school board will be able to interpret the task force findings accurately and face up to the obvious conclusion that Superintendent Berger must be replaced with someone who can effectively implement the changes mandated in the vision statement.

Tom Mitchell

Baltimore

Ordinary People Make a Difference

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