Mayor Hopkins' Next Four Years ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

November 05, 1993

The philosophy behind the Annapolis election results seemed to be, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Voters made abundantly clear this week that they are happy with Mayor Alfred Hopkins, master of the status quo.

But Mr. Hopkins will need to do more these next four years than just keep government running day-to-day. During the campaign, listed but two accomplishments he had in mind during a second term: opening a senior center and rebricking Main Street. Well, he's already announced his plan to turn the old Wiley H. Bates school into a senior center, and rebricking Main Street should not take all of four years. That leaves plenty of time to

address these serious issues:

* Crime: Residents are concerned about crime more than any other issue. Telling them that statistics show their worries to be exaggerated, as Mr. Hopkins has done, won't suffice. The mayor needs to look at the allocation of police, neighborhood patrols and community policing. And he must stem decaying morale in the police and fire departments. Police officers have no confidence in their chiefs, and residents are losing confidence in the police. This is a situation Mr. Hopkins cannot ignore.

* Mending fences with city employees: Workers are unhappy, and because they did not support Mr. Hopkins during the election, they're afraid, too. The mayor needs to make the first step toward healing this rift to restore a productive atmosphere.

* Trash: The city landfill is closed, and the city can't use the Anne Arundel County dump in Millersville forever. Mr. Hopkins has to take the lead in deciding whether to spend $24 million to expand the city landfill or find another solution.

* Downtown: The mayor must build peace between residents and downtown businesses. A stronger police presence at night is essential. And he must do more to attract a variety of businesses to fill vacancies on Main and West streets.

* Race relations: Mr. Hopkins may be right when he says that race relations are no worse in the state capital than any other place. Still, Annapolis is a divided city, and the mayor should be working to make it less so.

If the mayor can make headway on these issues between now and 1997, he will truly earn himself a record to be proud of.

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