Board FailureI think the public is sufficiently informed...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 27, 1993

Board Failure

I think the public is sufficiently informed as to what City Comptroller Jacqueline McLean is being investigated for, but what about the whole of Baltimore City's Board of Estimates?

This body deliberates on many issues affecting Baltimore citizens and sometimes statewide citizens.

I'm curious why its membership did not have the facts necessary to reach responsible conclusions on all matters facing it that session?

Members of the board have instant access to details surrounding all matters coming before it, if anyone does. They know what departments to call, what sub-units, what supervisor, etc.

I think it is a great danger to the people to have their jurisdiction's business handled in what would certainly appear to be a sloppy fashion at best.

I am out of the business world. All supervisory personnel from line supervisors up through top management, when deliberating upon a company matter, were instructed as follows:

1. Get the facts. 2. Get all the facts. 3. Carefully weigh all the facts. 4. Make a decision without laboring over it.

My company, at any rate, gave us wallet-size reminder cards bearing this manager's creed.

I know politics, and it doesn't know the meaning of good management.

But don't you agree that the Baltimore City Board of Estimates should have a big sign containing the four steps I noted here hung on the wall of the boardroom for all to see it when it is in session?

Sorry, folks, but I can't accept a casual, "But we didn't know the facts in the McLean case." They should have.

W. F. Lickle Jr.

Towson

Immortal Atoms

Typically, I read and value columns by George Will. This was never more true than the column headlined, ''Here We Are, Fellow Particles.''

As a theologian and parish rector, I resonate with scientists who speak poetic and theological language. Mr. Will presented Lewis Thomas as one such scientist. It was truly wonderful to see Thomas' words quoted: ''The probability of any one of us being here is so small that you'd think the mere fact of existing would keep us all in a contented dazzlement of surprise.''

My spiritual mentor, C. S. Lewis said much the same in a sermon he preached at Oxford in 1941: ''There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.

"But it is immortals who we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendors . . . Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses."

The theologian in me rejoices in Thomas' notion that when life ends, ''I may find myself hanging around in some sort of mid-air, one of those small thoughts, drawn back into the memory of the earth.''

I've been telling Christians for years that the God who loves cannot forget you. He will draw us back to Himself, redeeming us for further surprises.

Thomas L. Culbertson

Baltimore

The writer is rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

Combating Evil

In his rambling and disjointed Dec. 10 Opinion * Commentary diatribe, Richard Rodriguez vilifies individuals who have been sexually assaulted by clergy.

Apparently because these victims appear on televised talk shows, Mr. Rodriguez declares: "What you never learn from these electronic confessionals is that we get the kind of priests we deserve." Nonsense.

No society, including ours, "deserves" pedophiles. Further, to declare them to be "failed" ignores the nature of their intentional acts.

This is not "sexual indiscretion," it is horrendous conduct. Predatory sexual behavior, perpetrated against children is not only a crime, it is a moral outrage, regardless of the perpetrator's status.

These child-victims are society's true innocents, who are physically and spiritually violated by criminals who happen to wear clerical garments. Society is not to blame for these criminals; these criminals have only themselves to blame.

Only when apologists such as Mr. Rodriguez realize this -- and work with those members of society and the church who are trying to combat this evil -- will this menace finally be extirpated.

Timothy X. Sokas

Baltimore

Laurel Redskins

I thought I had heard everything when I tuned in a Baltimore TV station and a reporter was interviewing a psychiatrist on the potential for a citywide depression if a National Football League franchise wasn't awarded.

Led by Gov. William Donald Schaefer, we have now escalated this acute case of franchise envy to Jack Kent Cooke, who wants to move to the Redskins to Laurel.

Do these leaders understand the economic benefits of such a project to the state and the counties involved? Or, more precisely, is our governor representing the whole state or just Baltimore City?

What's his beef against Marylanders who happen to live in the Washington area, anyway? What did our governor think he was doing to Washington's prospects for major league baseball when Camden Yards was built to make access for Washingtonians easier?

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