Council SalariesThe median income of Baltimore County...


February 03, 1994

Council Salaries

The median income of Baltimore County residents is less than $24,000 a year. Last year Del. Leslie Hutchinson (Essex) complained about the difficulty that she had making ends meet on $28,000 a year.

Now we have members of the Baltimore County Council having problems with a salary of $30,900 a year, and this is a secondary income. Why?

The last County Council voted to raise this County Council's annual salaries by $5,700. To their credit, current members of the council have, every one, returned the salary increase each year.

Six have returned their increases without publicity, except for Vince Gardina, who each year puts out one of his many press releases on returning his salary increase.

Now there is a bill before the County Council to freeze the next County Council's salary at the $30,900 level.

Suddenly, several members of the current council are looking at the pay raises they have been giving up and, thinking that they have the next election in their pockets, have to think about backing this bill.

It is time for all members of the County Council to take a stand on holding down the budget. That is their job, and it would be nice to see them do it.

This bill means a net savings of over $150,000 in tax dollars. Without this bill, the salaries of the next County Council would climb over $1 million, plus benefits, plus perks. Why do Baltimore County taxpayers have to bear this expense?

Maybe it is time for us to get away from having the best politicians that money can buy, and start electing people who are looking for the opportunity to address the problems of the citizens.

Problems like how to make ends meet on less than $24,000 TC year as a sole source of income, while paying the taxes that constantly manage to rise.

John Hillstrom


The Block

In response to several reporters' and columnists' criticism of the raid on The Block, I found the juxtaposition of that story with the awful allegations of molestation by a teacher raised in just such a pornographic environment instructive.

A society with lax moral standards that allows one segment to depersonalize another for material gratification eventually pays a steep price for that indulgence.

It may be more politically palatable to argue for reform from the standpoint of economic expediency, (the imputed reason for the raid being redevelopment) -- I would argue from a viewpoint that raises the human above the merely animal.

Sex without love is a cheat -- it may stave off loneliness only to ultimately exacerbate the alienation and hamper less selfish relationships.

As with drugs, the escape can become a trap, demanding more and more.

As for the tradition of male bonding, surely men can bond in activities that don't objectify other humans. The personal is stripped from sexuality only at the peril of the whole individual.

Contrary to the assertion that little violence stems from such pornographic exploitation, violence may be less obvious in the immediate vicinity of that strip, but predatory sexual violence is all too common behind closed doors and almost accepted culturally.

That winking perspective is changing. That is the sense in which The Block is a throwback.

Dorothy J. Lilly


Staff Support

The last three sentences of your Jan. 22 editorial about the Baltimore County school superintendent, Stuart Berger, left me puzzled.

The editorial stated: "Those who say he doesn't care about people are half right: he doesn't care about the comfort level of adults one iota. His motivation is the education of young people. We cannot see what is wrong with that."

If Dr. Berger cares deeply about the education of young people, and because of his position, he cannot be relating directly to the students, he must depend on trained and dedicated adults to do this job.

It seems that these adults are extremely important in the process of bringing the needed changes in our school system.

In the business world it is an accepted premise that greater productivity results when employees are made to feel valued and respected in the workplace. In other words, the comfort level of the workers is of prime importance.

Would not this premise hold true in the business of education?

As a teacher, I have observed that school personnel do not work well under intimidation.

They work more effectively when they are valued and considered as equals on a team, determined to improve the education of our young people.

Ruby S. Lehman


Kasper's Recipe

Rob Kasper sends our digestive juices flowing and makes us laugh.

There isn't much to laugh at in the newspapers today, and we need a little of that.

There isn't much fun and games minus serious global consequences, and we need a little of that.

There isn't much poking fun at ourselves with a tender touch rather than pejorative punch, and we need a little of that!

Here's to Rob Kasper's wonderful sense of humor. Keep the bar-b-que cooking and the pencils sharpened.

Nancy Hammond


Life's Realities

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