Using Tax Dollars EfficientlyThe Sun's story concerning...


March 13, 1994

Using Tax Dollars Efficiently

The Sun's story concerning the budget hearing with Eileen Rehrmann on Feb. 17 incorrectly reported the evening's events. Moreover, the title of the article, "Harford parents ask executive for more," was entirely misleading.

The story went on to say that "about 25 people who spoke all asked for more money for children." Well, I was one of the 25 who spoke, but I did not ask for more money for the school system.

My specific words were, "I am not here to suggest that the entire budget be accepted or rejected." I recommended what my committee last year (Harford County Council Budget Advisory Committee) recommended to the County Council: an efficiency study. How can we as citizens know if the requested budget increase from the county (22 percent) should be fully funded if we've never had a study that either confirmed the system's efficiencies or suggested ways for improvement? I fully believe that nothing is more important than the safety and education of ** our children, but I also realize that we have a responsibility to the citizens to consider their tax dollars sacred.

As a member of the Homestead/Wakefield PTA, I also believe that teachers need to be supported, even treasured, as they go about assisting parents in preparing the next generation's leaders. Indeed, I believe that more money needs to be provided in the classrooms, so let's talk about how we best do that while at the same time providing the necessary checks and balances on how we spend other people's money.

I look forward to more reflective news stories in the future.

Christopher O'Shea

Bel Air

Not So Stupid

Susan Reimer rides again! When we last heard from Ms. Reimer, she was extolling the joys of housework and ladies' crafts. Since my blood pressure can only be elevated once or twice a month I try to avoid her.

However, I can't let her ignorance of public and private school students escape my expertise ("Remaining private or going public over school choice," Feb. 17).

There are rude and "stupid" students in both the private and public schools. Yet according to Ms. Reimer, only public schools allow "stupid" and rude children. Private schools would never consider letting them grace their hollowed halls.

Wrong! I've taught nine years in private schools and nine years in the public schools of Ohio, Louisiana and Maryland. And I have found that in all three states and in both types of schools there are rude and ignorant students. I personally never met a truly stupid student. But then again, I've never lived in Annapolis like Ms. Reimer.

After 18 years of teaching, I can honestly say that I am usually able to teach students (thus eliminating the term "stupid") and train them (thus eliminating the term "rude").

What I find is the main difference between private and public school students is the self-esteem of the students.

Private schools tend to have more parental support than the public schools. Parental involvement sends a message to the children. It says, "We care. We have made a sacrifice because we feel you are our future."

Sometimes the public schools become a dumping ground to deal with children that parents were not trained to deal with.

Perhaps the solution would be to teach the parents as well as the children to eliminate the "stupid-rude" problem.

Once again we have Ms. Reimer to thank for another stereotypical day in the suburbs.

Cynthia Ordes


Gun Control

I must respond to Sheldon H. Laskin's letter, "License Guns," in The Sun, Feb. 20.

As a matter of fact, the Maryland State Police reported the number attending the anti-gun rally in Annapolis at "less than 800," not the "over 1,000" that Mr. Laskin states. Many, many of the less than 800 supporters were in fact not Marylanders. They were anti-gun organizers from other states here to promote their agenda through our state politics with help of a willing, sympathetic media, eager to give them coverage.

The second fact that needs addressing is . . . the Constitution. Gun ownership is a right, guaranteed by the Second Amendment, just as free speech and assembly are rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

How would you feel if a group decided it would be appropriate to limit your letters to the editor to two a year? How about we limit the freedom to assembly to two anti-gun rallies a year? Doesn't sound so appealing, does it?

Oh, but you say that those rights aren't killing people? Well now, using the logic of the anti-gun crowd, let's look at one more fact. According to the the Center for Disease Control, more people will die of AIDS in 1994 than from gunfire. Perhaps we should limit the "right" to have sex to twice a year.

Restricting the rights and freedoms of honest citizens is counter-productive to crime prevention. However, restricting the freedom of convicted criminals in a meaningful manner, (ie., no parole, truth in sentencing, punishing criminals) works every time. . . .

$Marshall M. Currence, Jr.

Havre de Grace

Police Brutality

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