On schools, our leaders must leadThis letter is a cry of...

the Forum

June 09, 1994

On schools, our leaders must lead

This letter is a cry of despair at the lack of leadership in the Baltimore city school system.

The May 30 story announcing the possibility of major personnel cuts, when neither the superintendent, Walter Amprey, nor the mayor, Kurt Schmoke, is available to lead the school system through this crisis, is shocking, appalling and despicable.

And this is not the first sign of lack of leadership: Eduction Alternatives, Inc., is asked to do what we in Baltimore are apparently unable to do; the Hyde School may be asked to run Patterson High School because we here are unable to do so.

Where are our talent and our leadership? Neither Minnesota nor the State of Maine are known to excel beyond Maryland in these qualities.

Does private enterprise provide abilities and talents not found in our city and state governments? Look around.

Do we also see corruption, ineptitude and mental and moral bankruptcy? How do we know what we will get from either Minnesota or Maine?

The city and the state are looking in the wrong direction to cure the sickness in our schools and in our city, by hiring someone else to treat the disease that affects us.

We must look to our existing personnel and nourish their talent, creativity and determination -- in short, provide them with leadership.

Yes, more money would help to improve teacher morale and to improve operating equipment, but without leadership all is wasted.

And we must look to every individual in our community, to mothers and fathers and families to cure the illness we see around us every day in the form of drugs, violence, corruption and apathy.

The school cannot do everything, the government cannot do everything, nor can the individual. But we expect our elected and appointed leaders to lead. And they aren't.

Eileen Higham

Baltimore

Taxpayer's lament

It has now become popular in progressive thinking that there is no difference between entitlements and tax deductions or, in the language of the tax collector, "tax loopholes."

All tax deductions are tax expenditures that the government gives us poor taxpayers. In other words, the government is allowing us to keep our own money as a goodwill gesture.

From the point of view of the tax collector there may be no difference in the end results of entitlement over expenditures (tax deductions), but there is a big difference from the taxpayers' point of view.

The government is taking my money and giving it to someone who is not paying any taxes, and if the trend continues along the same lines, sooner than later the people who have tax expenditures will be having tax entitlements, and then the government will see the difference between the people who have entitlements and the people who have expenditures.

Ambler M. Blick

Baltimore

Scofflaw parkers

I have a solution to the city's financial problem that will also benefit the majority of Baltimore citizens. It would simply require the police to ticket people who double park, with $50 per incident as a starting point.

I'm talking about people who double park in a travel lane even when three or more legal spaces are available within 100 feet.

I'm talking about people who do this on Keswick Avenue during morning and evening rush hour and who then act surprised when people like me gesture, honk the horn, as if we are suggesting they are in the wrong.

The best part of my solution is that, unlike the cigarette taxes that are intended to deter smoking, it would target a subpopulation of people who are so clueless to begin with that they would likely be a source of perpetual income to the city.

obert M. Slugg

Baltimore

No work, but pretty good pay

Please forgive the anger that this letter exudes. But during the course of the day of May 26, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., I passed no fewer than five city work crews -- the key word being "work."

Two crews were cutting grass (five people). Two were doing road work (four people) and one was a city water crew (three people).

Twelve in all, and all at different sites dealing with different

things. Of the 12, only four were actually "working." The other eight were smoking, ogling women, sitting on the curb or joking and talking with each other.

And two of those actually active and working were women. Mowers sitting idle won't push themselves.

No wonder people want city jobs. From what I've seen, they get paid a good wage for little or no work.

Where is the crew boss who's supposed to be monitoring these people (and probably getting paid double)?

And the city fathers and mothers want to cut programs? Please spare me. If we have the money to pay these lazy louts, we can maintain the rest of the waste.

What's happened to our work ethic? If I applied for a city job willing to work, I'd never get it for fear it would start a trend. "No work, no pay."

It's legal welfare. Wake up, citizens. We're being had. If I saw this in one day, can you imagine how many are paid for nothing in a year?

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