'King Chuck I'? Hardly: He's Just Plain ChuckBeyond the...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 26, 1994

'King Chuck I'? Hardly: He's Just Plain Chuck

Beyond the rhetoric, the purpose of The Sun's editorial concerning Howard County Executive Chuck Ecker on June 8 seemed to be two-fold.

First, the editorial properly raised the question of whether it is necessary in a democracy to have a contested election to debate adequately the issues facing the electorate.

Second, the editorial inappropriately attempted to place Chuck Ecker on a pedestal that he has never sought.

Since debating political issues is the great American pastime, an election is not a prerequisite for this exercise in democracy. Therefore, the fact that no one has yet come forward to challenge Mr. Ecker should not be construed as meaning that these debates are not being held. Instead, it is just possible that through Mr. Ecker's attempts to provide open, honest and participatory government, no one has a better way to address the problems that we are collectively trying to resolve. As always, however, Mr. Ecker welcomes debate, through the election process or otherwise.

As for the reference to "King Chuck I," this analogy is as off the mark as could be when referring to Chuck Ecker. Rarely, in life, much less in politics, does one find a person who is so open, honest and down to earth as is Mr. Ecker. Call him "Citizen Chuck," "Friend Chuck" or just plain "Chuck."

Michael W. Davis

Ellicott City

The writer is chairman of Friends of Chuck Ecker campaign committee.

More Wilde Lake Eulogies?

Apparently, The Sun's eulogies on the demise of Wilde Lake--High School have become a regular part of the editorial process (May 25). I realize that it is difficult to come up with a viable subject for editorials on a daily basis, but there must be other topics that interest Columbians.

In the Sun's piece of Jan. 9, the Wilde Lake staff was referred to as "clucking birds" and was somehow the bane of progress. As the final burial is nearing we get more lenient opinions on the dying. The Sun writes on May 25, "There was still much good that went on within Wilde Lake's walls, due in large part to a strong, committed staff." Not a capable or inspiring one, but better than being a bunch of "hens."

But whom is The Sun trying to kid? The success at Wilde Lake or any other high school is basically the result of the caliber of students who attend. It is not the curriculum, nor the teachers, nor the administrators, although each must play its part. It is the desire and attitude of the children who attend each school that make it work. Without this key ingredient and a little parental oversight, no school will be a cohesive unit capable of turning out citizens who have the tools to function as members of society. . . .

It was not the new innovations adopted at Wilde Lake which resulted in its success. And it will not be the grading system or computers which will determine WLHS's future. Learning begins and ends at home. The new school's achievements will be

closely tied to the level of interest shown by students and parents. And they will have a high standard to meet based on past history.

R. D. Bush

Columbia

Forum's Mission

The members of the Economic Forum of Howard County appreciated your news coverage and editorial concerning the release of the Economic Indicators Report, which was prepared jointly by the Forum and the county government. We hope that the report and future periodic updates will be useful to both public and private decision makers.

We wish to take exception, however, to your characterization of the Economic Forum as a "lobbying" group. As you accurately report, the Forum is made up of members from a variety of business, agricultural, educational and civic groups. It meets regularly to research, study and debate issues affecting the Howard County community.

If consensus is reached on any of these issues, the Forum may publicly advocate its position by sponsoring conferences, offering testimony, writing letters or publishing reports such as the Economic Indicators Report. While some of these activities may constitute lobbying in the broadest sense, the Forum has no predetermined agenda and sees itself primarily as a vehicle for communication between diverse segments of the community which might not otherwise have an opportunity to share their views.

Howard County's Economic Forum is a 5-year-old organization which has received wide recognition and is serving as a model for similar groups which have formed elsewhere in the interest of fostering better public communication.

James R. Schulte

Columbia

The writer is president of the Economic Forum of Howard County.

Planning Appointments

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