Who Stephen Bounds IsOn Sept. 19, a Sun editorial posed...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 09, 1994

Who Stephen Bounds Is

On Sept. 19, a Sun editorial posed the question, "who is Stephen Bounds?," regarding my candidacy for the Howard County Board of Education. I would like to answer it for your readers.

I am the parent of three children who attend first, third and fifth grades in the Howard County public schools, unlike several of my opponents who have no such personal stake. My agenda is not a hidden one. It is for a return to traditional academic basics so that each child in this county receives an education that is marked by excellence.

I want to free teachers from the many extraneous requirements that clutter their day and impede their ability to teach. I want to restore discipline to our schools. . . .

I want to bring fiscal responsibility to a school system that has more than doubled, in constant dollars, the per-student operating cost since I graduated from Mount Hebron 21 years ago. I want to see us bring school construction costs under control by simply building schools and not the architectural wonders that we now construct.

Finally, I am the only candidate who has come out unequivocally against year-round school. . . . I will never be a rubber stamp for the superintendent or his staff and would welcome your comments or questions at (410) 489-4739.

Steve Bounds

Woodbine

I would like to respond to the editorial that ran on Sept. 19 regarding Stephen Bounds' candidacy for the Howard County Board of Education. . . .

Your less than subtle attack on Mr. Bounds' candidacy by innuendo and political association is notable only for its intellectual dishonesty. Mr. Bounds proposes an approach toward education directed at achievement and self-control. . . . The fact that Mr. Bounds finished second in the nonpartisan primary balloting (while neither of The Sun's endorsements finished as front-runners) demonstrates that his message appeals to Democrats and Republicans alike.

Neuman Bankert

Jo Ann Bankert

Columbia

Two Views of Executive Race

As the leader of the opponents to Jack Kent Cooke's proposed stadium in Laurel, I believe it is important for voters to know where the candidates for Howard County executive stand on the stadium issue. This is important because the current county executive, Chuck Ecker, has been saying one thing and doing another.

Months ago, Mr. Ecker told me that he is opposed to the stadium being constructed in Laurel. . . . Yet, when Jack Kent Cooke had to relocate the race track stables to Howard County to squeeze in more parking for his undersized property, Mr. Ecker was more than willing to accommodate Mr. Cooke. Mr. Ecker's justification, provided by planning guru Joe Rutter, was that less parking in Howard County means less traffic impact in Howard County.

This theory is deceiving on several counts.

First, because of the inadequate roads, Cooke has no choice but to allocate the same amount of traffic (assuming anyone does what Cooke says) to roads in Howard County regardless of where they park. . . .

Second, Cooke had to route thousands of more cars through the Howard County parking lot than there are spaces. These cars are to go under the railroad tracks to a special parking lot in the race track infield.

Needless to say, Mr. Ecker had no real justification other than assisting Mr. Cooke. Even though the city of Laurel and Prince George's County sent representatives to comment on the proposal, Mr. Ecker refused his own citizens' request to appear. He did send a letter commending the Redskins on their efforts to encourage "mass transit."

This type of duplicity has no place in local government. However, it is easy to understand. While Mr. Ecker used his predecessor's large campaign war chest from special interests as grounds for attack, he was taking contributions from the same class of people. Thus, one of Mr. Ecker's earliest supporters was lobbyist Alan Rifkin, who is now pushing all of the right political buttons for Jack Kent Cooke.

. . . Alan Rifkin even served as the head of Mr. Ecker's transition team and still contributes to his campaign. . . .

Susan Gray has been providing valuable legal and regional transportation advice to the citizens opposed to the stadium. Ms. Gray has received no compensation (and little recognition) for her time and effort.

Howard County citizens opposed to the stadium, poor planning and politics as usual . . . could do us all a favor by voting for Susan Gray.

Jeanne Mignon

Laurel

Howard County citizens have a clear choice in the November election in both the county executive and 5th District County Council races. With Charles Ecker and Charles Feaga, we have seen leadership which is honest, rational and dependable. Their challengers, Susan Gray and John Taylor, have built a reputation DTC as rabble rousers, inciting citizens with exaggeration, insinuation and misstatement of facts.

Mr. Ecker's competent leadership and open, friendly style has enabled him to work closely and successfully with council members Feaga and Darrel Drown, also Republicans, as well as the three council members in the opposition party. . . .

Tom Graham recently defined Ms. Gray as opposing a multitude of things all related to the 1990 General Plan. She and Mr. Taylor distributed fliers to people throughout that process challenging not only the various development assumptions put forth, but the very integrity of the elected officials charged with developing this long-range planning document. Their accusations about financial influence are unfounded . . . The issues facing Howard County are broader than the general plan and comprehensive rezoning. The choice is clear: rabble rousing, anti-government challengers or proven and dependable leadership of Mr. Ecker and Mr. Feaga. . . .

Charlotte Barnette

Ellicott City

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