Duckworth's Court ExperienceWe need competent management...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 30, 1994

Duckworth's Court Experience

We need competent management of the Clerk of the Court's office. The clerk's office manages 87 employees, collects over $40 million in revenue yearly, must meet the needs of the judges, and most importantly serve you the public. The only qualified person in this race is Bob Duckworth. The Sun has lost credibility for failing to endorse Bob Duckworth.

For the past four years, Bob has been my right arm. His understanding of the clerk's office and knowledge of the operations is exactly what we need to keep my management reforms on track. We worked too hard to improve the operations of this office to let it slip back into the hands of inexperience.

Bob Duckworth has been responsible for the implementation of a personnel policy that stresses qualifications over political connections. We must not return to the days of political patronage when the spouses and friends of political contributors are hired over better qualified individuals. We ended that practice and we must ensure that it does not happen again.

When it comes to qualifications and background, Bob Duckworth is head and shoulders above his opponent, Janet Owens. Bob has held strong managerial positions supervising large staffs for over 20 years. Ms. Owens headed the county's housing agency for only two years. Ms. Owens' court experience is limited to a part-time job over the past four years.

This year we must continue the management reforms that made the clerk's office work again. . . .

Mary McNally Rose

Annapolis

The writer is Anne Arundel County Clerk of the Court.

Gary on Education

With so many politicians passing the buck on education in our county, it's refreshing to read in your news paper that John Gary, candidate for county executive, wants to be held accountable if he is elected. I like the changes he has proposed which will require the County Council and school board to work together and be held accountable for their actions. Currently, they just blame each other and nothing gets accomplished. I'm glad Mr. Gary has a plan for improving education, and will stick by it.

Gloria Hereford

Davidsonville

School Violence

The recent violence at Meade High School demonstrates that we need to address the growing problem of violence in our public schools. It's encouraging to know that candidates like John Gary have stepped forward, identified problems in our county and have offered workable solutions.

I like John Gary's idea of confronting violent students head on rather than looking the other way. His approach makes a lot of sense. Take disruptive students out of the classroom and place them in separate disciplinary programs within the school, and immediately suspend students who carry weapons and automatically refer them to the authorities, i.e. police. That's the kind of change our school system needs.

Jennifer Parker-Rauth

Crofton

'Huggers'?

I am writing in response to John Greiber's recent comments about eliminating all professional victim advocates or "huggers" as he called them and replacing them with volunteers. His comments are misguided and reveal a basic lack of appreciation for, and understanding of, the needs of victims of violent crime.

Professional victim advocates who work with domestic violence victims are a necessity in Anne Arundel County. The victim advocate helps domestic violence victims navigate through a very confusing and complex judicial system, a vital service needed to help bring safety and justice to victims.

It is not enough just to be physically there; the victim advocate also brings extensive knowledge about Maryland laws and the process of obtaining relief through the Anne Arundel court system. One confusing form too many can be the last straw for a victim already traumatized and anxious to "forget" the whole experience.

Professional victim advocates provide consistency and continuity for the victims. They provide support and guidance through the development of a relationship of trust with the victim. Volunteers are a much-needed component in the victim advocacy program but cannot replace the consistency and commitment of a professional victim advocate.

Further, Mr. Greiber's comments reflect a lack of understanding for the on-going efforts of the victim rights movement to institute basic constitutional rights for those harmed by crime. It seems our system is very protective of rights of the violent criminal, but falls short in caring for the rights and needs of the victim.

The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence has seen clearly that battered women have a better response from and opinion of our criminal justice system when a competent victim advocate is involved. Abolishing the established effective victim advocacy unit would be tantamount to abandoning some of Maryland's most vulnerable at the moment of greatest need. . . .

Susan C. Mize

Silver Spring

The writer is executive director of the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence.

Pepersack's Signs

I am a voter who has volunteered to help Sheriff Robert G.

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