ThanksIn its Jan. 8 issue, The Sun did an excellent job...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 20, 1995

Thanks

In its Jan. 8 issue, The Sun did an excellent job describing the better relations that develop between black and Jewish citizens of Baltimore as a result of the high school and adult versions of Baltimore Hebrew University's course, "Keeping the Faith: The History of African Americans and Jewish Americans."

We at BHU would just like to add a word of thanks: The university offers these courses to all the people of this city thanks to a generous grant from the Beverly and Jerome Fine Fund.

Judy Meltzer

Baltimore

9+

The writer is undergraduate dean, BHU.

The Old Days

Your editorial Jan. 6 -- "You Get What You Pay For" -- about Major F. Riddick, the Prince Georges County administrative officer picked by Gov. Parris Glendening as chief of staff, was enough to make me (and probably most taxpayers) sick to my stomach.

I remember years ago when public servants, elected and appointed, received only modest payments for their services. I don't recall there being a problem attracting so-called best qualified personnel.

Without examining Mr. Riddick's background and track record at the public trough (and ignoring the fiscal deficit left to the new Prince Georges County executive by Messrs. Glendening and Riddick), I assume he meets Governor Glendening's qualifications for the chief of staff job. But what does that mean in an objective sense?

Obviously, "public service" has been very good to Mr. Riddick thus far. How many county public servants receive $127,000 salaries, and let's not discuss all the fringe benefits?

His upcoming sacrifice of $27,000 to accept a "higher" government position simply reveals the total lack of sanity in setting salaries for executive-level government positions.

And to put the matter into better perspective, it would not surprise me to learn that Mr. Riddick's government salaries have far exceeded that received in private sector jobs, if any.

Thus, the "major" rub about this subject of adequate salaries to secure the best qualified for government positions is that there is absolutely no evidence to support such a conclusion.

The level of success recorded by today's government executives really isn't much different from the past (although some would say that things are much worse today). Money just doesn't determine the success or failure of government.

So let's move toward the past, when public servants' salaries weren't distanced from the public by excessive salaries and fringe benefits.

I'm confident that dedicated and capable people will enthusiastically compete for those positions to serve the public.

K. Dale Anderson

Randallstown

Wasted Advice?

My thanks to Gregory Kane for his column, "Advice to a Job Seeker" (Jan. 13), where it is finally said in a frank and fatherly but straight-talking manner that it is about time for our upcoming generation of hirees to realize that not only must they "stay in school . . . because if you can't handle school, potential employers will figure you can't handle a job," but they must also "do well in school."

Mr. Kane's order to "speak standard English . . . abandon know-it-all attitudes" and, finally, "pull your damn pants up," are overdue admonishments to some who audaciously expect to command respect rather than earn it.

Yes, it is "stating the obvious," as Mr. Kane repeatedly admits, but it is also imperative that this message is heard.

Therein lies the problem. The young people Mr. Kane seeks to reach are not the ones given to heeding advice, much less reading the op-ed page.

J. Dansicker

Sparks

Clinton's Failure

Evidently Jack Germond and Jules Witcover, "Clinton's biggest problem?" (Jan. 14), have forgotten the moral of Humpty Dumpty: There are some things so fragile as to be irreparable.

After demonstrating that President Clinton's message is getting out to the people, they whine that his real problem is with his personal image and that the voters don't know who he is. As if the voters are stupid and can't make judgments without the guiding light of the newspaper columnist.

Well, Clinton is as Clinton does. The voters know he is without principles and that his course is steered by whatever seems politically expedient at the moment.

The voters know he has denigrated the office of president by talking about his underwear on MTV, by leading a profligate life-style without any sense of remorse or embarrassment and by becoming a staple of late night comedy.

Mr. Clinton's response to the greatest repudiation of his presidency? He got the message that change wasn't being delivered quick enough. He still isn't listening to the voters, and they know it.

The problems with Mr. Clinton, though exacerbated by his personal foibles, really stem from the problems with liberalism. A once noble ideal, its practitioners have found that tyrannical socialism is the only way to implement its agenda.

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