Schmoke is a disappointment as mayorI continue to be...

the Forum

March 17, 1995

Schmoke is a disappointment as mayor

I continue to be appalled at the inadequacies of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. From the beginning we had hoped that his performance would match his resume, but unfortunately that has not been the case.

We all witnessed his inaction when the Jacqueline McLean case festered and simmered . . . He stood idly by.

The school system is a mild disaster. The trash buildup in center city continues to be an eyesore.

The boarded-up store fronts on Eutaw Street are sad reflections on his inability to attract business in these areas. Altogether, his record of accomplishments is woefully bad.

More recently, the housing fiasco in Baltimore City reached a new low. In an attempt to comfort us, the mayor declared it was not our money but federal money that was involved.

Moreover, he strongly endorsed the results, as did his housing commissioner. To prove their point, four ads were published in the newspaper at an additional cost of $24,000.

No-bid contracts, contracts awarded to the highest bidder -- all these are a new low in political favoritism.

It will be interesting to see how the mayor recoups.

Sidney Lieberman

Baltimore

Concealed guns

I transferred here from Washington state, where a concealed firearms permit was actually easier to get than a driver's license.

No murder wave sweeps Washington state, and citizens resolve their traffic disputes without resorting to gunfire. The motivation of thousands of permit holders to stay honest is clear. If you commit a crime, you lose your permit.

Police are under no legal obligation to protect the individual. There aren't enough police; a citizen is responsible for his own safety. But increasing regulation has made it more difficult for people to act responsibly.

Approval of opening up the issuance of concealed firearms permits to all law-abiding Marylanders is a reflection of how you feel about your fellow citizens.

If you think that the average free stater is a trigger-happy maniac, then the present restrictions are justified.

If you think that Marylanders are at least as conscientious as the inhabitants of Washington state, then a relaxing of the permit rules is called for.

Karl Hayhurst

Aberdeen

Right to be heard

I read with interest and some astonishment the article "Legal muscle sought to guard the environment" (March 8).

It is hard to believe that citizens of Maryland do not have legal standing to take action against projects that threaten their health or environment.

Citizens, neighborhood groups and environmental organizations all should have the right to testify and appeal permits to construct incinerators, landfills, office parks and golf courses proposed for their area.

It is very clear that entire neighborhoods, not just a few adjacent property owners, are affected by such projects.

I did a little research on this issue and found several examples of what I consider a real miscarriage of justice. One example occurred in Dickerson, when a group of citizens were not allowed to challenge a permit to build an 1,800-ton-per-day incinerator in their community.

The court said that to challenge the permit, the citizens had to suffer damage different from that suffered by the general public. Even a farmer living 2,000 feet from the site had no right to appear in court to challenge the incinerator.

In another example, a woman from Brandywine contested a permit to construct a bridge over a stream that was 2,000 feet from her property. The bridge was to be used by trucks delivering sewage sludge to a gravel pit.

She contended that a less harmful alternative site existed, but she was not allowed to testify because her land was not contiguous to the spot where the bridge was to be built. Couldn't someone even listen to these people?

It is important to notice that the issue here is the right to he heard, the right to testify. There is no guarantee who will win.

I urge every delegate and every senator in Annapolis to remember the citizens that elected them, and I urge any individual who has ever tried to fight an incinerator, a dump or other intrusion into his or her community to call their representatives in Annapolis and tell them how they feel about the right to he heard.

Sue Chapelle

Baltimore

Auto hazard

I'm a bus driver for the public schools of Baltimore County. In the years I have driven there has been no respect from other motorists for the safety and respect of students as well as drivers.

For the safety and protection of students the law should re-evaluate issuing licenses to motorists. All bus drivers are required to have drug testing, physicals and safety classes every year. Yet a motorist can obtain a license through a one-time test.

How can I protect a student when motorists disrespect and continue to disobey the bus laws?

If people who have children evaluated how many children in our country actually lose their lives due to bus accidents, they would realize that motorists should be re-examined and tested every year.

elen D. Bosley

Stewartstown, Pa.

Wolf in hen house

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