Change in term might be good for school boardThe recent...


October 15, 1995

Change in term might be good for school board

The recent request by the Howard County school board that its salary be increased is a good time to discuss election by district. By board members' own admission, it seems that oversight of the schools on a countywide basis is difficult (Aug. 25, The Sun). The argument for electing the board by districts is based on:

* More direct representation of constituency (currently three of the five members live in western Howard County).

* Relieving candidates from the time and cost burdens of running countywide.

* Reducing some of the burdens and frustrations that the current board highlighted in the Aug. 25 article.

Candidates who are well-known in particular areas of the county are required to run in areas where they are less well-known. Unlike other countywide offices, school board candidates are expected to run a low-budget, non-partisan, countywide campaign. This may preclude some potentially excellent people from running for the school board.

My many years of experience at the congressional and state levels lead me to disagree with those board members who argue that if members are elected by district each member would only be concerned about his or her own schools and issues. Each member has only one vote and must rely on the voting of at least two other members; therefore, he or she must be concerned with issues beyond his or her immediate district to be an effective school board member.

It might be well for salary increases for the board to be considered by amending Article 25 A, Section 5 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, which provides for the Compensation Review Commission. The commission now recommends the salaries for the county executive and the members of the County Council.

rank S. Turner



The writer is a delegate representing Legislative District 13A.

Junket another slap at Columbians

The governance of Columbia just keeps getting worse. The latest outrage is the Columbia Association's two-day junket on the Eastern Shore at taxpayer expense.

Apparently, the Columbia Council and CA's top executives pulled about $5,000 out of the treasury to send themselves far away from Columbia to wine and dine and reach consensus regarding directions in CA's upcoming budget. Such a display of extravagance is a slap in the face of the people who foot the bill. But even if one puts the cost of the junket aside, an equally important issue is: Why is CA conducting its most important public business of the year essentially in secret at a remote location, away from the people of Columbia? People can't believe that this is the kind of government that Jim Rouse had in mind when he founded Columbia. People can't believe that this is the kind of government that residents of Columbia deserve. People just can't believe it.

Alex Hekimlan


The writer is president of the Alliance for a Better Columbia.

Tipton fliers must pay their way

I was most interested in the editorial on Sept. 26 regarding the "eviction" of the Fort Meade Flying Club from Tipton Airfield.

Too bad that the members of this club will have to pay their own way like the rest of us. It doesn't matter that they contributed to the bowling alley and other activities at Fort Meade. I daresay that pilots elsewhere are just as generous in their personal contributions to society in general.

Indeed, the Fort Meade Flying Club members should be glad that they were able to use the fine facilities of the airfield with its paved runway, instrument approach, control tower and security over the past 40 years at the expense of taxpayers. The Army's decision is far from a "punishment." Rather, it's a correction long overdue.

Robert D. Thulman


WBAL should turn over tape of fire

After reading the article in The Sun on Oct. 4 in regards to the Clipper Mill fire, I am disgusted with WBAL's David Roberts in refusing to relinquish videotape on the tragic collapse of the wall, which took the life of a brother firefighter and injured 17 others.

Baltimore City Fire Department personnel are trying to help find a cause to the collapse so they, in turn, may learn from this tragic experience. I'm sure their findings will be passed on to their field personnel and to other departments to help make it a learning experience for all. WBAL needs to get off its high horse and help aid in solving the problem.

Firefighters put their life on the line every day so others may have a safe environment to live in. They don't do this job for personal gain. They do it because they care. Does WBAL really care?

Ronald Lagana

Ellicott City

The writer is a Howard County firefighter.

The Simpson verdict: embarrassment or a victory for all freedom-lovers?

I am still processing my feelings about "the verdict." I find it is much harder to get a fix on than "the streak." Unless another strong suspect is revealed, I'll always have to believe the worst, that the cops got the right guy and the people let him go.

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