Needed: Less acrimony, more compromiseI know there are two...


November 03, 1996

Needed: Less acrimony, more compromise

I know there are two sides to every political issue, but there seems to be a common thread in recent politics of people who have lost the art of reasonable compromise, and of people who want to overturn our system instead of working to improve it. I hope this changes soon.

For example, the Carroll County schools probably do have some areas where they could reduce costs. But overall, the county schools are considered effective, and so there is not a good reason to dismantle them, as one pair of candidates for the school board seems intent on proposing. I know I will vote for candidates who are planning to work to improve the schools, not those who want to abandon them.

Recent events relating to the Carroll County Planning Commission are a reflection of the depth of feelings on the growth issue, but have been another example of unproductive conflict.

I think it is appropriate that currently two-thirds of the county commissioners are in favor of controlling growth, while one-third supports growth more strongly, because this matches the county well. In my experience, the majority of citizens are in favor of controlling growth, while a smaller fraction -- those who stand to immediately gain from growth -- are its main supporters. In the end, the planning commission's policies and decisions should mainly be determined by the county master plan, not by personalities. The current bickering seems a waste of taxpayers' time and money. Some reasonable and responsible compromise is in order.

Then there has been the Carroll County commissioners versus the county's state legislative delegation, also a counter-productive fight. If commissioners and legislators each stick to their primary responsibility, we won't have conflicting agendas.

Finally, at the national level, the 104th Congress did a poor job of reasonable compromise, instead wanting to overturn much that had gone before, with dismal results.

This is what I'd like from officials and candidates at all levels: Please put away the extreme positions and emphasize finding solutions instead of engaging in incessant fighting.

Martin F. Schmidt Jr.


Vouchers better for private schools

As the election cycle draws to an end, the national candidates are debating the pros and cons of school choice and a voucher system.

Recently, The Sun reported that those in parochial and private education are requesting aid from the state. As a member of a local Board of Education, the parent of one high school graduate and a ninth-grade student, I have seen the dramatic difference between public and private education.

A voucher system or a direct state aid program to non-public education can only occur through legislative action. Once the governor signs the bill, it will be the responsibility of the Maryland State Department of Education to promulgate the regulations to make the programs work.

My fear is that the parents will no longer find the purely academic environment they are seeking for their children.

Those in private education will have new regulations imposed upon them. The result will be that private educational institutions will be similar to the public schools.

To preserve the independence of private education, parents and non-public educators need to draft legislation to change the tax code of Maryland to allow for a tax credit on tuition.

This approach reduces the chances of state interference into administration and educational philosophy of private schools. It also allows parents to support their children's education even as the costs continue to rise at a reasonable rate.

Gary W. Bauer


The writer is a member of the Carroll County Board of Education.

Invasion of the 'liberals'

A couple of nights ago, I watched a science fiction show. You know, the type where the outer space beings are far more intelligent than the poor Earth creatures. It was particularly gruesome. The aliens would extract some slime from their skinny bodies and throw it at an earthling. The earthling would be immediately transformed into a puppet of the alien regime.

The show ended with the audience thinking when did this invasion occur and how many people's bodies did they invade. These clones are now working against the values Americans hold dear to their hearts like God, motherhood and apple pie.

Since these questions were not answered in the show, I supplied my own answers: The invasion occurred in the 1930s and the cloned aliens are now called "liberals."

Richard T. Yates


The writer is a Carroll County commissioner.

Dole, GOP bad for working folks

Electing Bob Dole president, together with a Republican Congress, would be a huge backward step for our country.

The reactionary Republicans, a party of big business and big money, have historically opposed social programs benefiting the working man and woman.

The Republicans have never sponsored or supported a bill tailored to help the middle class.

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