Annapolis vote marred by flaws in write-inHaving just...


November 23, 1997

Annapolis vote marred by flaws in write-in

Having just served as chief judge in Ward 6 in the recent Annapolis city elections, I would like to share a few comments.

The city was faced with a pleasant dilemma in the choice for mayor. Both candidates, former Mayor Dennis Callahan for the Democrats and Alderman Dean Johnson for the Republicans, possessed intelligence, integrity, a wealth of ideas formed of experience and a sincere desire to serve the city. This was fortunate indeed for the voters.

Mr. Johnson won and I congratulate his success. I also commend Mr. Callahan on a race run on issues, not personalities or pettiness. Second, I should like to state that the Harbor House Community Recreation Center provided a clean, safe, comfortable and convenient voting location.

The poll staff and Pip Moyer and his Housing Authority personnel (especially Betty Ann, Maurice and Jackie), are to be commended for their 100 percent cooperation in the election process. I disagreed with the necessity to undergo a write-in vote in one ward.

In a similar situation several years back in Ward 1, special primary and general elections were held within an allotted time frame to fill an aldermanic vacancy.

Both parties nominated qualified candidates (Louise Hammond and Sharon Steffey), who then conducted campaigns, addressed issues and offered voters a choice of direction. The procedure worked.

However, in Ward 6, for the sake of "political correctness" and to replace a white male conservative Republican incumbent with a black female liberal Democrat, a write-in effort was launched two weeks before the election.

The decision was established at that time that only votes including the full name of the write-in candidate would be counted. This was agreed upon by all parties.

When the effort fell short at the polls and 70 votes were disqualified, the candidate withdrew her agreement and a pro bono Glen Burnie attorney was provided from the ranks of former Democratic officials to argue the case and if not successful proceed to the courts for legal action.

Under pressure, the City Board of Elections Supervisors reversed the results and voted strictly along party lines (Two Democratic judges vs. one Republican judge) to award the seat to the challenging candidate by 12 votes.

Cynthia Carter, the Democrat, and James R. Lucas, the Republican, are both honorable people. The write-in process is flawed and unclear to the voters.

It puts unnecessary stress and burdens on the election officials. The results generally lead to a variety of time-consuming problems. The people deserve better. I see no cause for celebration in entering office by the side door.

That said, to Mayor-Elect Johnson and the new board of aldermen, I wish every success for productive years ahead in serving the people of Annapolis.

Finally to Mayor Al Hopkins, thank you for many years of dedicated service to our city. The citizens of Annapolis salute you.

Jim Hutcherson


Review wasn't fair to Sly Horse Tavern

A few weeks ago, I read a scathing review of the Sly Horse Tavern where everything was attacked and was close to stating that this was one place you never wanted to go near ("Sly Horse gives bumpy ride," Oct. 23).

We have been patronizing the Sly Horse for about seven years.

I know that a business has employee problems, equipment problems, volume and customer problems that the owner or manager has to cope with on a continuing basis. Therefore, we, tTC customers, cannot expect to storm out when our expectations are compromised.

Suffice it to say that every time we have visited the Sly Horse, we have always had excellent food and satisfactory to exemplary service.

Would I recommend Sly Horse to a friend? We do at least twice a month and have even purchased gift certificates for friends.

The atmosphere is very intimate, the prices are in line and the hint of something wrong is immediately acted upon by either the server or the owner.

Anne Wallace

Andy Wallace


Media should stop harassing Redmond

Regarding Tom Pelton's Nov. 10 article, "Power ties, junkyards and politics: " Mr. Pelton seems to be obsessive about Tom Redmond, the Pasadena councilman, his business and other problems.

His numerous articles on Mr. Redmond border on media harassment.

Can you give him another assignment?

Faion Lott


Little guy gets stuck over lottery again

The state recently changed the payout on the lottery. As usual, it is in the state's favor.

It's bad enough that they have not been putting as much money in Big Jackpot. (Big Game is getting the same way.)

Now, the state is making you wait longer for your winnings. Instead of 20 years, it is now 25 years.

If they want more sales, they should make the payouts better. As usual, the politicians are looking out for themselves and keep sticking it to the little guy.

homas E. Klein


Don't ruin families' Thanksgiving over school system's incompetence

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