Bissett's spotty as chairman and on drunk drivingOn Aug...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 11, 1998

Bissett's spotty as chairman and on drunk driving

On Aug. 11, The Sun endorsed Philip Bissett for delegate in District 30 in the Republican primary. The endorsement was based on Mr. Bissett being a "voice of compromise in a fractious, partisan group" and his work on "drunken driving legislation."

I don't agree. First, as chair of the Anne Arundel delegation, Mr. Bissett's failed leadership contributed to problems of our delegation. The Capital ran a series of editorials this year denouncing the infighting which may tell the real story. One ended with the complaint, "Mr. Bissett, you have the title of chairman. Use it."

In March, your own paper called the Anne Arundel County delegation "dysfunctional."

Second, Mr. Bissett's record is spotty when it comes to drunken driving. In March, he helped block effective efforts to curb drunken driving.

By an 11-10 vote, the Judiciary Committee rejected lowering the threshold for drunken driving. On March 24, The Capital said it was disappointed that Mr. Bissett voted "no." The Washington Post called the actions of Mr. Bissett and other opponents a "sorry swoon to lobbyists."

According to the Washington Post on March 12, at a meeting of the Anne Arundel County liquor vendors, Mr. Bissett "pledged to fight against attempts to lower the drunk driving standard."

According to the National Traffic Safety Administration and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, reducing the blood alcohol level to .08 would save the lives of more than 20 Marylanders a year.

As a working woman who commutes on Maryland highways, I would like to see an effective delegation represent us and work to get drunks off the road.

Sheila MacKertich

Annapolis

Glendening improved selection of judges

We may not have a warm and fuzzy governor, but the citizenof Maryland should take great comfort in the fact that we have a highly intelligent, caring governor who acts for the good of the state using his God-given intelligence.

Case in point: One of the first executive acts of his administration was to put the citizenry back in the business of the selection of our judges.

Here is how he did it.

He put together a panel of very experienced legal minds who were chagrined at the type of judge who would sentence a wife-murderer to six months in jail. They came up with new judge-selecting regulations.

There is in each judicial district a Judicial Selection Committee of 13 citizens.

Seven of these citizens are members of the local bar. Four will be selected by the bar association. Three will be selected by the governor. The governor will select six non-lawyers. This committee will advertise openings and interview any member of the bar who applies.

From welcomed input by citizens, extensive application information and lengthy interviews, the committee will vote by secret ballot to send at least three, and not more than seven, names from which the governor must choose.

From all reports, Anne Arundel County has a vibrant, just judiciary, many of them new, by this process. For this, you can thank this quiet, intelligent, caring governor and let him continue his good stewardship for four more years.

Patricia L. Aiken

Annapolis

Gary has demoralized county employees

We, the thousands of employees of Anne Arundel Countyshare in the common goal of making the quality of life for all of our citizens second to none. For the past four years, we have witnessed an erosion take place under the John Gary administration which only now is taking its toll on our ability to maintain our quality of life.

For the past four years, employees have been demoralized. Not only has the executive neglected our basic rights as far as HTC honoring and funding negotiated contracts which include cost-of-living increases and medical benefits, we have sat back and watched him manipulate the system to his own personal advantage and to those he has deemed worthy.

We need a county executive who will support the professional people and vital programs in Anne Arundel. Please vote wisely.

Neill G. Russell

Annapolis

I= The writer is a science teacher at Annapolis High School.

Too bad Churchill's not on the ballot

In England's most dire moment, Winston Churchill told hipeople, "I have nothing to offer you but blood, tears, toil and sweat." They responded magnificently.

This is what Brian Sullam wants from candidates in the coming general election ("Despite what candidates say, we can't have it all," Sept. 20).

Although this is not a dire moment for Maryland, with low unemployment and a budget surplus, what a shock it would be if all state and county politicians announced:

"The only way we can have better education, smaller classes, more teachers, more policemen and better fire protection is to increase taxes. We will give you better state government and better local government, but you will have to pay for it. Furthermore, we will never lie to you. We won't even shade the truth."

If this were to happen, they would all have to be wearing halos.

Tom Gill

North Beach

Pub Date: 10/11/98

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