Column was vicious attack on John GaryBrian Sullam begins...


October 25, 1998

Column was vicious attack on John Gary

Brian Sullam begins by condemning John Gary's TV advertising in his Oct. 18 column, then follows by writing one of the most vicious attacks on a candidate I have ever read in The Sun.

Mr Sullam's choice of adjectives turns his column into a political sledgehammer. This is how he slams Mr. Gary's TV message: It '' is "crudely crafted, "deplorable," "unnecessarily hysterical" and a deliberately crafted deception."

The purpose of this adjectival avalanche is, of course, to bury Mr. Gary. But that selection is only the beginning. The column then charges that Mr. Gary's "cheesy commercial" is so terrible it "poisons the well." Indeed, this TV announcement is so powerful, says the column, it will drag us to "stagnant tax collections and therefore an equally stagnant county budget."

A tax increase termed "modest" is seen as inevitable because it's the only way to accomplish such essentials as repaving roads and give county employees equally "modest" pay raises.

"In the next four years," Mr. Sullam predicts, "the county executive, whether it be Ms. Owens or Mr. Gary, will submit a budget that calls for raising the county's income tax rate."

Such ability to see four years into the future is both dazzling and wrong. Any increase in county income taxes is a) unnecessary and b) undesirable. To borrow from the column's headline, a county tax increase would be "politics at its worst."

Real figures show that the county's income automatically increases yearly.

Built-in increases in revenues mean that county income, efficiently managed, will be ample to fund all real needs without any income tax increase within the foreseeable future.

Past is prologue. Let county residents keep a maximum of the money they earn. Let the people use their money as they, and they only, deem best. That is the recipe for the growth and prosperity that make increases in county revenues a reality. Anything less is a disservice to the people who make prosperity happen.

Andrew Jackson Graham


Naval waivers could be used better

I would like to comment on the $70,000-a-year waivers granted to foreign students attending the Naval Academy.

According to Neal Thompson's article on Sept. 26, 38 of 39 foreign students at the academy received waivers in 1997. This resulted in a cost of $2,660,000, which is paid by American taxpayers for foreign students.

If a foreign country does not have the resources to pay for its student, there should not be a waiver granted for admission to any of our service academies.

Also, an article by Tom Pelton on Oct. 8 stated that a recent graduate of the academy has been granted a deferment to begin his five-year commitment of naval service to train, and if chosen, participate as a crew member of the Young American for the America's Cup.

The tuition of $70,000 a year results in $280,000, which was paid for this young man's education at the academy. I have always assumed, as I am sure many other people have, that a Naval Academy graduate was to begin training in his specialized field immediately after graduation.

There are many areas where money of this magnitude could help provide funding for programs such as education, Social Security, the veterans of our country and members of our military services.

Veda L. Shoup


Dangerous road spurs voter's change of heart

State Sen. Philip Jimeno has stated that, if re-elected, he will key in on relieving Mountain Road congestion.

A few months ago, I was driving east on Mountain Road. As I approached the dangerous and congested area where Route 100 merges into Mountain Road, the driver of a large truck in front of me slammed on his brakes and made an unsignaled left turn across the grass median that separates the eastbound from westbound lane so that he could enter a large construction site. When I passed by the place where the truck had turned, I could see that many vehicles had been making the same left turn. The grass was completely worn away.

When I arrived home, I phoned Mr. Jimeno to complain that trucks were making what appeared to be illegal turns at a very dangerous spot in Mountain Road, and to complain that whatever was being built on that site would result in many more cars attempting to make right and left turns onto Mountain Road near the merge area, and that these additional cars were going to add to the already nightmarish congestion on Mountain Road.

I never heard from Mr. Jimeno, but the woman who answered his phone said that she would contact the Maryland Department of Transportation so that something could be done to stop construction vehicles from making left-hand turns across the median.

She also informed me that a senior citizens center and assisted living units were being built on the construction site. When I asked who approved this plan, she replied that the building permits had been issued years ago.

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