Economic board appointments mischaracterizedI read with...


August 15, 1999

Economic board appointments mischaracterized

I read with great interest the article "Executive gets majority on development board" (July 29) in which staff writer Matthew Mosk expressed that the county executive "seized control" of the Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation's (AAEDC) board of directors, describing her recent appointments as a "shake-up."

After obtaining a copy of the AAEDC bylaws, I feel that Mr. Mosk is misleading the public with his characterization of the board's control structure. According to this document, the county executive is responsible for five appointments to the board, allowing for a majority position, as was the intent of the AAEDC since its inception. County Executive Janet S. Owens has now filled all of those positions with her representatives, as she is entitled.

As a lifelong county resident, I am concerned that your repeated negative portrayals of this very necessary agency will adversely impact the future of economic growth in Anne Arundel. Because Anne Arundel County has a tax cap, commercial development is our only resource for additional revenue.

My fear is that your positioning of the issues will influence prospective businesses to take their potential investment elsewhere, limiting the county's ability to adequately fund programs to benefit residents.

Lisa Fuerstenberg, Glen Burnie

Defeat `loitering bill' next month

Annapolis Alderman Herbert McMillan and African-American organizations once again seem to be on a collision course.

Mr. McMillan is supporting an ordinance that has been dubbed by its opponents as "loitering while black," and is scheduled to be voted on by the Annapolis city council in September.

The Anne Arundel County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the United Black Clergy, Black Political Forum, African American Leaders, Rev. Leroy Bowman, First Baptist Church, Rev. Victor O. Johnson, Asbury United Methodist Church, Rev. Mamie A. Williams, Alderman Cynthia Abney Carter and 1,000 citizens who have signed petitions are opposing the bill.

These local leaders are now joined by national black leaders, including former Rep. Walter E. Fauntroy, president, National Black Leadership Roundtable; Martin Luther King III, Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Dick Gregory; and the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.

Who is right, Mr. McMillan or these black leaders? I believe that citizens of color and their leaders have a much greater sensitivity to the issues of race than the alderman.

I strongly recommend that the city council defeat this ill-advised ordinance. Just as there were those who said that there was no such thing as "driving while black" and it has been confirmed that race has played a part in who gets stopped on the interstate, the concept of loitering while black is real. It really doesn't matter if the alderman understands or not. Citizens of color do.

The good news is that if the city council passes the ordinance, the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has pledged to challenge it in court. I strongly recommend the defeat of this bad bill.

Michael T. Brown Sr., Annapolis

The writer is chairman of the Black Political Forum.

Great time to get involved with schools

As the students of Point Pleasant Elementary (and all schools in Anne Arundel County) prepare to head back to school, we need to think about what each of us can do to help them receive a high-quality education.

The back-to-school time is an excellent time for people to get involved in education. Everyone can contribute -- parents and families, grandparents and senior citizens, members of community, cultural and religious organizations, employers and employees. Every caring adult and even older students can play a role in improving education.

The Point Pleasant Elementary PTA invites you to join with us to make a difference. Our 1999-2000 school year objective is to bring into closer relation the home and school so that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of our children.

We have created an e-mail address where anyone can send questions, comments and suggestions directly to the PTA executive committee:

I encourage everyone to contact Point Pleasant Elementary or the school nearest you and ask what you can do to help. Better education is everybody's business.

Brian H. Hart, Glen Burnie

The writer is vice president of the Point Pleasant Elementary School PTA.

Kudos to Clyde and the sportfishers

Kudos to Clyde Abel and the Pasadena Sportfishing Group for a whole lot of fun at the Aug. 7 kids' fishing contest at Downs Park.

For the bargain price of $2, my daughters came home with fishing tackle, lunch and memories of landing their first white perch. Along the way, they were instructed on proper casting techniques by some of the PSG members. We're already looking forward to next year's events at Lake Waterford and Downs Park.

Andy Lentz / Michele Lentz, Severna Park

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