Firing Brody from school board is `politics as usual...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 07, 2000

Firing Brody from school board is `politics as usual'

What a disappointment from our new mayor ("School board's Brody out," Dec 30).

I am a Republican who voted for Martin O'Malley in part because, during the campaign he projected the idea that he wanted the very best for our city.

He emphasized that in his administration the education of our children would be a top priority issue that would be kept free of "politics as usual."

But after only weeks in office, Mr. O'Malley has sent a powerful and very disappointing message that clearly indicates that he does intend to play politics as usual. He has refused to reappoint one of best individuals the city's school board has been fortunate to have, Edward J. Brody.

That's certainly Mr. O'Malley's right, but what's his reason? Apparently it's that Mr. Brody supported Carl Stokes for mayor.

Mr. Brody is a highly successful businessman, who has been chairman of many local boards and has devoted his time and energy to bringing stability and improvement to the school board. Few people of his character and experience are willing to take on such responsibilities.

Mr. O'Malley can get rid of Mr. Brody if he wishes. But the citizens of Baltimore, who put him in office, deserve a better reason than the one the mayor has given.

William Speed

Baltimore

Like many others, I looked forward to Martin O'Malley's mayoralty, hoping he could bridge the gap between the city's factions and help put it back on course.

But I was incredibly upset when one of Mr. O'Malley's first significant actions as mayor was to remove Edward J. Brody from the school board. This was clearly done for political reasons.

Mr. O'Malley's comments made it clear that he does not know Mr. Brody. Edward Brody is a considerate, hard-working individual who has the interest and the expertise to really help the school system. Mr. O'Malley will have a very hard time replacing Mr. Brody.

If Mayor O'Malley can only deal with people who think he is wonderful, the city may have just jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

The city needs a mature, hard-working mayor who can put the city's interests ahead of his own.

Davis M. Hahn

Lutherville

With his abrupt dismissal of Edward J. Brody from the city's school board, Mayor Martin O'Malley has demonstrated not his "feel good" election promise, but an unkind manner.

Mr. Brody has worked tirelessly for the improvement of this city, whether supporting local hospitals, the performing arts or heading the search committee whose long deliberations led to the hiring of our current school superintendent.

I would urge our new mayor to reappoint Mr. Brody to the school board, where he has shown needed leadership

Ed Brody deserves a commendation, not a dismissal.

Helen Addington Passano

Baltimore

Rebuilding city schools requires committed parents

As a colleague of Dr. Steve Bova at Johns Hopkins, I agree that we need to create more educational and career opportunities in biomedical sciences for young people ("Developing untapped talent," Opinion Commentary, Dec. 28).

I was distressed, however, to read Dr. Bova's answer to the question "If you were a parent, would you stay in the city?" "I'm afraid not," he said.

Improving the education of Baltimore's children requires not only excellent teachers, administrators and public and private funding, but a true partnership with parents and concerned citizens.

My wife and I have had the marvelous experience of seeing both of our daughters attend city schools.

They benefited not only from outstanding classroom education at these city schools, but also from the marvelous diversity of people which is one of the real strengths of the city.

However, if our schools are to succeed, it will take a commitment from a critical mass of parents.

"Staying in the city" is an essential first step if we are to provide the educational opportunities the children of Baltimore deserve.

Martin Abeloff

Baltimore

Council's huge pay hike shows need for balance

As Baltimore City taxpayers, we were absolutely flabbergasted when we read in The Sun that one of the last acts of the outgoing city council was to give the members of the next council an astonishing pay raise ("City Council's misguided priorities," editorial Dec. 15).

Every week, The Sun reports on the city's budget shortfall of almost $150 million. And the council reacts by lavishing $11,000 per year pay raises on themselves. We worked very hard at our jobs and we have never earned a 30 percent raise.

We voted for Bob Santoni in November, not just because he campaigned on a pledge to cut property taxes, but because we felt he would have invoked some sanity in city budget reviews and provided some balance to a very Democratic City Council.

It was the first time we voted for a Republican, and now we really regret the total lack of balance we will have to suffer on the council for the next four years.

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