Roop's successor should be first runner-up The column...

LETTERS

January 23, 2000

Roop's successor should be first runner-up

The column by Norris West ("Give Fifth District what it would want," Jan.16) was right on target. The election of our representatives in a free society like Anne Arundel County is made by the people, of the people and for the people as stated by our founding fathers.

The election is over, it was fair, well-campaigned and unfortunately the most popular choice was called home by our Lord for a higher position.

The primary was a very close race and the first runner-up should be the next councilman as chosen by the voters.

In a race where many thousands voted and the slim margin of victory was only 350 votes, it was almost a tie for victory.

I pray for the comfort of Mr. Roop's family during this grieving period and for the remaining council members as they look inside themselves and decide whom they want to represent the people of the fifth councilmatic district. The people of the fifth district decided already.

Robert A. Costa, Shady Side

No trade unions for police officers

In regards to your Jan. 6 article "Police unions reach deal in move against Teamsters," on the union election with the Anne Arundel County Police, a critical point of analysis was missing.

While the Teamster representative claimed that the officers "want the Teamsters in charge," in fact the combined votes of the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Union of Police Associations show a full 54 percent of those voting clearly wanted a police organization to represent them -- not a trade union with little if any law enforcement experience.

Those officers who did vote for the Teamsters failed to realize that the union's experience in obtaining gains for members is dependent on tactics such as calling for strikes. Public safety employees cannot strike and therefore cannot use one of the Teamsters' primary tools.

It has long been the belief of the IUPA that police officers must be represented by other police officers. Police work is so unique that no thinking officer wants a union representative that has no police experience.

It is apparent that many FOP members share that belief. It is even more apparent in light of the FOP entering into an agreement with the IUPA to share that representation.

Rich Roberts, Annapolis

Public Information Officer International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO

Anne Arundel needs a department for

The news that County Executive Janet S. Owens is interested in dividing the responsibilities of the Department of Planning and Code Enforcement (PACE) into separate departments offers an opportunity for Anne Arundel County that should not be lost.

Ms. Owens should create a Department of Environmental Oversight to deal with environmental and quality of life issues.

Anne Arundel County is blessed with miles of Chesapeake Bay shoreline, an abundance of rivers and streams that feed into the Bay, forested areas that nurture wildlife and the human spirit, wetlands that provide some of the most interesting and unique displays of nature found anywhere. The location of the county and the opportunities available here will continue to attract investment and development.We also have some very serious problems that need to be addressed, including exorbitant cancer rates, air and water quality issues, and noise pollution.

Over the next several years there will be increased development in the county. The development will add to our economic health. Whether that development is done with sensitivity to the environment and quality of life of residents will determine the legacy we leave behind.

We need to divide the responsibilities of PACE into separate departments, one of which must be the Department of Environmental Oversight.

Mary E. Cooper, Laurel

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