Well-paid officials need to show some results Is it...


May 07, 2000

Well-paid officials need to show some results

Is it possible that the school board and county commissioners have failed to compensate adequately our top school administrators and this is what caused them to perform so poorly?

Let's look at the three administrators about whom so much has been written lately, because they have played key roles in the current public school scandals, and a fourth administrator who has been designated to respond to the shortcomings noted in the Bennett Report.

Superintendent William Hyde in 1995 was assistant superintendent of administration. His pay was $86,298 plus benefits. He was in charge of fiscal procedures and oversight of the construction projects studied in the Bennett Report.

Today he receives $119,700 which may include a car allowance of $6,400. This is a $33,402 increase in five years despite a one-year pay freeze in 1997. A citizen's petition is demanding his dismissal.

Assistant Superintendent of Administration Vernon Smith in 1995 was director of School Support Services. He was in charge of school construction and was directly under Mr. Hyde. His pay was $75,180 plus benefits.

Today his pay is $93,109, an increase of $17,929, again despite a one-year pay freeze in 1997. There is a petition demanding his dismissal.

The director of school support services is Kathleen Sanner. In 1995, she was assistant for facilities ( i.e., school construction), and answered directly to Vernon Smith.

Enrollment projections, used to justify new school construction, were a primary function of her position.

One elementary school, Cranberry Station, was described in the Bennett Report as a school "without students" and another new elementary school, Runnymede, has been under capacity since it opened.

In 1995, Ms. Sanner's pay was $53,307 plus benefits. This year her pay is $76,810, an increase of $23,503.

Margaret Pfaff is one of five new directors of elementary schools. Previously she was an assistant principal at Eldersburg Elementary School. Her pay was $60,548 in 1995. Today her pay is $86,819, an increase of $26,271.

Admittedly with no background in construction, including school construction, she now has full responsibility for correcting the massive construction problems enumerated in the Bennett Report, which is why she has been included on this list.

She was apparently appointed by Mr. Hyde and school board President Scott Stone, who failed themselves to exercise oversight in the school construction fiascoes.

The taxpayers of Carroll County, who pay for every expense incurred by the county Board of Commissioners and the school system, are entitled to know how much is being paid to the school administrators who have failed in their jobs so miserably, despite their generous compensation.

Jerry L. Brunst


Safer alternatives to hysterectomy needed

In response to The Sun's article "Treatment for uterine tumors pleases patients, not doctors" (April 16), it concerns me that the first response from doctors cited in the article would be that "the Internet sites are irresponsibly promoting the uterine fibroid embolization procedure without mentioning complications, such as the unknown impact on fertility."

Meanwhile the accepted option is hysterectomy, whose outcome for fertility we already know.

What the doctors cited don't make clear is that hysterectomy can also result in long-term compromise of quality of life.

These issues can include sexual dysfunction, loss of support of the pelvic floor, long-term incontinence, premature menopause and reduced blood flow to the pelvic area resulting in female impotence and loss of sensation.

Immediate post-operative reactions from a hysterectomy can include hemorrhages, damage to bowel and bladder and even death. This is major surgery.

Yet in the United States approximately 600,000 hysterectomies per year are performed, which gives us the highest rate of such surgeries of any Western country.

Approximately 90 percent of these operations are for benign problems.

Our European counterparts have been using alternatives for years, as they have more respect for maintaining women's optimal sexual health.

It seems to me it is time for women to demand a kinder and gentler gynecological approach particularly for benign problems of the pelvic floor.

A new breed of gynecology is desperately overdue. No longer should gynecologists be surgeons first; they should be focused on the care of the total woman.

What God made is best and the gynecologist has no right to take it away so casually.

There is a lot of money in the hysterectomy market, including further surgery down the road for secondary bladder problems which most women never connect to the previous hysterectomy.

There is big money made by the drug companies, who are trying to replace hormones permanently and prematurely disrupted.

But it is time to demand less invasive and safer alternatives, even if it puts gynecology as we know it out of business.

Joan M. Lusby


Assertions don't show where Elian belongs

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