Firing Ambridge reflects poorly on city's comptroller...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 12, 2001

Firing Ambridge reflects poorly on city's comptroller

What am I missing? Baltimore Comptroller Joan Pratt's dismissal of highly regarded real estate officer Anthony J. Ambridge, and subsequent replacement of him with a man who was subject of a criminal investigation in his last public job, makes no sense ("Real estate officer Ambridge dismissed," Jan. 6).

Since when is it a good business practice to remove a money-making officer who has been lauded in the press for his integrity and compassion just because we need "a change of direction"?

It is difficult to figure out where the IOUs reside in this made-for-TV saga. But it is easy to determine the losers in Mr. Ambridge's firing: the citizens of Baltimore.

Mike Davey

Baltimore

I hope Michael Olesker's column "Firing of Ambridge defies (this) explanation," (Jan. 10) as well as The Sun's editorial ("Intrigue at City Hall," Jan. 10) will raise a hue and cry among concerned citizens.

That Baltimore City Comptroller Joan Pratt could have the audacity to fire an employee whose record has been exemplary and replace him with a man with a background like John D. Hubble's is thumbing her nose at the mayor and the citizens of Baltimore.

Haven't we had enough arrogance from those in political positions who act as though they are above personal integrity?

Ms. Pratt should step down.

Alex Carmel

Baltimore

I find it difficult to believe City Comptroller Joan Pratt would fire someone as capable as Anthony J. Ambridge and replace him with the discredited political hack, John D. Hubble.

Citizens of Baltimore should protest this injustice.

Richard J Renner

Lutherville

A brighter city future requires better schools

Reading "Ideas to brighten Baltimore's future" (Dec. 31), we were appalled that there was no mention of improving Baltimore's public school system.

Baltimore's future relies on creating a good public education system, so couples who have children will want to stay in the city with their families (and tax dollars).

This is the only way that the city will become a vibrant community rather than a harbor-front development.

Yunhui Mao

Matthew Singer

Baltimore

Vicious attack on teacher a genuine hate crime

Read the article about the Hereford Middle School teacher senselessly beaten and almost killed by four thugs, and you will see what a hate crime is ("Attack could net 25 years," Jan. 5).

The Sun should have called this crime a hate-crime originally, so we would all have understood it better.

Robert D. Curtis

Bel Air

Proponent of vouchers could hurt city schools

The Sun's article "Schools face shortfall of $36 million" (Jan. 5) was timely, as it came in the wake of George W. Bush's nomination of Rod Paige for secretary of education ("A pioneer in reading set to extend reach," Jan. 7).

Although Mr. Paige has drastically improved Houston's schools, his advocacy of vouchers could do more harm than good for the faltering Baltimore schools.

Like many school systems, Baltimore's schools would benefit from an education secretary who is a proponent of public education and would use taxpayer dollars to benefit public schools in need rather than wealthy private schools.

Vouchers can only help so many students, but public school is free for all.

Grace Cahill

Baltimore

Keeping Sen. Thurmond alive is the GOP's real priority

You think tax-cut legislation is the most important agenda item for Senate Republicans in the 107th Congress? Forget it: keeping 98-year-old Sen. Strom Thurmond alive for the next two years is their biggest concern.

If Mr. Thurmond goes down, the Republicans will cede their razor-thin Senate majority to the Democrats.

Morton D. Marcus

Baltimore

Graziano: a talented man who has much to offer

I had the pleasure and honor of serving under Paul Graziano during his tenure as general manager of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). He is one of the kindest, gentlest people I know.

While with NYCHA, he consistently showed respect for all those he came in contact with, including residents, colleagues, subordinates and supervisors. He is thought of very highly throughout the housing community.

We are all in shock over reports of his troubles, because they are so uncharacteristic of the man we know and respect.

I hope the people of Baltimore will show compassion for a good and decent man who has dedicated more than half of his life to public service and give him a chance to show his true self.

He has much to give and Baltimore has much to gain by keeping an open mind and letting him get on with his work.

Alice O'Neil

New York

The writer is director of the office for modernization of the NYCHA.

Wagner's Point community deserves a fitting memorial

Many a fine person lived (and some worked) in Wagner's Point ("Final two residents close book on Wagner's Point," Dec. 18). The seven extended families and their neighbors enjoyed a unique lifestyle in spite of the danger that surrounded them.

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