The mayor alone can't solve problems the city faces...


March 25, 2001

The mayor alone can't solve problems the city faces ...

The arrogance The Sun attributed to Mayor Martin O'Malley in its recent half-page editorial pales in comparison to The Sun's own arrogant myopia in assessing the problems of a great city trying to bounce back ("Shocking time for shock mayor," editorial, March 18).

The most perfect mayor cannot do it alone. Mr. O'Malley hasn't shot anyone. He didn't create the courthouse mess.

He is not responsible for a high school dropout rate and very low academic achievement scores in the city. He is not dealing any drugs.

Mr. O'Malley may or may not have made misjudgments, but he has vision, energy and guts. He clearly loves Baltimore. He has generated great statewide support for a successful Baltimore.

But Baltimore's real prospects for a better quality of life and an economic comeback depend on its people: on personal responsibility, strong support for kids in school, solving conflicts without guns and purging those devoted to poisoning its children with drugs.

Bill McCrone

Ellicott City

... but he shows no signs of failure or surrender

Inevitably, the honeymoon is ebbing, but these are not, as The Sun suggests, "days of anguish" for the Martin O'Malley administration ("Shocking time for shock mayor," editorial March 18).

The rising crime rate and budget deficit are distressing but hardly signs of imminent failure. Much hard work lies ahead, but Mr. O'Malley shows no sign of giving up. And The Sun does the city no favor by grossly distorting the mayor's challenges.

And Mr. O'Malley as "shock mayor"? His language is no saltier than that of President Truman or state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer.

Schools and libraries closing? They were underutilized and due to close.

Hundreds of public servants to be laid off? It's no secret the city's bloated bureaucracy should be cut by thousands.

With enough editorial hyperbole, The Sun might succeed in convincing Mr. O'Malley to depart before his term ends, delivering the city to the likes of Julius Henson.

That would be shocking indeed.

Max Elsman


Proposed site for strip club demeans Holocaust Memorial

Kudos for Edward Gunts' column ("Lounge plan poses problems," March 19) in which he set forth a number of very good reasons why it is a bad idea for the city to lease the property at 19-21 S. Gay St. to the El Dorado Lounge strip club.

Another valid reason for not going ahead with this ill-conceived plan is that the club would be within a long stone's throw from the Holocaust Memorial. Locating the lounge at 19-21 S. Gay St. would soil and undercut the vision many of us had when the memorial was planned.

Residents and visitors should be encouraged to visit the memorial. The strip club would discourage such visits.

William H. Engelman


The writer is a former president of the Baltimore Jewish Council.

It would be horrific enough for a fleshmonger to locate a strip club so near Baltimore's Holocaust Memorial. The fact that the idea came from Mayor Martin O'Malley is beyond comprehension.

The central purpose of the memorial is to teach children the lessons of the Holocaust so they may protect themselves and their children from the power of hatred.

But what responsible parent could bring his or her child to the memorial if it were so close to a strip club? What school would feel comfortable taking its students to the memorial for a field trip?

The mayor's stunningly insensitive decision demonstrates that he completely misunderstands the memorial's purpose and disregards the legitimate concerns of Baltimore's Jewish community.

Erica R. Rubin


Murder tally betrays failure of war on drugs

Reviewing The Sun's graphic "Dead By Murder This Year -- 51" (Opinion

Commentary, March 16), I found myself sadly reminded of nightly network news body counts during the Vietnam War.

This is just one more compelling reason to rethink our involvement in a dismally failed war on drugs.

It's time to explore more seriously the decriminalizing of illegal drugs.

Michael Kearns


Donkeys are turning tail on campaign finance reform

Life is strange: When the Democrats were the minority party as far as raising money was concerned, they beat the bushes for campaign finance reform.

Now that they've gotten a taste of the honey from the money tree, hesitation appears.

McNair Taylor


Schaefer's criticism of mayor is hypocritical sour grapes

When the wrecking ball began swinging at Memorial Stadium, I knew we would soon be hearing from state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer ("O'Malley missing the beat, no vision," Opinion

Commentary, March 20).

He's a poor loser and I knew he would take the first opportunity to vent his childish anger and spread sour grapes far and wide. I'm disappointed The Sun provided him the opportunity, but at least it's done.

But for the former ringmaster of the biggest circus in Baltimore's history to condemn Mayor Martin O'Malley as being more "showman" than "politician" is the height of hypocrisy.

Wayne Curtis


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