How much is enough for teachers' raises? In a recent...

LETTERS

April 22, 2001

How much is enough for teachers' raises?

In a recent Carroll County budget session it was stated "that Carroll County ranks No. 22 in the state for starting salaries" for teachers. According to the latest tabulation by the Maryland State Department of Education, Wicomico, Allegany, Somerset, Washington, Garrett, Dorchester and Caroline have starting salaries below Carroll County. This would put us at No. 18. The starting salary for Carroll and Worchester counties is $30,000, which curiously is more than some Carroll County teachers with two and three years experience are receiving - so much for longevity. One of the counties above us, Frederick, exceeds Carroll County by only $42. Cecil County exceeds us by $300. The next two counties in the $30,000 range - Harford and Anne Arundel, at $30,776 and $30,635 respectively - have tax bases that dwarf us and could have starting salaries much higher but have found no need to. For us. ... $30,000 is very good, and our benefits exceed all of the other 23 subdivisions.

Montgomery County is the undisputed gold coast of D.C., and no other subdivision comes close to its tax base. The starting salary is the highest in Maryland, $33,410.

None of this seems compatible with the annual budget cry of "we need pay raises" to get and hold new teachers. Since every year teacher and administrative salaries are increased yet the increases are never enough, just what is the figure that the teachers want? ... Whether the county can meet the amount or not is another matter, but what is that perfect salary that the teachers want?

William Hurlock

Westminster

Vote for incumbents in Sykesville election

Once again the citizens of Sykesville have a major decision to make. The town has come a long way from the dying town I first met over 15 years ago. The Warfield complex will add to the tax base at a token cost to the town; the Main Street Task Force is taking up the state on its offer to spruce up Main Street.

There is a group in town who continues to try to reverse this direction. They confuse the citizens with distortions of the facts and misstatements. In one more attempt to gain control, they have a roster of candidates to challenge the incumbents for mayor and town council. Our decision is do we want to continue with the revitalization or go backwards? The incumbents have shown us they have a vision and can make it happen. Ask the challengers what their vision is, then vote for the incumbents noted by asterisks on May 1. Don't let someone else decide for you by not voting.

Dan Stinchcomb

Sykesville

If restaurant is lacking, then eat elsewhere

In the Carroll County section was an article ("Restaurant, disability rights advocates at odds," April 16) describing how a discrimination complaint has been filed against a small restaurant. Also in the article is a case where a restaurant has closed because the cost to make it accessible was too high.

I believe that such laws should be open to exceptions where access is not critical to the customers' life and health. Why must the complainant eat in that restaurant if it becomes difficult? Are there no other restaurants available to her? If I find a restaurant difficult, for any reason, I just go elsewhere, where I find it more to my liking. ...

Where a business is important to the customer's activities, full access must be provided, but where mere convenience is involved, the burden on the business must not become a threat, financial or otherwise, to that business. I say "Eat somewhere else, lady."

Andy Gardner

Westminster

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