Mayor O'Malley takes a divot in swinging at city golf...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 26, 2002

Mayor O'Malley takes a divot in swinging at city golf board

As a lifelong city resident and golfer, I was angered by Mayor Martin O'Malley's tirade against the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corp. board ("O'Malley takes swing at golf board over fees," Jan. 17).

Since its inception, BMGC has benefited city residents by using profits to make significant improvements to its courses, while keeping fees lower than those in surrounding counties.

BMGC already contributes a substantial amount to the Baltimore City Foundation. Demanding the corporation charge what surrounding counties do, so it can make a greater contribution to the city, amounts to simply extorting another tax from already overburdened city residents.

City youth programs undoubtedly need additional support. However, municipal golf, by its definition, needs to remain affordable for all residents. Seniors on fixed incomes and those with lower incomes should not be shut out by continually rising costs. The junior golfers who participate in BMGC programs should not be priced out of the game when they are too old for junior fees.

The affordability of municipal golf contributes to the great variety of players one meets on city courses. Doesn't Mr. O'Malley realize raising greens fees only fosters the "country club" environment he accuses the board of holding?

Robert W. Gaver Jr.

Baltimore

Mayor Martin O'Malley's attack on the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corp. was gratuitous and demonstrated disdain for Baltimore golfers.

I have been playing the Baltimore golf courses for the last 36 years. I can remember when the golf courses were deteriorating because of neglect and lack of funding. Then Mayor William Donald Schaefer had the brilliant idea of establishing this corporation to manage the courses and keep them affordable to all.

BMGC has fulfilled its obligation and been a model for municipal golf course management throughout the country. The courses are in excellent condition and are assets to the city. They provide exciting and affordable golf to all who wish to play.

Instead of criticizing the BMGC, Mr. O'Malley, who came into office with little or no management experience, should try to emulate the sound management practices of the golf corporation. His constant rude outbursts are a sign of his frustration that he can't deliver on the many promises he made during his campaign.

Despite his efforts, the city is still a dangerous place, the school system is an embarrassment, the city isn't cleaner than it was when he took office and his housing department appears to be out of touch with the constituency it serves.

Maybe the BMGC should take over the mayor's job.

David Mitchell

Baltimore

Thanks, state highway crews, for a great job fighting snow

Kudos to the state's highway maintenance crews for the excellent job they did clearing the snow off the roads last Saturday. Driving home from New York City was a total nightmare until we reached the Maryland line. The treacherous New Jersey and Delaware highways were utterly covered with snow.

Thank you, Maryland highway maintenance workers, for a job well done. What a difference a state makes.

Rona Blumenthal

Lutherville

`Ripples of hope' appear in governor's departure

Like the governor, I see some ripples of hope ("Governor looks to create `ripples of hope,'" Jan. 17).

My ripples are that I will never see him as a statewide candidate again, that I will get the remainder of the promised tax cut, that the governor won't find another group of state employees to unionize and that he hasn't leveraged everything including the kitchen sink to get another record-breaking budget passed, without any concern for the taxpayers.

R. A. Bacigalupa

Baltimore

Give al-Qaida prisoners to human rights groups?

I suggest that we give those poor, maltreated al-Qaida prisoners back their Kalashnikovs and bandoleers of ammunition and set them free ("Detainees' treatment `proper, humane,'" Jan. 23) - half of them in the offices of the International Red Cross and half in the headquarters of Amnesty International.

Steve Clarkson

Ellicott City

Lay joins the ranks of the robber barons

Kenneth L. Lay of Enron Corp. is a much greater cad than a carnival barker or scalawag. On that great sacrificial altar we call capitalism, he has joined such notable patrons as John Jacob Astor, Andrew Mellon and John D. Rockefeller.

Mr. Lay practiced the two interwoven principals of capitalism - making an enormous profit and exploiting his labor force.

And the fact that the Enron episode will equal or surpass the "Teapot Dome" scandal of yesterday means nothing to this robber baron.

Gerald M. Bora

Alexandria, Va.

Rampant greed undermines the greater, public good

The writer of the letter "Free-market economy gives license to corporate greed" (Jan. 18) is correct, but he does not cast a wide enough net. Greed is not limited to the corporate world but permeates the domain of the powerful at all levels.

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