Purchase of mansion for Towson president wastes public...


March 14, 2002

Purchase of mansion for Towson president wastes public funds

The fiscal mismanagement by Towson University officials would be funny if it wasn't just another example of a "Who cares? It's not my money" attitude by those charged with prudent expenditure of taxpayer dollars ("Towson U. finds costly path to proper mansion," March 7).

Those party to the overspending on the president's house should be fired. Their throwing away taxpayer dollars shows a lack of fiscal responsibility at a time when the university system is increasing fees and asking the state for even more money.

The $597,000 spent on improvements and repairs - on top of the house's $850,000 purchase price - tells me they bought the wrong house.

And rather than admitting their mistake when they discovered the repairs were needed, it was easier for college officials just to go back to the well for more money. After all, it wasn't their money; it was funny money - taxpayers' money.

Steve Shimko


Although I am 100 percent pro-education, I see the purchase of the college president's house by Towson University as obscene.

I've purchased four houses and I don't have an engineering department working for me. I used commercial house inspectors and I've not purchased one that had termites, a bad roof or inadequate air conditioning.

Give us Maryland taxpayers a break. The individuals who engineered that deal ought to start looking for other jobs.

James W. Woods


As a Towson University alumnus and a taxpayer, I was appalled at the waste of money in purchasing and renovating the college president's new house.

Why isn't the priority education facilities for students rather than an elegant entertainment facility for the president?

Sue Betsill


When are the University System of Maryland administrators going to wake up and be more fiscally responsible with the funds they are entrusted with?

Are we to believe that spending $1.4 million on a presidential palace is a proper use of state funds? Couldn't this money have been put to a more productive use improving campus facilities?

I think the president could live in a modest residence and still wine and dine potential supporters on the campus.

Keith F. Kelley


University System of Maryland Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg justified recent expenditures on a Greenway mansion because "you need to make friends" so donors will support the school ("College house draws anger," March 8).

I'm confused. I'd have thought Towson University could burnish its image with the quality of its academic programs, the excellence of its faculty and the professional attainment of its students upon graduation.

I didn't understand that a plasma-screen TV was required to make friends.

But reading this article has given me an opportunity to use a good college-level word: egregious.

Benjamin Feldman


Senate must take stand for better fuel efficiency

As a country we use one-quarter of the world's oil, but we possess only 3 percent of the world's oil reserves.

And while we rely heavily on other countries for our oil needs, we are wasteful in our consumption. The fuel economy standard for cars and especially SUVs is outdated.

We can, and should, do better. The technology exists today to make cars much more fuel-efficient.

By raising the average fuel economy of American cars and light trucks to 35 miles per gallon by 2013, we can decrease our dependence on oil, protect our public lands, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and save money at the gas pump.

The Senate must take a stand on this issue, for the good of the economy and the country.

Cynthia Cox


Blame federal regulators for the Allfirst fiasco

The Sun's article "Md. examiners no match for Allfirst burden" (March 5) unfairly indicts the Maryland state examiners and misleads readers.

A more thorough investigation would have led The Sun's reporters to the obvious conclusion that the responsibility for this debacle lies clearly at the feet of the bank's primary regulator, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, whose examination staff likely outnumbered the state's staff by at least 3-1.

Douglas Metz


U.S. intervention won't stop violence in the Middle East

The Sun's editorial "A standoff steeped in violence" (March 7) touted the Oslo peace accords and other examples of U.S. intervention as "historic breakthroughs toward peace" in the Middle East.

Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. It is in the aftermath of that failed strategy that the violence has accelerated.

And I take issue with The Sun's underlying stance of moral equivalence between the two sides. Palestinian terrorists murder motorists on their way to work, blow up others dining on pizza or sipping coffee, or walk into busy areas and shoot machine guns into crowds.

Meanwhile, the Israelis attempt to target terrorists, sites that store armaments and manufacture rockets and other munitions and the infrastructure that supports terror attacks.

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