Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 29, 2004

City must alter the timetable for its elections

I sincerely wish I had been offered an opportunity to speak with The Sun's editorial writers before they took a position regarding Baltimore's Ballot Question A, which calls for the city's general election to be returned to the odd-numbered year preceding the Maryland state and federal general elections ("Ballot initiatives," editorial, Oct. 26).

The Sun quite rightly points out that "the problem is in Annapolis, where state lawmakers have refused to accede to the will of city voters and change the city primary to reflect a 1999 voter initiative to have municipal balloting coincide with the presidential election."

FOR THE RECORD - Correction
The name of Senate Minority Leader J. Lowell Stoltzfus was erroneously inserted in a letter published on Friday from Kevin Miller of Annapolis.
The letter should have said, "Maryland Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan and other Republicans point at the prior administration as they attempt to divert responsibility for the current mess on the Bay Bridge."
The Sun regrets the error.

But there is absolutely no indication that those lawmakers will change their minds now and take any corrective action they have not taken in the past four sessions.

Therefore, if Baltimore's election cycle is not changed, its citizens will face 14-month gaps between the primary election and the general election in perpetuity.

What has that outrageous time lapse cost the citizens of Baltimore?

Money and effective, efficient representation.

The City Council proposed, and Baltimore voters approved, moving the city's election to match the presidential election cycle, to be fiscally responsible. Keeping a primary election in a different year from the general election does not fulfill that desire.

Of even greater consequence is the cost of paying council members who knew they would not be returning to office in 2004. An essentially lame duck City Council does not serve the citizens of Baltimore well.

And what of the candidates who won the primary election in September 2003?

They remain candidates, 14 months later. They have not had the opportunity to even have it determined if they will be elected to office but in many instances, at the request of their constituents, have performed the functions of council members without the authority or ability to effect legislative change for 14 months.

This is not the way to run a city. The citizens of Baltimore deserve better.

And the only way for that to happen is to change the general election back to the same year as the primary election.

The citizens of Baltimore deserve a "yes" vote on Question A.

Rochelle "Rikki" Spector

Baltimore

The writer represents District 5 on the Baltimore City Council.

More evidence Bush misled us about Iraq

The article "Pentagon unit said to skew data on Iraq, al-Qaida link" (Oct. 22) raises more troubling questions about the Bush administration's manipulation of data to invade Iraq.

The report by Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee concludes that a special intelligence unit "shaded analytic judgments, ignored contrary evidence and sidestepped the CIA to present dubious findings to senior officials at the White House."

This was done in an effort to establish a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida. But, in fact, the 9/11 commission report concluded there was no evidence of a collaborative relationship between the two.

Since the administration "cooked the books" by presenting Congress with misinformation on relationships, weapons of mass destruction, etc., it should come as no surprise that the president got the votes needed to carry out his personal vendetta against Iraq.

If malfeasance of this magnitude took place in the private sector, the CEO would be fired and sent packing.

Fred Ludwig

Columbia

Other media giants list only to the left

I found the subtitle to The Sun's article "Sinclair softens its tone a notch" (Oct. 23) very interesting. It read: "Program on Kerry gestures at balance while tilting to the right."

This is exactly what The Sun, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC, ABC, CBS, et al., do every day of the year - just change the word "right" to "left."

Lyle Rescott

Marriotsville

UB serves students needing night classes

The article, "Days of discontent for students at UB" (Oct. 20) was quite misleading, especially in its title.

There are discontented students at the University of Baltimore, as at any school, but if The Sun's sample of one had been taken in the evening, you would likely have found considerable satisfaction with UB's course schedules.

The article says, "During the day, the hallways are virtually empty."

That is not true, as there are many day classes, but certainly there is more activity in the evening.

And I would think that at schools such as the University of Maryland, College Park and Towson University, the hallways would be "virtually empty" in the evenings. Why is there no concern about that?

Just as those institutions cannot afford to offer full schedules at all hours, neither can UB.

UB primarily serves working students, most of whom are paying their own way and struggling to get an education while supporting a family and working full-time.

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