Letters to the editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 23, 2005

Council pay raise is questionable

I write concerning your recent article entitled "Council pushes for pay raise" (Oct. 16) regarding Howard County members' desire for a pay raise.

I find it questionable whenever a body is entitled to raise its own pay. In all other jobs besides the government, one prime determiner in whether to raise the salary of a job is whether there are sufficient applicants for the job at the current salary. I see no lack of applicants for the positions on the Howard County Council, and wonder why these part-timers who chose to run for the position at the current salary would now find it unacceptable. I would love the opportunity to have a job in which I could set my own pay raise after campaigning mightily to earn the position.

I hope that the County Council focuses on returning some of the record-breaking tax revenue and surplus it imposed on us rather than focus on its own wallets.

Douglas Dribben Woodstock

Council salary increase is justified

I believe that the Howard County Council members do need a pay raise.

Let's look at this from a business perspective. Let's say you are the owner of a business that has annual operating expenses of $1 billion. Do you want hires that make less than their secretaries to make decisions about the future of your company and its relationship to its business consumers? I think not.

I'm sure you'd be concerned that these folk wouldn't really represent the majority of the consumers and that they might be more interested in only serving the consumers who could advance their careers. That could impact your business's long-term growth.

Well, guess what? That's Howard County's situtation right now. Of course our councilmen either have to be independently wealthy or they need another source of income to finance their careers. I think it could and has been argued in this paper and others, that neither of these necessary criteria produces councilpersons that will represent all citizens of the county equally and fairly.

Therefore, in order to recruit candidates that will represent all of the county's citizens equally, let's pay them a wage that will allow them to live like the citizens they represent, just as a business would do. I would propose that their salaries be at least equal to the median income for Howard County -- about $75,000. Hopefully, then we can attract competent, unbiased individuals, rather than lose them to business as has happened several times in the last two years.

After all, you get what you pay for.

Dave Denzler Highland

Don't disturb havens of peace

Last week, I read once again about the rationale that the Department of Recreation and Parks gives for starting the deer hunts -- population control. OK, let me see if I get this. The department owns about 8,000 acres of parkland, but is hunting on only about 1,700 acres. Howard County has 160,670 acres total, and the total of 1,700 acres being hunted by the county calculates to just about 1 percent of the total acres in the county. And this is supposed to ... what? Do the county a service by killing some deer on 1 percent of the land? This is laughable. Deer will just move to safe areas.

This is only one of many reasons that I oppose the hunts. Another is that I am a tax paying citizen of Howard County, and I don't want to see animals killed in our public parks. I think that parks should be havens of peace for our wild creatures, and I'm sure that the vast majority of people feel the same way. I am also holding my breath for the day when some sort of accident stops this heinous activity.

Ellen Rhudy Marriottsville

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