Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

July 30, 2006

Don't be fooled by political stunt

The result of the police union vote on its support for county executive is not a surprise. In truth, what would you expect from an organization that calls for a vote from less than 7 percent of its membership? Union Secretary Dan Besseck would not say how many of the 290 members had a chance to vote. The answer is that with less than 25 people in attendance, the union allowed a vote with union leadership cheerleading the way. And who is that leadership? Dan Besseck, a member of the Democratic Central Committee running for re-election, and James Fitzgerald, the union president who is running as a Democrat to be the next county sheriff.

While the union could have reached out to the entire membership to ensure no appearance of impropriety, the sheriff wannabe and the central committee member ensured they did not disappoint their party leaders.

With a vote taken late in the evening with only a handful of members present, they ensured their own protection within their party. The truth is that the police union endorsement is far from a stamp of approval by the nearly 400 officers on the force. Your officers will not be fooled by the political stunt, and as citizens you should not be fooled either.

Mr. [Ken] Ulman was credited with saying that the vote meant "concrete volunteer help from union members." Well, Mr. Ulman, I wouldn't expect that if I were you. Already, many more union and nonunion (command level) police officers have come forward to support Chris Merdon than attended the union meeting.

A.J. Bellido de Luna

Ellicott City

The writer is a 19-year veteran and a lieutenant with the Howard County Police Department. His views are his own and do not represent his employer. He has been a strong Merdon supporter since the Republican candidate announced his campaign in November.

Money talks, and we were let down again

To those of us who spent endless hours and sleepless nights at meetings regarding "Comp Lite" and the property at Routes 100 and 103, there's not much to say except that we gave it all we had. Once again, money talks and the election board, the courts and our county government let us all down.

To those neighbors who told us that we couldn't fight city hall and win and they were not going to waste their time attending meetings. ... you were right. Silly us, thinking that we could do what is right for our county and its citizens with regard to overdevelopment, more empty office buildings and traffic congestion.

To the developers and their lawyers who continue to make money at the expense of the little guy, the established neighborhoods and longtime residents of Howard County, I have nothing to say except that I hope your jam-packed deep pockets spring crater-sized holes so that you lose some of the money you receive every time another house or building goes up.

Harry Siegel, the lawyer for the "successful landowners," says his people are happy that this chapter is closed. Well, Harry, it might not be closed yet, so don't you go celebrating. Just because Angie Beltram and her group don't have the money to hire attorneys like yourself and David A. Carney doesn't mean that there are not lawyers like Katherine Taylor who do care and want to help the little guy.

Is it any wonder that people dislike government and lawyers and developers?

Maria Alvarez

Ellicott City

`Vice' crime emphasis shows a lack of focus

As a longtime Howard County resident, I appreciate the diligence and effectiveness of the county police force.

But its recent emphasis on "vice" crimes shows a lack of focus. My concern as a resident is increasing levels of violent and property crime. Recent rashes of burglaries in Ellicott City, thefts in Columbia, and rumblings of Latino gangs starting to operate in the county are what worry me.

These same activities can and often lead to more serious crime.

The county police need to take care of these issues before spending any effort on victimless "vice" crimes.

Omar Siddique

Ellicott City

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