City needs ethics, not just competence

December 29, 2009

In his recent letter to The Sun, City Councilman Robert Curran asserts Sheila Dixon should stay in office because she is a good administrator. I won't argue the point of her administrative skills, but I would suggest that not being a convicted thief is also an important quality the city's mayor should possess.

The city needs a mayor capable of providing a moral example and ethical leadership, not just someone who can get the snowplows out. Mayor Dixon's conviction proves she is incapable of providing that leadership. The pettiness of her crime is not mitigating; to the contrary, it makes her offense particularly egregious.

One can at least understand how a politician might be tempted by a million-dollar kickback, but Dixon was willing to sell out her oath and her constituents for a few hundred dollars in gift cards. Her actions show a disdain and disregard to the citizens and her office. She appears to be an arrogant reverse Robin Hood, stealing from the poor and giving to her wealthy self. One wonders what she would be willing to do for "real" money.

That Robert Curran doesn't seem to grasp that a convicted criminal shouldn't remain as mayor shows his lack of judgment. The city needs a new mayor, and the Third District needs a new councilman.Douglas J. Kaplan, Baltimore

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