County government is a service, not a business

April 14, 2010

The explanation "But we are running a business" by Lynnie Cook, executive director of the Baltimore County Revenue Authority, in saying why he wants to close and sell a Parkville parking lot shows the attitude messing up this country for the last 40 years ("Sale of Parkville parking lot opposed by local merchants," April 13). Baltimore County is not a business but a government agency whose duty is to provide a service, not make a profit. If the parking lot helps the Parkville merchants stay in business and even expand, it is serving its purpose. Despite prevalent Republican attitudes, government has a positive role to play in society and should do so. Public libraries, public schools, the military, the public health system, National Institutes of Health, etc. are not businesses, and yet few people want to sell them.

Government services should be run efficiently, and in these difficult times, some things have to be cut. But the attitude should be how can government best provide its services with limited resources, not how to make a profit.

Jerry Levin, Baltimore

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